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UKTN Podcast: Playing to UK microchip strengths and avoiding a ‘subsidy race’ – Minister for Tech Paul Scully

Paul Scully UKTN Podcast

In the latest episode of the UKTN Podcast, Paul Scully, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, addresses criticism of the UK’s semiconductor strategy and explains why the government is avoiding a “subsidy race” with other nations.

The government’s £1bn semiconductor strategy, unveiled in May, has received a lukewarm reception from parts of the industry. The US has enacted the CHIPS Act, providing around $39bn in subsidies for semiconductor firms on American soil, while the EU has earmarked €8bn in state support.

“We’re not in a place that we are going to get into a subsidy race. What we’re doing is we are leveraging what the UK does really well in semiconductors, to make sure we can have a safe and secure and robust resilience of supply chains,” said Scully, pointing to British strengths in design, advanced packaging and compound semiconductors.

He added: “We’re just not going to be another Taiwan, there’s no point trying to chase that.” 

In a wide-ranging interview, the MP for Sutton and Cheam outlines how the Digital Markets Bill will level the playing field between smaller firms and Big Tech, and explains how existing regulators will create a “baseline” while building up an understanding of AI risks. 

Elsewhere on the show, UKTN Podcast host Jane Wakefield quizzes Scully on the Online Safety Bill, investment zones and Tech Nation.   

Scully was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Tech and the Digital Economy at the newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in February.

He held the corresponding role at DSIT’s precursor, DCMS, from October 2022 and has been an elected MP since 2015. He is also Minister for London and was appointed to that role in February 2020. 

Listen to the full episode here, along with all previous episodes of the UKTN Podcast.

This season, the UKTN Podcast is speaking to key tech stakeholders in addition to founders of high-growth startups. Tune in every Tuesday for new episodes and don’t forget to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts.

The UKTN Podcast is sponsored by Sage.