Department for Science, Innovation and Technology Minister, Saqib Bhatti MP visits CSA Catapult

Date: 11.12.2023

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology Minister, Saqib Bhatti MP visits CSA Catapult

Today, Saqib Bhatti MP visited the Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult as his first engagement as Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Minister Bhatti heard how CSA Catapult supports UK SMEs, microbusinesses and larger companies across the UK to develop ground-breaking technology applications using compound semiconductors across Net Zero and Future Telecoms.

Minister Bhatti also heard about key projects CSA Catapult is delivering, including @FutureBEV— a £26m collaborative project creating UK supply chains for battery electric vehicles to lower carbon emissions—and CSA Catapult’s strategic innovation partnership with Siemens in power electronics, machines and drives.

Two men in blue suits are engaged in a cheerful conversation indoors.

UK-wide skills agenda

CSA Catapult’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin McHugh spoke about a UK-wide skills strategy to get more young people into electronics and electrical engineering.

New funding will be made available to encourage more learners in Wales into electronics. ‘Spark their imagination; power their future’—a project funded by Innovate UK and run by Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult and the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF)—will offer 24 bursaries of £1,000 to Year 13 pupils in Wales who have secured a place to study electronics and electrical engineering (EEE) at a partner university.

The project will also provide thousands of learners across Wales, aged 15-18, with classroom resources and insights into the wealth of exciting and rewarding career opportunities that are on offer across the electronics sector.

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Future Telecoms to support UK industry

Future Telecoms to support UK industry

CSA Catapult has recently been awarded £4m from Innovate UK to help deliver a resilient and energy efficient future telecoms network for the UK.

The funding will help expand CSA Catapult’s activities across the future telecoms landscape and develop new compound semiconductor technologies to improve the speed, energy efficiency and security of our communications networks.

The Future Telecoms Hub will complement CSA Catapult’s existing operations at its headquarters in Newport, South Wales by providing closer access to a thriving telecoms ecosystem across Bristol and the South West that includes several major technology companies and research institutions.

The Future Telecoms Hub will also strengthen CSA Catapult’s connection with the Western Gateway and will host collaborative research projects with the University of Bristol.


A group of people, some in formal attire, are having a discussion in a high-tech laboratory.

“We were very pleased to welcome Minister Bhatti to the Catapult and tell him about the projects and our UK wide skills agenda we are delivering across the UK to accelerate the development of new compound semiconductor technologies.”

Minister Bhatti said: "It's been a great experience visiting South Wales and the compound semiconductor cluster today, a true testament to British innovation and an example of our global leadership in semiconductor design and advanced manufacturing.

“This specialist group of businesses shows the value in our Semiconductor Strategy. This sector is not just creating national growth and high-skilled jobs for the area, but opening doors to innovation around the world."

Martin McHugh, Chief Executive Officer at CSA Catapult

“Innovate UK recognises the importance semiconductor technology has in shaping the future of the UK economy.  CSA Catapult is a key part of the innovation ecosystem and it was great to see key figures from central government visit to see our progress and plans to drive applications for the UK economy.”

Prof. Will Drury. Executive Director, Digital & Technologies, Innovate UK

“The CSconnected compound semiconductor cluster based in South Wales has a strong track record of contributing to the UK’s semiconductor industry, which is reflected in the many projects and investments showcased during the Minister’s visit in Newport. The collaborative initiatives undertaken by our partner, CSA Catapult, support the cluster’s vision to make the UK more competitive and sovereign in the tech sector.

Prof Wyn Meredith, FREng, FLSW, Chair of CSconnected SIPF Management Board