Semiconductors, AI and Quantum to receive £1bn investment through 65 Centres for Doctoral Training

New investment into 65 Centres for Doctoral Training

On March 12th, Secretary of State for DSIT, Michelle Donelan announced an investment of over £1bn  into engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills. 

The investment will span 65 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT)- the biggest UK investment of its kind into these skills.  

These interdisciplinary, collaborative centres will create world-class talent to solve major societal challenges within healthcare, energy, sustainability, AI, robotics and Manufacturing. For a full list of the 65 centres and details of their research click here. 


One such centre is Cardiff University’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing. This centre will spearhead research into improving the design, manufacturing and sustainability of Semiconductors, capitalising on the World’s first Compound Semiconductor cluster located in South Wales. 

These 65 centres will train 4,000 new doctoral students over the next nine years, with funding coming from a consortium of organisations. 

  • £479 million by EPSRC, this funding includes £16 million of additional UKRI funding to support CDTs in quantum technologies. 

  • Over £7 million from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, also part of UKRI, to co-fund three CDTs   

  • £16 million by the MOD to support two CDTs   

  • £169 million by UK universities   

  • plus a further £420 million in financial and in-kind support from business partners. 

This announcement follows the May 2023 National Semiconductor Strategy, which pledged to increase support for Centres for Doctoral Training through the EPSRC. Research and Development was identified as one the UK’s top three strengths alongside IP/Design and Compound Semiconductors. Given the dual aim of the Strategy to increase semiconductor skills as well as support R&D, this is a welcomed announcement from DSIT. 

In January 2023, techUK published our UK Plan for Chips, outlining a five-step plan to solidify UK Semiconductor leadership and propel the sector. This was written alongside members who design and manufacture semiconductors, consumer electronics companies, and innovators in emerging technologies such as AI and Quantum.  

Key to these recommendations was nurturing the skills the industry needs, including further engagement with universities. This is a positive step towards better meeting the needs of the industry, and we look forward to working with UK Government on pursuing the rhetoric within the National Strategy.  

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