Cardiff Breakfast Club 23rd April – Dr Drew Nelson, IQE

Posted: April 27, 2015 in Cardiff Breakfast Club
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Dr Drew Nelson, IQE

Dr Drew Nelson, IQE

This month we were joined by Dr Drew Nelson, CEO and President of IQE. With operations spread across the UK, US, Taiwan and Singapore and annual revenues of over US$ 200 million, IQE is the largest global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers.

Drew began his talk to the Club by explaining the importance of semiconductor wafers in today’s world. Used in everything from every-day objects such as smartphones, computers and lights, to drones, satellites and electric cars, compound semiconductors are a vital element of modern technology. IQE is a world leader in the design and manufacture of these compound semiconductors and currently holds a staggering ‘48% of the world’s market for semiconductor wafers’.

Drew explained that over the past 20 years, the UK’s status as a top technology manufacturer has greatly reduced, with Asian-based companies now taking the lead. Drew believes that there is a strong need to bring back high technology manufacturing to the UK and he highlighted the negative impact that losing manufacturing, and research and development has on UK exports.

Breakfast ClubFollowing this, Drew discussed the vision to create a global high technology cluster of semiconductors in Wales. Drew believes that creating this would have a huge impact on the economy. ‘Every job in high technology creates a further four jobs’ and Drew estimates that the development of this technology cluster could create up to 5000 jobs. Plans for creating this semiconductor cluster are already underway and Drew is currently working in partnership with 18 leading technology firms, with backing from Cardiff University and support of the Welsh Government.

Creating this high technology cluster may be an ambitious project, but it is one which Drew believes to be a ‘once in a generation opportunity’.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 15th May with guest speaker Gareth Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.

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