The semiconductor industry saw a surge in new technologies in 2022, with the number of newly filed patents rising by a staggering 59 percent in the last five years. Despite this surge, the UK accounted for only 0.3 percent of global patents in the semiconductor sector, well below other major countries.
This is a significant concern for the UK, as cutting-edge technologies are essential for staying ahead in a competitive market. UK-based companies, such as Arm, have long been considered pioneers in the semiconductor industry. However, the UK government has failed to provide the support necessary for UK-based companies to compete on a global scale.
China set the pace by filing more than half of the microchip patents in 2021, while the US was not far behind, with a quarter of all patents filed. It appears that the UK is falling behind due to a lack of government support and rapid growth from overseas markets. This has led to considerable criticism of the government’s lack of support for research and development in the semiconductor business, as well as in other industries.
The government needs to take action to help UK-based companies stay competitive and generate new technologies that can benefit the entire economy. This includes investing in R&D and creating a supportive policy environment for innovative firms. The UK has the potential to remain a major player in the semiconductor industry, but only if the government acts fast.