Sir Peter Bonfield speaks at the 2018 Zhongguancun International Innovation Forum

With 10-40 billion or even a trillion or more connected things, another important issue will be Cyber security. Bilateral and global cooperation on this issue will be crucial. – Sir Peter Bonfield

Sir Peter Bonfield CBE, FREng senior adviser to Hampton Group spoke about the need for global corporation for innovation in semiconductors at the 2018 Zhongguancun International Innovation Forum in his role as chairmen of NXP.

NXP was spun out of Philips in 2006. Today, it is the leading automotive electronics, artificial intelligence, and IoT semiconductor company in the world. NXP was a hot topic for China-watchers in 2018. Qualcomm abandoned its $44bn takeover of the Dutch company, after Chinese regulators rejected the deal in July.

Semi-Conductors are a core focus of the Chinese government.  Semiconductors, and China’s over-reliance on America’s technology, is a central theme of the so-called ‘US-China technology cold war’. Semiconductors are at the heart of the issue.

In his speech Sir Peter Bonfield cautioned: protectionism in the name of innovation makes no sense – it is cooperation, on a global scale, that is the source of, and that will help drive innovation forward. Of course there are issues that need to be addressed, and not ignored. But solutions can be found through building understanding and trust, and having a balanced approach to fostering and protecting innovation.

As part of the “Made in China 2025” initiative, Chinese officials have set the semiconductor industry a goal of reaching US$305 billion in output by 2030, and meeting 80 per cent of domestic demand. In 2016, China produced US$65 billion of semiconductors and supplied 33 per cent of the domestic market.

In April 2018, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the opening of investment of foreign money into the second phase of its China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund. The fund, which was first unveiled in 2014, aims to build a $31.7 billion investment chest to promote “leapfrog development” in China’s integrated circuit industry.

The ZGC Forum is one of China’s leading forums on innovation and development. Each year the event attracts leaders from across the globe. This year the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, the Mayor of Beijing, the President of the Chinese Academy of Science and CEOs from over 800 leading technology and investment companies from countries such as the United States, Israel, Britain and Germany are attending.

This year’s forum celebrates a remarkable year with the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening. The theme for this year is “International Innovation and High-Quality Development.” The previous ZGC forums have successfully built a bridge for cooperation and exchange between China and the international scientific, economic, knowledge, and political communities. Each year, the event includes world leading professionals such as Nobel Prize winners, academics, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Previous distinguished guests include Nobel Prize winner James Morris, Turing Prize winner Butler Lepson, Baidu founder and CEO Robin Li, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jean-Michelle Hessels, Innovation Works founder and CEO Kai-Fu Lee, and Xiaomi Chairman Ray Jun.