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UK tech firms kick off commercial negotiations at SEMICON Korea


Government programme opens doors to Korean interest in innovative chip technologies.

Seven British tech companies had 51 introductory meetings with South Korean corporations during SEMICON Korea in Seoul last week, as part of the Government-backed UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme. As a result, several are now engaged in commercial negotiations with potential Korean customers and partners.

These companies include:

· Cambridge-based Paragraf, the first company in the world to mass produce graphene-based electronic devices using standard semiconductor processes · Pragmatic, also from Cambridge, the developer of a flexible integrated circuit platform using thin-film semiconductors rather than silicon · Oxford Instruments, which supplies a diverse range of scientific equipment · QuInAs, a Lancaster University spin-out using compound semiconductors and quantum mechanics to produce a revolutionary universal memory which is ultra efficient in terms of power and speed.

The other participating companies – EpiValence, Moisture Control & Measurement (MCM) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) – also enjoyed constructive initial discussions on which they plan to build in the coming months.

South Korea is a highly attractive, rapidly growing market for UK tech scaleups offering innovative semiconductor technologies, with recently announced plans to invest more than £370 billion, in partnership with Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, to create the world’s largest semiconductor supercluster.

All seven companies were participating in the business development meetings as part of the Government-funded UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme, alongside a Department for Business & Trade mission to the SEMICON Korea global semiconductor industry event. Delivered by international business development consultancy Intralink, the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme helps tech scaleups to explore and secure commercial opportunities in the APAC region. Companies can apply to participate here (www.intralinkgroup.com/TGP).

Dr Tom Wilson, Chief Commercial Officer at Paragraf, said the event “provided an excellent opportunity to meet a mix of investors, potential customers, partners and members of our supply chain.”

He added: “The meetings organised for us by the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme occurred both on the SEMICON show floor and in dedicated meeting rooms. In addition to establishing new contacts and the dialogue in the meetings, there was time to walk the exhibition and arrange additional meetings that, in our case, helped further expand our footprint in this region.”

James Ashworth-Pook, Founder and CEO of QuInAs, said: “The UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme team provided an invaluable and effective service in facilitating key strategic meetings with companies in the Korean memory sector.”

Jeremy Shaw, head of the UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme at Intralink, said: “The thirst for UK technology in Korea was underlined by the response to the innovative technologies offered by all the UK companies we supported during SEMICON Korea. We look forward to helping many more UK tech scaleups realise their potential in the APAC region during 2024.”

The UK-APAC Tech Growth Programme provides support for UK firms to expand in 11 APAC markets: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Intralink’s teams on the ground in APAC can identify participants’ business opportunities, provide market entry advice and help companies sell their products, forge partnerships and raise investment.

The programme – backed jointly by the Department for Business & Trade and Department for Science, Innovation & Technology initiative – is aimed at scaleups throughout the UK with significant international growth potential.

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