Kevin Crofton has been appointed as the new chairman of the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult within the compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales, the eleventh Catapult established by Innovate UK.
Crofton, who is president of SPTS Technologies, based in South Wales, and a corporate vice president of Orbotech, has a 25-year career in the semiconductor industry, with executive experience in the USA and UK.
The global market for compound semiconductors is forecast to be in the range £75bn to £125bn by 2025 using data from BCC Research and MarketsAndMarkets. The UK has the potential to take advantage of this market opportunity thanks to a world class research base in this field, which has led to the creation of many companies along the value chain.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The Government’s investment in the Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult (CSAC) is testament to our track record as a leader in advanced electronics – a strength that we will build on through our Industrial Strategy to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of innovation.
“The appointment of Kevin Crofton as chair and his wealth of industry experience will help drive this and continue the Catapult’s vital role in developing new technologies.”
Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns said: “Much of the advance technology powering our mobile phones and other devices is being pioneered right here in Wales. The new research centre will under-line our reputation as a world leader in semi-conductors and, with Kevin Crofton at the head as chair, put us in the front row of digital development.
“We have a highly skilled workforce here in Wales and innovations like the catapult will lead to the creation of high skilled and high paid jobs.”
Wales’ Skills and Science Minister, Julie James added: “Science underpins innovation and technological developments and is essential for economic growth and creating high quality jobs in Wales. This is the first Catapult to be located in Wales and I welcome its arrival and the appointment of Kevin Crofton as its new Chair.
“The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is a key pillar in the development of the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster which recognises the industrial strength around the M4 corridor and the economic impact that this technology will bring.”
Innovate UK chief executive Ruth McKernan said: “Kevin’s experience and expertise will spearhead the development of the new Catapult, and ensure we are maximising the business opportunities from the important compound semiconductors market.”
Crofton added: “I look forward to helping to guide the Catapult’s vital contribution to the compound semiconductor industry in the UK.”
“We expect the Catapult to bridge some of the primary research, development and test challenges that exist in the UK compound semiconductor sector. We expect to help to accelerate innovation among existing companies and to aid spin-out companies in their success."