RF and mm-Wave specialist, Filtronic, today welcomed Paul Scully, the Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy to its Sedgefield facility. DSIT has prioritised semiconductors and future telecommunications as two of their five technologies of tomorrow and the Minister was keen to find out about the strength in depth of the North East and companies such as Filtronic.
During the visit, the Minister and representatives of Durham County Council held discussions on how companies such as Filtronic can contribute significantly towards the UK Government’s objective of establishing the nation as a global science and technology superpower. This marks the second time that the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology has visited Filtronic recently, and highlights their focus on the UK semiconductor industry, and the necessary supply chain for executing the National Semiconductor Strategy.
During the visit, Filtronics CEO Richard Gibbs presented the recent investments made in the fully automated front-end hybrid assembly process. The Minister showed particular interest in our semiconductor packaging capabilities and the innovative product lines we have developed for Space, Defence, and Telecoms.
Paul Scully, the Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, praised Filtronic as a leading player in advanced Radio Frequency (RF) communications. He recognised the impressive capabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises like Filtronic, as well as the cluster of high-tech companies in NETPark. Scully emphasised the significance of the overall ecosystem in regions like the North East, including the members of NEAME (North East Advanced Material Electronics), in order to attain the goal of becoming a science superpower.
“Over the last few years, we have invested significantly in Filtronics technology and manufacturing capabilities. We are active in some very exciting markets and it was a pleasure to demonstrate our capabilities and those of the wider region to the Minister”, stated Richard Gibbs, CEO of Filtronic.
Cllr Richard Bell, Deputy Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We were delighted to welcome Minister Scully to NETPark and to tell him about the £62m scheme we have just begun to expand the park which will deliver 1,250 jobs worth £625m to the local economy.
“It was great for the Minister to see the strength of the semiconductor sector here in County Durham and particularly at NETPark. We recognise the importance of companies such as Filtronic to our economy and do everything we can, through our business support service Business Durham and our Inclusive Economic Strategy, to help them maximise their potential in our county.
“The visit also allowed us to discuss with the Minister how the North East devolution deal and a regional Investment Zone status covering NETPark would benefit sites like the park and County Durham as a whole. We very much look forward to these opportunities being progressed in the months ahead and beyond.”
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Pictured left to right – Richard Gibbs, Filtronic CEO, Paul Scully, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy), Cllr Richard Bell (Deputy Leader of Durham County Council), & Paul Howell MP for Sedgefield.