Economy Minister Ken Skates has welcomed the European Commission’s approval of an innovative plan, spearheaded by Wales which identifies compound semiconductors as an important sector.

The plan will unlock €1.75bn of funding for research activities, will bring in up to €6bn in private investment and will ultimately help bring new technology innovations to market.

The project is the first integrated research, development and innovation IPCEI programme to be approved by the Commission, highlighting the European importance of microelectronics and compound semiconductors.

It is expected to benefit both the Welsh and the wider UK economy by establishing South East Wales as the leading centre of compound semiconductor expertise.

As a result of the ruling IQE, Newport Wafer Fab, SPTS Technologies, which are all based in Newport, and ICS Ltd, Manchester, will collaborate with partners across many other countries on the Important Project of Common European Interest which will focus on first deployment and innovation activities.

Economy Minister, Ken Skates said: “The EU’s decision to approve the plan is huge news for the sector and of course for Wales’ wider economy, paving the way for up to £6bn of private investment throughout Europe and enabling our own semiconductor companies to work alongside international giants in their field.

“We look forward to working closely with our European partners and IQE, Newport Wafer Fab and SPTS on this exciting work and will do all we can to deliver the very best outcome for Wales.”