Compound Semi Catapult announces Chair

22 February 2017

Kevin Crofton

Californian businessman Kevin Crofton is to head up the UK Government’s £50m Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult.

The Catapult aims to accelerate the use of semiconductor devices in industry by developing a cluster of cutting edge companies based along the M4.

The Catapult will work with the Compound Semiconductor Centre – a joint business venture between Cardiff University and world-leading wafer company IQE to develop technologies that drive tomorrow’s electronic devices.

Kevin Crofton joins the Catapult with a 25-year career in the semiconductor industry. He has executive experience in the UK and USA, currently acting as President of SPTS Technologies in Newport, and Corporate Vice President of Orbotech Inc.

At the heart of devices we use today

Compound semiconductors are at the heart of devices we use today, from smart phones to tablets and satellite communication systems.

They are central to the development of new technologies including 5G and 6G networks, high-efficiency lighting and new imaging techniques in security and health diagnostics.

Forecasters estimate the global market for compound semiconductors will reach between £75bn and £125bn by 2025.

The Catapult, announced in January 2016, aims to create a Compound Semiconductor cluster in South Wales and the West, bringing cutting-edge companies together to create high-skilled jobs.

'From South California to South Wales'

Dr Wyn Meredith, Director of Compound Semiconductor Centre, said: “Kevin Crofton’s appointment is very timely. He brings a wealth of commercial development experience to the Catapult just as we are beginning to see the early formation of a cluster of companies that will exploit CS applications with the power to drive the development of 21st century technologies..."

Dr Wyn Meredith

"Our ambition is to bring the centre of gravity for this cutting-edge technology from South California to South Wales.”

Dr Wyn Meredith, Director of Compound Semiconductor Centre

Kevin Crofton added: “I look forward to helping to guide the Catapult’s vital contribution to the compound semiconductor industry in the UK..."

Kevin Crofton (Square)

"We expect the Catapult to bridge some of the primary research, development and test challenges that exist in the UK compound semiconductor sector."

Kevin Crofton, President of SPTS Technologies and Corporate Vice President of Orbotech Inc

"This should help to accelerate innovation among existing businesses and to aid spin-out companies in their success.”

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is a key pillar in the development of the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster, which recognises CS industrial expertise around the M4 corridor.

Jo Johnson MP visits Cardiff Uni

'At the forefront of innovation'

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson said: “The government’s investment in the Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult is testament to our track record as a leader in advanced electronics – a strength that we will build on through our Industrial Strategy to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation..."

Jo Johnson MP

"The appointment of Kevin Crofton as Chair and his wealth of industry experience will help drive this and continue the Catapult’s vital role in developing new technologies.”

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, added: “Much of the advance technology powering our mobile phones and other devices is being pioneered right here in Wales. The new research centre will underline our reputation as a world leader in semiconductors and, with Kevin Crofton at the head, put us in the front row of digital development..."

"Innovations like the Catapult will lead to the creation of more high skilled and high paid jobs in Wales.”

Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James added: “Science underpins innovation and technological developments and is essential for economic growth and creating high quality jobs in Wales..."

Julie James - Square

"This is the first Catapult to be located in Wales and I welcome its arrival and the appointment of Kevin Crofton as its new Chair.”

Julie James AM, Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science
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