Funding competition Semiconductor industry skills and training

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million for initiatives to address shortages across the semiconductor industry for innovative skills, talent, and training projects.

This competition is now closed.

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Competition sections


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £5 million in innovation projects to address the skills shortages across the semiconductor industry

The aim of this competition is to create and deliver course content and materials that will support skills, talent and training across semiconductor manufacturing and supply chains.

The purpose of this is to build awareness of the semiconductor industry and fill key gaps in the UK's workforce talent and training capabilities.

Opportunities could include but are not limited to:

  • schools engagement
  • apprenticeships and internships
  • upskilling and reskilling of existing workforce
  • technical courses and vocational training
  • undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD)
  • new or improved process development
  • creation of STEM ambassadors

Your proposal must identify or deliver a clear, game-changing intervention and address an identified industrial requirement or improvement. This must realistically and significantly meet and provide a long-term commitment to supporting the UK semiconductor industry.

Your proposal must align to the scope criteria for this competition.

This competition is split into 2 strands:

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total costs must not exceed £500,000.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total project costs of no more than £500,000
  • start by 1 August 2023
  • end by 31 January 2025
  • last between 12 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, research organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO), academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, or public sector organisation
  • demonstrate clear industrial support for your application, covering a cross section of technologies and sectors
  • work in, or have strong industrial ties with the UK semiconductor industry sector

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

If the lead organisation is not a business it must collaborate with at least 1 business of any size.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

An organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications across both strands of the competition.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications across both strands of the competition.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must always make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.


Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund projects in this semiconductors skills competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

You could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 80% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 80% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to create and deliver course content and materials that will support skills, talent and training across semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain. This is to build awareness of semiconductor manufacturing and application, filling key gaps in the UK's workforce talent and training capabilities.

Your project must demonstrate:

  • strong industrial links and a well defined industry focus
  • an understanding and awareness of semiconductor industrial skills that are currently lacking and any future requirements to enable the workforce
  • an innovative, ambitious, and realistic idea to meet a significant semiconductor skills or talent requirement
  • planning for, and commitment to, creating and maintaining the resource on an ongoing basis for a minimum period of 3 years after the funded project completion
  • that you will provide new training opportunities or skill resources not already available in the UK, a region or for a group of underrepresented people
  • that it has the capacity and capability to be delivered successfully and on time
  • value for money and evidence a return on investment, in terms of trained, upskilled and reskilled people

You can:

  • produce content and material for outreach, engagement and learning purposes
  • conduct semiconductor outreach and engagement exercises to individuals, academia, industry, and other groups
  • deliver course material or facilitate the running of courses
  • provide training or incentives for training to specific groups of underrepresented people or in specific training subjects
  • create STEM ambassador programmes

Portfolio approach
We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, skill levels and location . We call this a portfolio approach

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • defining and filling key skills gaps in the UK’s semiconductor manufacturing, research and supply chain workforce
  • producing industry compatible training programs
  • promoting skills in design for manufacture and assembly
  • increasing interaction between academia or training establishments and industry to ensure skills streams for the future, including, apprenticeships, internships or sandwich courses
  • delivering courses or practical training areas for example schools engagement, upskilling and reskilling of existing workforce, technical courses and vocational training, undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD)
  • improving the quality and capacity of existing training delivery
  • outreach and engagement material focusing on semiconductors for all ages and levels in academia and industry
  • supporting and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion within semiconductor technology training, manufacturing, or research
  • providing training or incentives for training to specific underrepresented groups of people or in specific training subjects

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that are:

  • not related to semiconductor skills and training
  • focused on semiconductor CR&D
  • related to maintenance, servicing mechanics or aftermarket support
  • related to printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication, PCB Assembly and test
  • related to discrete passive devices, excluding on-chip integration

We cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

28 February 2023
Competition opens
3 March 2023
Online briefing event: register to attend
29 March 2023 11:00am
Competition closes
12 May 2023 11:26am
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:

  • that all the information provided in the application is correct
  • your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
  • all sections of the application are marked as complete
  • if collaborative, that all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)

You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.

What we ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

1. Project details.

2. Application questions.

3. Finances.

Accessibility and inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.

You can contact us by emailing or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

1. Project details

This section provides background for your application and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on your project and invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.


Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will not be sent for assessment. We will tell you the reason why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score all your answers apart from question 1. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.

You must answer all questions. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation, any partners or subcontractors working on your project.

We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Question 2. Industry skills and landscape awareness requirements

What is your idea and what are the semiconductor skills shortages that it will address? How will your project increase awareness of semiconductors as a key technology and the opportunities that it offers?


  • the clear industry driven requirements and desires to take up your training idea
  • the skills shortage or training needed within semiconductors
  • how you identified these skills shortages
  • the current state of interaction between industry and training resource providers within semiconductors
  • any direct industrial support that may be available to you for example: access to equipment and facilities, placements or interviews
  • the nearest current provision available, and its limitations
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need
  • how your project will increase your current training capacities or develop a new training resource

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long.

You must submit one appendix to support your answer and it can include Letters of Support. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. Approach and deliverables

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the training be?


  • how you will respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • how you will improve on the current training provision in the UK
  • how your training will be accredited or how you will ensure industry acceptance
  • if your training will be offered on a local, regional or national scale
  • the interaction between the training provider and end user
  • which skills types or level will your training be targeting, for example: schools engagement, apprenticeships and internships, upskilling and reskilling of existing workforce, technical courses, vocational training, undergraduate, postgraduate, and continual personal development (CPD)
  • the development of outreach and engagement material focusing on STEM and semiconductors for all ages and levels in academia and industry
  • the delivery mechanism you plan to use and why, for example: virtual, face to face, practical based in a workshop or laboratory, sandwich courses, industrial placements
  • the number of learner days in a year at each skill level that your resource will provide

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long.

You must submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Project delivery and costs

How will the project be delivered and costed? Describe your project plan including:

  • the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • the management reporting lines
  • a breakdown of costs for the delivery of your training, production or procurement of the training facilities, and the development of the training material
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
  • your ability to deliver this project within the required timeframe given your existing business activities
  • if collaborative, how each partner will finance their contributions to your project
  • any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to your project

Your answer can be up to 600 words long.

You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 5. Project risks

How will your project risks be identified and mitigated? You must explain

  • the main risks, interdependencies and impact
  • how you will mitigate project delivery risks with your immediate and extended teams, for example supply chain and end users.
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You must also submit a risk register as a second appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 6. Project Team and resources

Does your proposed project team have the right skills, experience and resources to deliver your project?

You must describe:

  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team, including subcontractors, that are relevant to the approach you will be taking
  • the current relationships between project partners and subcontractors and how these will change as a result of the project
  • your access to existing resources, equipment, industrial facilities
  • your current position in the skills community and supply or value chains
  • any roles you will need to recruit for to ensure successful implementation of your project
  • any wider support you may need during or after project completion that you do not currently have access to, such as: partnerships, private finance, or export advice, explain why you will need this

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

You can submit an appendix with a short summary of the main people working on your project to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 7. Impact and Added Value

What will be the direct impact of your project on the UK semiconductor skills community? How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? Describe:

  • the expected impact of your project on the semiconductor industry skills needs
  • the likely impact of your project on the organisations involved
  • your project’s expected impact on the economy, regions, the environment and government priorities
  • any potential negative impacts you have identified
  • how your project supports and promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion within semiconductor technology training, manufacturing, or research
  • how you will measure your project’s impact, for example key performance indicators (KPIs) or similar metrics
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • what other routes of investment, if any, have you already approached
  • what advantages would public funding offer your project, for example, appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
  • what your project would look like without public funding

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long.

Question 8. Exploitation and continuity planning

How will your project outcomes be exploited and continued beyond the grant funding?


  • your current position in the semiconductor market and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your route to market and the commercialisation strategy you plan to use
  • the size of the target semiconductor market and other relevant markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
  • how you will attract learners and organisations in the semiconductor community to use your offering
  • your continuity planning after grant funding for business growth for the minimum of 3 years, if you are successful
  • how will your training resource provide an on-going commitment to the semiconductor skills community

Your answer to this question can be up to 400 words long.

You must submit a commercialisation strategy and continuity plan as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application. Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.

For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

The UK government is currently undertaking a strategic review of the UK semiconductors landscape which is due to be published in the Spring of 2023. The technology is foundational, so likely to support innovation in a wide range of sectors. It is necessary for development of technologies already prioritised by the UK government policy in its innovation strategy.

Semiconductors play essential roles in all of the seven technology families defined in the UK Innovation Strategy:

  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
  • AI, Digital and Advanced Computing
  • Bioinformatics and Genomics
  • Engineering Biology
  • Electronics, Photonics and Quantum
  • Energy and Environment Technologies
  • Robotics and Smart Machines

The roles cover the digital, analogue and hybrid domains.


In their most recognisable guise in the digital domain, forming the processors, memory and data services for computers across all areas of engineering and sciences.


On the analogue side providing:

  • power electronics
  • optical sources and detectors
  • sensors
  • control for interacting to the real world


The mixture of semiconductor materials and technologies to form small footprint, highly functional modules that will find increasing uses in:

  • telecoms
  • quantum
  • renewable
  • healthcare

These lists are not intended to be exhaustive.

The semiconductors industry is wide and diverse covering a range of materials, processes and supply chains all potentially at differing stages of maturity or development hence it can appear daunting to address across the board.

UKRI current commitment to semiconductors is predominantly funded from the applications side, where advancements in the technology are targeted at specific areas, for example:

  • digital security
  • automotive drives
  • power electronics for renewables

This application led approach is not well suited to address some of the more fundamental aspects and requirements to support the UK semiconductor industry as a whole.

This programme takes a more holistic approach to identify and address common problems and underlying issues experienced throughout the community such as:

  • supply chain resilience
  • access to manufacturing and test facilities
  • skills shortages

Data sharing

This competition is operated by Innovate UK.

Innovate UK is directly accountable to you for its holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with our own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application. Innovate UK’s Privacy Policy is accessible here.

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information. The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Find a project partner

If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN.

Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE

If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.

These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.

We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.

Next steps

If you are successful with this application, you will be asked to set up your project.

You must follow the unique link embedded in your email notification. This takes you to your IFS Set Up portal, the tool that Innovate UK uses to gather necessary information before we can allow your project to begin.

You will need to provide:

  • the name and contact details of your project manager and project finance lead
  • a redacted copy of your bank details
  • a collaboration agreement, if required
  • an exploitation plan

In order to process your claims, we need to make sure that the bank details you give to us relate to a UK high street bank that is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The account must have a BACS clearing facility and be in the same company name as your application.

If you have any doubts that your bank account will not meet Innovate UK's funding criteria, you can use the sort code checker. If you input the sort code and find a tick next to the ‘BACS Direct Credit payments can be sent to this sort code’, this will give you an indication that the bank account you hold is acceptable.

Finance checks

We will carry out checks to make sure you are an established company with access to the funds necessary to complete the project.

You must check your IFS portal regularly and respond to any requests we have sent for additional information to avoid any delays.

Failure to complete project setup may result in your grant offer being withdrawn.

Your Grant offer letter (GOL)

Once you have successfully completed project setup, we will issue your GOL.

The GOL will be made available on your IFS portal. You will need to sign and upload this before you start your project.

Your GOL will show the start date for your project, do not start your project before this date. Any costs incurred before your start date cannot be claimed as part of your grant.

If your application is unsuccessful

If you are unsuccessful with your application this time, you can view feedback from the assessors. This will be available to you on your IFS portal following notification.

Sometimes your application will have scored well, and you will receive positive comments from the assessors. You may be unsuccessful as your average score was not above the funding threshold or your project has not been selected under the portfolio approach if this is applied for this competition.

Contact us

If you need more information about how to apply or you want to submit your application in Welsh, email or call 0300 321 4357.
Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

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