News Release

September 29, 2021

The goal: to make the UK an epicenter of Semiconductor Start-up Innovation

Glasgow, UK and Santa Clara, California – SiliconCatalyst.UK (Silicon Catalyst) and the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) have signed an agreement to collaborate to make the UK a leader in semiconductor start-up innovation in the next five years.

Silicon Catalyst.UK and the NMI have a common interest in helping to create the right conditions in which aspiring UK semiconductor start-ups can become global scale-ups:

  • Silicon Catalyst.UK’s parent company, Silicon Catalyst, is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating solutions in silicon with a mission to help semiconductor hardware start-ups succeed.
  • NMI is the home and voice of the UK semiconductor industry and has successfully supported the domestic eco-system since it was established in 1996.

Silicon Catalyst has created a network that lowers the capital expenses associated with the design and fabrication of silicon-based IC’s, sensors, and MEMS devices by providing advanced design tools and services from a comprehensive network of In-Kind Partners (IKPs). Its Portfolio Companies utilize IKP tools and services including design tools, simulation software, design services, foundry PDK access and MPW runs, test program development, tester access, and banking and legal services. In addition, an advisory network totaling some 200 seasoned semiconductor veterans provide startups with invaluable guidance as they progress from PowerPoint to product. SiliconCatalyst.UK is actively seeking to engage with local VC’s and Angel groups in an effort to put its startups on a path to funding.

NMI has international and domestic semiconductor industry members, helping them build local capability and engineering excellence across design, test and manufacture of semiconductor-based products ranging from discrete products to complex AI-based systems. NMI also represents sector interests to Government and its agencies, facilitating innovation through collaboration in order to grow the UK economy and strategic interests.

Sean Redmond, Managing Partner SiliconCatalyst.UK said “the UK has world class research universities and a track record for semiconductor innovation. It also has fifteen semiconductor fabs specialising in advanced processes for photonics, power and mixed-signal RF applications. This manufacturing base has been extended with a strong MEMS, PICs and ASIC ecosystem. Combining these local assets with international partners and entrepreneurial drive creates a springboard for semiconductor start-up success.”

Alan Banks CEO of TechWorks, the legal entity behind NMI said “we are delighted to be working with Silicon Catalyst.UK and share the common vision of putting the UK in a leading position in Europe for creating semiconductor start-ups and creating the best environment for those companies to grow. By cultivating collaboration and ensuring government recognition of the semiconductor sector in areas such as automotive, IoT, communications, AI and edge computing, we have ambitions to facilitate the next generation of semiconductor companies building on the legacy of companies such as Arm, Wolfson, Icera and, more recently, Graphcore.”

Pete Rodriguez, CEO of Silicon Catalyst, said, “we have been delighted by our successful launch in the UK. The local reception has been very strong. Our team in the UK is establishing collaborations with local universities, investors and now the home of UK semiconductors, the NMI. They have signed-up several new advisors, a couple of new in-kind partners and attracted eight applications to our summer screening process. We look forward to their continued success.”

Vaysh Kewada CEO and Co-Founder at Salience Labs, a UK-based start-up developing a low latency photonic AI processor, based on research from Oxford University said “as a newly admitted SiliconCatalyst.UK Portfolio Company, we were very excited to hear about the new partnership with the NMI. Having access to the many benefits of NMI membership will help amplify the richness and reach of collaboration opportunities that will be facilitated by NMI working closely with Silicon Catalyst.UK.”

The partnership of NMI and Silicon Catalyst.UK will provide the right support at the right time for start-ups moving through the early growth period through to business engagement and scaling up phases. The world-class Silicon Catalyst network of advisors and investors further facilitates their journey from idea through prototype toward volume production.

Live Event October 12, 2021 – To be recorded

The first of many semiconductor leadership events has been jointly organised by the NMI and Silicon Catalyst.UK at Bletchley Park’s National Museum of Computing for the 12th October 2021. To receive a link to a recording of the event, visit SiliconCatalyst.UK.

If you’re an early-stage semiconductor company based, or looking to be based in the UK, get in touch.

How to join/learn about the Silicon Catalyst.UK program?

Contact Sean Redmond Silicon Catalyst:

How to join/learn about TechWorks and NMI?

Contact Alan Banks NMI:

About NMI and TechWorks

NMI (National Microelectronics Institute) is the semiconductor branch of TechWorks (see below) and consists of members across the UK’s design and manufacturing semiconductor ecosystem. It’s members include fabless semiconductor manufacturers, integrated device manufacturers (IDM’s), Tool and EDA vendors, IP (intellectual property) providers, design and test consultants.

NMI Semiconductor Design –

NMI Semiconductor Manufacturing –


TechWorks is the hub for a growing number of UK technology communities. Its mission is to strengthen the UK’s deep tech capabilities as a global leader of contemporary and future technologies. It works across its member communities by developing industry-led collaborative programs, catalysing innovation, strengthening capability, increasing capacity and supporting Government’s goal to ensure UK is amongst the best locations to start build and scale technology companies.


About SiliconCatalyst.UK

It’s About What’s Next® – Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating solutions in silicon (including IP, MEMS & sensors), building a coalition of in-kind and strategic partners to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of development. More than 600 start-up companies have engaged with Silicon Catalyst since April 2015, with a total of 39 start-up and early-stage companies admitted to the incubator. With a world-class network of mentors to advise start-ups, Silicon Catalyst is helping new semiconductor companies address the challenges in moving from idea to realization. The incubator/accelerator supplies start-ups with a path to design tools, silicon devices, networking, access to funding, banking and marketing acumen to successfully launch and grow their companies’ novel technology solutions.



Contact Information:

NMI : Electronic Systems Network Director, Steve Drew:

Techworks : Alan Banks, CEO:

Silicon Catalyst UK: Sean Redmond, Managing Partner: