Bay Photonics, Phlux Technology and the University of Sheffield Part of Consortium Addressing UK Semiconductor Skills Shortages

Bay Photonics, Phlux Technology and the University of Sheffield Part of Consortium Addressing UK Semiconductor Skills Shortages

Bay Photonics and Phlux Technology are delighted to be part of a consortium to have been awarded an Innovate UK funded grant (~£400k), to address the semiconductor skills shortage in the UK. The project is led by the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering Education at the University of Sheffield.

The project is called ASISST (Addressing Shortages in Semiconductor Skills Training) and will see the partners producing accessible, relevant, semiconductor training courses, to meet the specific requirements of employers in the semiconductor sector in order to increase the flow of talented people into the industry.

Semiconductors have been identified as one of the five technologies of tomorrow by the UK Government. They are critical to the UK’s economic and national security and to the strategic advantage the UK will secure on the global stage. More and more products, from vehicles to washing machines require semiconductors and as such the design, development and supply is becoming critical for the rapidly evolving technology landscape and there are few sectors which are as crucial to the development of deep-tech innovation as the semiconductor industry.

However, the shortage of skilled professionals to meet the growing demand for semiconductor expertise is sadly all too visible and is inherently linked to a fundamental shortage of students choosing careers in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics). This gap is in part due to a lack of awareness of semiconductor technology, as well as an absence of the required dedicated teaching resources and facilities for students to steer them towards the STEM subjects.

ASISST will raise public awareness of the importance of semiconductor technology in the UK by creating free, accessible online courses covering the different aspects of the semiconductor industry, from R&D, product development and manufacture. There are also plans for developing a remote lab for semiconductor device testing aimed at students in year 10 and above which will focus on practical learning, to develop the necessary skills to be prepared for the rapidly-developing real world.

Ben White CEO and founder of Phlux Technology said “The UK has a wealth of game changing ideas, but a chronic shortage of the people with the skills needed to turn these ideas into companies. We are pleased to help inspire the next generation of STEM innovators who fulfil their potential and bring a step change in the development of tech companies across the UK. We at Phlux hope to benefit from this work by being able to hire the next generation of innovators to advance our technology in Sheffield.”

Dr Andrew Robertson, CTO of Bay Photonics commented, “This project is in complete alignment with the recent UK National Semiconductor Strategy. We are focused on providing semiconductor training skills that the UK semiconductor industry is crying out for to ensure we remain competitive in this strategically important and rapidly growing market.”

About Bay Photonics
Bay Photonics are an independent, flexible design and build facility offering reduced time to market, reduced technical risk and reduced product development cost solution for projects that the customer finds difficult to gain traction due to low volume, degree of technical difficulty, broad engineering know-how required and restricted access to assembly capability.
With ultra-modern and well-equipped facilities, plus vastly experienced technical staff, Bay Photonics help make your Photonic IC (PIC) projects become a reality with their open and innovative packaging capability.

About Phlux Technology
Phlux Technology is the designer of high-performance infrared sensors for sensing and communication systems. A spin-out of the University of Sheffield, the company is based in one of the world’s leading centres for III-V semiconductor research and is building integrated subsystems to offer a high-performance sensor toolkit, which will have applications beyond LIDAR in satellite communications and enabling internet in remote regions, fibre telecoms, autonomous vehicles, gas sensing and quantum communications.

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