In late January 2024, Innovate UK, in collaboration with UK Science and Innovation, will embark on a mission to South Korea aimed at exploring potential collaboration opportunities in the semiconductor industry. This move is particularly significant due to South Korea's notable position in the semiconductor sector and its ambition to establish itself as a major global "chip powerhouse". The primary objectives of this initiative are to assess how Innovate UK can effectively support UK businesses in forming partnerships focused on semiconductor innovation with South Korea.

The mission aims to pinpoint specific areas of focus such as technology, industry sector, geographical location, and the types of programs necessary to enhance collaboration between the two nations. To achieve these objectives, the mission will involve a detailed review of key enabling technologies for the UK’s semiconductor industries, with a specific emphasis on bolstering supply chain resilience and identifying policy and strategy synergies between the UK and South Korea. The overall goal is to ascertain the potential appetite for further collaboration in semiconductors, particularly regarding their manufacture, design, materials, and packaging.

In addition to this, Innovate UK is committed to devising long-term strategies for engaging with the South Korean market and pertinent stakeholders in the semiconductor industry to facilitate collaborative efforts for new products and services. The mission will also involve a thorough examination of the challenges and opportunities associated with developing innovative technologies, products, and services through collaborative efforts.

As part of these efforts, Innovate UK will host an in-person Global Expert Mission (GEM) in January 2024. During this event, a delegation of UK experts will engage with private and public sector organizations in South Korea to gain a comprehensive understanding of the semiconductor landscape and to explore opportunities for collaboration in various areas such as semiconductor manufacture, design and PDK development, compound (& WBG) semiconductors (i.e. power, photonics, RF, quantum), and advanced packaging—SoC, SiP, heterogeneous/hybrid integrations, silicon photonics.