Santa Clara, California and Edinburgh, UK SiliconCatalyst.UK (Silicon Catalyst) and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) have announced a new collaboration designed to drive the development and launch of companies utilising next-generation semiconductor technologies.

Silicon Catalyst and Heriot-Watt University have shared strategic objectives which focus on developing high-growth opportunities, equipping aspiring Scottish-based semiconductor ventures to transform into scale-ups.

The University’s heritage is rooted in industry and international collaboration, delivering education and innovation through knowledge transfer, commercialisation, and partnership. Through its Global Research Innovation and Discovery facility (GRID), Heriot-Watt is focused on commercialising high-impact research that delivers economic and social value.

Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating semiconductor hardware start-up and scale-ups. It has created a rich ecosystem of 50 in-kind partners and over 200 expert executive advisors to help these start-ups succeed.

Sean Redmond, managing partner, SiliconCatalyst.UK said: “Semiconductor start-up opportunities have changed dramatically over the last few years. We have entered a period of semiconductor industry hyper-scale, having just experienced annual industry growth of 30%. Never has so much demand been created by so few new innovations. Scotland has a rich tradition of successful global semiconductor success. The silicon glen is very much alive and bubbling with new semiconductor ideas and inventions to create the next wave of fabulous disruptive semiconductor start-ups.”

Silicon Catalyst has a created network that lowers the capital expenses associated with the design and fabrication of silicon-based ICs[1], sensors, and MEMS[2] devices by providing advanced design tools and services from a comprehensive network of In-Kind Partners (IKPs). Its portfolio companies utilise IKP tools and services including design tools, simulation software, design services, foundry PDK access and MPW runs, test program development, tester access, banking and legal services.

David Richardson
David Richardson

David Richardson, chief entrepreneurial executive, Heriot-Watt University said: “GRID offers bespoke support to ambitious scale-ups developing innovative solutions to global challenges. The partnership with SiliconCatalyst.UK emphasises our commitment to the development of a global ecosystem by building on our specialisms and applying these to catalyse new collaborations, investment and jobs.”

Professor Steve McLaughlin, incoming deputy principal research and impact, Heriot-Watt University said: “In 2021, Heriot-Watt University is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding in Scotland. Now a global institution, the University has renowned strengths in the practical application of specialist research and a wealth of knowledge and expertise across quantum optics, semiconductor physics, material science, nonlinear photonics and the industrial application of photonics. 

“I look forward to collaborating with SiliconCatalyst.UK, propelling impactful research initiatives and accelerating commercialisation to strengthen and ensure the continued growth of the semiconductor industry.”