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SiliconCatalyst.UK and Heriot-Watt University collaborate to launch more scale-ups in Scotland

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Silicon Valley, California and Edinburgh, UK [16th November 2021] SiliconCatalyst.UK (Silicon Catalyst) and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) have announced a new collaboration designed to drive the development and launch of companies utilising next-generation semiconductor technologies.

Silicon Catalyst and Heriot-Watt University have shared strategic objectives which focus on developing high-growth opportunities, equipping aspiring Scottish based semiconductor ventures to transform into scale-ups.

The University’s heritage is rooted in industry and international collaboration, delivering education and innovation through knowledge transfer, commercialisation and partnership. Through GRID (Global Research, Innovation and Discovery), Heriot-Watt is focused on pioneering global research, innovation and discovery. A major focus of GRID is on commercialising high-impact research that delivers economic and social value.

Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating
semiconductor hardware start-up and scale-ups. It has created a rich ecosystem of 50 in-kind partners and over 200 expert executive advisors to help these start-ups succeed.

Silicon Catalyst has a created network that lowers the capital expenses associated with the design and fabrication of silicon-based IC’s, sensors, and MEMS devices by providing advanced design tools and services from a comprehensive network of In-Kind Partners (IKPs). Its Portfolio Companies utilize IKP tools and services including design tools, simulation software, design services, foundry PDK access and MPW runs, test program development, tester access, and banking and legal services.

Sean Redmond, Managing Partner SiliconCatalyst.UK said “semiconductor start-up opportunities have changed dramatically over the last few years. We have entered a period of semiconductor industry hyper-scale, having just experienced annual industry growth of 30%. Never has so much demand been created by so few new innovations. Scotland has a rich tradition of successful global semiconductor success. The silicon glen is very much alive and bubbling with new semiconductor ideas and inventions to create the next wave of fabulous disruptive semiconductor start-ups.”

David Richardson, Chief Entrepreneurial Executive, Heriot-Watt University said “GRID offers bespoke support to ambitious scale-ups developing innovative solutions to global challenges. The partnership with SiliconCatalyst.UK emphasises our commitment to the development of a global ecosystem by building on our specialisms and applying these to catalyse new collaborations, investment and jobs.”

Professor Steve McLaughlin, incoming Deputy Principal Research and Impact, Heriot-Watt University, said “In 2021, Heriot-Watt University is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding in Scotland. Now a global institution, the University has renowned strengths in the practical application of specialist research and a wealth of knowledge and expertise across quantum optics, semiconductor physics, material science, nonlinear photonics and the industrial application of photonics.

I look forward to collaborating with SiliconCatalyst.UK, propelling impactful research initiatives and accelerating commercialisation to strengthen and ensure the continued growth of the semiconductor industry.”

About Heriot-Watt University
From its roots as the world’s first Institute of Mechanics in 1821, Heriot-Watt University has developed as a pioneer of international education. With strong values around access to higher education and outstanding performance in graduate employability, Heriot-Watt’s development as a globally connected university with campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia, won ‘International University of the Year’ from the Sunday Times and the Times newspapers in 2018. Through its Strategy 2025, Heriot-Watt places students and staff at the heart of all its activities. By Shaping Tomorrow Together, the institution aims to continue to build its international presence and impact through campuses and partnerships, focusing on its strengths in learning, teaching and research - in pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of society. See https://

About SiliconCatalyst.UK
It’s About What’s Next® - Silicon Catalyst is the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating solutions in silicon (including IP, MEMS & sensors), building a coalition of in-kind and strategic partners to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of development. More than 600 start-up companies have engaged with Silicon Catalyst since April 2015, with a total of 42 start-up and early-stage companies admitted to the incubator. With a world-class network of mentors to advise start-ups, Silicon Catalyst is helping new semiconductor companies address the challenges in moving from idea to realization. The incubator/accelerator supplies start-ups with a path to design tools, silicon devices, networking, access to funding, banking and marketing acumen to successfully launch and grow their companies’ novel technology solutions.


Contact Information:
Heriot-Watt University: Leanne Muldowney, Marketing & Communications Manager.
Silicon Catalyst UK: Sean Redmond, Managing Partner: