CSA Catapult to establish a presence in the North East

Date: 20.07.2023

CSA Catapult North East

Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult, the UK’s authority on compound semiconductor applications and commercialisation, is to move into an office in the North East as part of its plans to support industry across the UK.

The CSA Catapult North East office will be located at North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham.

Establishing a presence in the region will help CSA Catapult deliver benefits to companies and research institutes who are actively involved in compound semiconductor technologies across a range of industries, from telecoms to satellites communications and defence.

The North East is home to the North East Advanced Material Electronics (NEAME) cluster, which has “a mission to highlight and promote the region as a centre of excellence for advanced compound semiconductor technology design and manufacture.”

NEAME aims to raise the region’s profile and contribute £447m gross value added by 2026, with the potential to create and support around 4,500 jobs.

CSA Catapult North East will work with those companies to grow the cluster and bring new compound semiconductor-based technologies to market, building local and national supply chains along the way.

CSA Catapult North East will also offer direct digital access to the prototyping capabilities in Newport.

CSA Catapult will be co-locating with the Satellite Applications Catapult, with the two organisations already entering into a partnership agreement to help support the growth of the cluster.

The office at NETPark is already home to a Space Enterprise Lab, which provides members of the space community with access to resources, virtual demonstrations and Catapult experts, as well as technology including touch screens, VR headsets and conferencing facilities.

Managed by Business Durham, the Business Support Service for Durham County Council, NETPark is a premier UK science park that provides infrastructure, collaborative opportunities and support for science, engineering and technology companies at every stage of their journey from concept to commercialisation.

CSA Catapult is already engaged in several projects in the region, helping to accelerate the development of new technologies through its world-leading testing capabilities and bringing companies together to build supply chains.

The £2.4m ORanGaN project, of which CSA Catapult is partner, includes Inex Microtechnology Ltd and Viper RF Ltd—two companies based in the North East—and aims to develop a sovereign UK supply chain, manufacturing processes and packaging solutions for radio frequency gallium nitride (RF-GaN) devices which are critical to 5G communications systems electronics hardware.

“By firmly establishing ourselves in the North East, our aim is to support the existing cluster of leading companies and research institutes by helping to build UK-wide supply chains and to encourage coordination and growth.

“We look forward to working in tandem with NEAME and the Satellite Applications Catapult to raise the profile of the region and help support skills, jobs and growth.

“Through the wealth of compound semiconductor companies already operating in the region, the North East is already involved in world-leading innovation and we look forward to supporting this with the expertise and resources of CSA Catapult.”

Martin McHugh, Chief Executive Officer at CSA Catapult

“The North East, through its richness of organisations and skills, presents tremendous opportunities for space applications and compound semiconductor technologies. Through this partnership the CSA Catapult and Satellite Applications Catapult will help leverage these by boosting industry collaboration, and bringing forward transformative solutions that will revolutionise major sectors like communications and defence.”

Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer at Satellite Applications Catapult

"We are thrilled to welcome CSA Catapult to the North East and their decision to co-locate with the Satellite Applications Catapult at NETPark. This strategic move will not only bolster our region's compound semiconductor ecosystem but also foster collaboration, innovation, and the growth of supply chains. We look forward to working closely with CSA Catapult and supporting their efforts to elevate the North East's profile as a centre of excellence for advanced compound semiconductor technologies."

Sarah Slaven, Managing Director at Business Durham

“It is an interesting time for the semiconductor sector, and the NEAME cluster is working together with all stakeholders to help address the opportunities and challenges for the companies in the region. We look forward to discussing how CSA Catapult might be able to support.”

A spokesperson for NEAME

“Compound semiconductors are a critical part of a number of next generation defence and security applications that Leonardo is working on, in the UK and with international partners. This includes photodetectors for advanced imaging, as well as novel communications and space research technologies.

“We are therefore extremely pleased to welcome CSA Catapult to the North East and look forward to working together to strengthen the cluster by driving investment and innovation, building strong links between the Catapult and our site in Newcastle and upskilling the workforce across the region.”

Simon Harwood, UK Capability & Innovation Director at Leonardo