Silicon South West
The Silicon Southwest network is the organisation that provides regular networking events, news and national and international promotion for the South West of England's microelectronics sector. Silicon South West is managed by Bath Ventures.
Silicon design companies located here enjoy the advantage of a supportive ecosystem and, importantly, a highly skilled and experienced workforce. This skills pool owes its origins to Inmos in Bristol and GEC-Plessey Semiconductor in Swindon. These two organisations effectively trained a generation of silicon designers and while the enterprises themselves have since changed beyond recognition, the individual designers have remained at the forefront of developments, particularly in the key areas of RF, video, multicore processor and reconfigurable components as well as wireless, telecoms and networking system design.
Today, the cluster consists of around 50 companies which directly employ some 5,000 people. A feature of the cluster is its active start-up culture and these companies have raised around £250million of venture capital in recent years. The cluster has also attracted high levels of inward investment from HP Labs, Motorola, Panasonic, ST Microelectronics and ToshibaTelecoms Research Europe all of which have substantial R&D sites in the region. Additionally other international electronics companies such as Intel, Broadcom and Infineon each have a significant presence in the region, while semiconductor design companies such as Wolfson and Dialog Semiconductors have set-up design centres in the South West in order to tap into the local skills.