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ISA delegation to UK — excellent platform for India based semiconductor/embedded design solution companies

October 9, 2009

The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) recently led a delegation to the UK from Sept. 28-Oct. 2, in association with the UKTI. The objective of this delegation was to provide a platform for Indian and UK based chip design and embedded software companies to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The first day’s highlight was a networking reception with attendees of the earlier RAE Solar Thermal Powerplants seminar, where the delegation exchanged business information.

The next day involved a trip to Bath — to the Bath Ventures Innovation Center. A networking lunch was hosted by Silicon South West — the organization that provides regular networking events and news, and national and international promotion for the South West of England’s microelectronics sector — the largest concentration of silicon designers outside of the Silicon Valley.

Following the networking lunch, the ISA delegation was introduced to the local semiconductor sector by Silicon South West. Simon Bond, founder of Silicon South West, Low Carbon South West and Mobile Innovation Camp, and Innovation Center Director for Bath Ventures, presented an overview of the semiconductor sector in the region, and the role Silicon South West and Bath Ventures, in particular, play in the evolution of the sector in the region and more widely.

Day 3 of the delegation’s visit was marked by a seminar — India: Myths and Realities. This seminar presented an opportunity for the UK and India based companies to share their views on opportunities, barriers and modes of engagement, based on personal experiences and circumstances. The seminar provided an opportunity to explore topics rarely covered in an open business debate.

Dr. Omkar Rai, Senior Director, STPI and leader of the ISA-led delegation, provided an overview of the Indian semiconductor industry. This was followed by two case studies — Choosing India, followed by Choosing the UK. A round table on “Where are the opportunities for UK-India semiconductor partnerships” whetted the appetite of the audience.

Session two featured two interesting case studies — Experiences of India, followed by Experiences of the UK. These were followed by the second round table — “How should companies engage? What should they expect in practice ?”

Session 3 started off with Was Rehman, India ICT Sector Specialist, presenting the UKTI’s Global Value Chain Program. This was followed by a case study titled “Realizing the potential of India.” Later, delegates networked over lunch, which was organized by the UKTI.

The next day, the ISA delegation proceeded to Cambridge, for the East of England International (EEI) offices. EEI is all about enabling business in the UK’s most innovative region. It also delivers UKTI’s services and products in the region, and offers a wide range of services, including developing international strategies, providing in-depth information on target markets, cultural briefings and identifying business opportunities.

The highlight of the morning session was an introduction to the East of England semiconductor sector. EEI’s presentation introduced the delegates to the region and talked about the characteristics that have led it to become a leading center technology innovation in the UK. TTP, one of the success stories of the region, also gave a perspective on the region and the sector.

Thereafter, the delegates proceeded to ARM, where they participated in Cambridge Wireless’s inaugural meeting of the Semiconductor Special Interest Group. This seminar, titled “Entrance Strategies: Resourcing Early Stage Innovation’, witnessed a host of high profile speakers, including Tudor Brown, President, ARM, who discussed and explored the challenges faced by early stage innovators, and shared experiences and success stories from industry leaders. Speakers also delivered valuable insights from potential funding sources.

The after session also gave a perfect networking platform for the ISA delegates to interact and understand the UK semicon companies. Later in the evening, the delegates travelled to Sidney Sussex College for a networking dinner. The EEI had arranged for the dinner at the last of the historic Cambridge University colleges, which dates back to 1596.

A variety of representatives of the region’s semiconductor and technology organisations and partners were present. David Riches, Chief Executive, EEI, Dr. Omkar Rai, Senior Director, STPI and Tudor Brown, President, ARM addressed the gathering during the dinner.

On day 5, The ISA delegation also travelled to the Semiconductor Physics Group and the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE ), both located at the West Cambridge site — an important part of the future development of the University as a whole.

Later, the delegation travelled to St. John’s Innovation Center, where they had lunch and final opportunity to meet local companies and contacts interested in developing a better understanding and relationship with the Indian semiconductor industry. This was hosted by the EEI.

A round table was arranged to reflect on what had been learned during the program, and how to best capitalize on it in the short and longer term – both individually as companies and collectively as an industry.

Excellent platform, overview for Indian companies
The success of this delegation was summed up aptly by some of the members.

One member of the ISA delegation said: “The ISA UK mission provided an excellent platform for India based semiconductor/embedded design solution companies. We had a good overview on the UK’s semiconductor industry, technology initiatives and research projects.

“On the business side, I am happy to say that we had good interactions with potential customers in the UK and we hope to move onto business engagements soon.”

Another member felt that this was an excellent initiative to connect between India and the UK industries using platforms such as Silicon South West and East of England International. “It also gave me an opportunity to meet with other companies from India and showcase what they had to offer,” he added.

The meetings in Bath gave a perspective of what the UK industry has to offer regarding the semiconductor start-up companies and success stories. Also, the speakers and content of the Cambridge Wireless Semiconductor SIG was extremely well packaged. It provided insights into the business models successful Cambridge based semiconductor and fabless companies have followed.

The member further added: “The TTP case study gave an example of how Cambridge University start-ups have created a value chain for innovation and promoting start-ups. Maybe, there is something for the Indian academia and the industry to learn from.

“I feel that there is an opportunity for the UK companies to exploit India as a ‘new growth market’ by collaborating with the Indian companies. Likewise, there is a potential for the Indian companies to raise the bar and help the UK companies to successfully innovate and be competitive in the global marketplace.”

One other member added: “The meetings at UK organized by the ISA and UKTI has been very successful event in creating a platform for setting up new relationship and exploring opportunities. Indeed, it is highly constructive step for mutual understanding and benefits. It provided opportunities to get insight into various UK companies and their ecosystem.

“I am confident it would help companies to build robust partnership complementing each other. I thank the ISA and UKTI for this effort; and their role as the technology and business enabler is highly appreciated.”

The ISA delegation to the UK was led by Dr. Omkar Rai, Senior Director, Software Technology parks of India. Members of the delegation were represented from Chipwerks, CircuitSutra, CMC, KPIT Cummins, Smartplay Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services, Vayavya, Wipro and United Technologies Ltd.

  1. TVL Narasimharao
    October 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I think its a good effort!

  2. Pradeep Chakraborty
    October 15, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I’d be more interested to see what sort of partnerships emerge from this activity.

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