The government has proposed the establishment of a dedicated research and development (R&D) unit under the newly envisaged India Semiconductor Research Centre (ISRC). This initiative aims to enhance semiconductor research that can transition swiftly to industrial production. This strategic move is aligned with the government’s broader agenda to promote a knowledge-driven manufacturing ecosystem, with significant contributions from both private and public sectors.

Structural Organisation And Funding

The proposed R&D wing will operate independently from other ongoing research frameworks within the ISRC, focusing specifically on rapid development cycles. The government is considering a range of funding mechanisms, including public-private partnerships (PPP) and possibly co-funded arrangements to foster intensive research activities. The importance of creating intellectual property rights (IPR) within this sector has been particularly emphasised, with aims to bolster national capabilities and innovation in semiconductor manufacturing.

Research Focus And Educational Initiatives

The ISRC’s research focus will be on developing advanced semiconductor technologies, including next-generation chip designs, packaging, systems technologies, and novel materials and processes. Concurrently, the government plans to fortify the academic infrastructure related to semiconductors by introducing relevant undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It envisions leveraging top-tier educational institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT-Gandhinagar, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, to spearhead semiconductor R&D and education.

Future Prospects And Implementation

The complete details of these initiatives are expected to be unveiled post the general elections in June. Post-assessment of the feasibility studies, the dedicated R&D centre might evolve into an independent entity. This transformation would potentially amplify the focus and resources dedicated exclusively to semiconductor research, thereby enhancing India’s position in the global semiconductor industry.

(With Agency Inputs)