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DuPont continues deal with semiconductor incubator

Katie Tabeling
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DuPont Tralee Park Annex | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

DuPont has announced it will continue its deal with an incubator on new resources for semiconductor materials. | DBT FILE PHOTO

WILMINGTON — DuPont has renewed an agreement with Silicon Catalyst, a startup incubator to help find opportunities for next-generation semiconductor materials.

The deal allows Silicon Catalyst to provide strategic insight as DuPont continues to develop tomorrow’s electronic technology, materials and devices. DuPont has a long-storied history in fabricating semiconductors, the tiny electrical chips integral to nearly all modern consumer, commercial and industrial products. 

In exchange, DuPont will be able to review incubator patents at Silicon Catalyst, direct projects for specialized market research as well as participate in other investment opportunities.

“Engaging with Silicon Catalyst helps DuPont drive innovation through valued insights into emerging opportunities for semiconductor materials and new technologies they can enable,” said Randal King, DuPont electronics and industrial vice president of research and development and technology. “Realizing the exciting potential of advanced computing applications such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles is only possible with continued advancements in enabling materials, especially semiconductor materials.”

DuPont has a broad portfolio of semiconductors, ranging from advanced chip manufacturing to packing and assembly. Last November, the company opened a new manufacturing plant near Newark to produce Kalrez, a component needed for semiconductor production. The plant represents $70 million in investments, according to the global company’s 10-K.

But in recent times, escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have put a pinch on the semiconductor businesses, notably on exporting U.S. regulated products and technologies to China. That has impacted order patterns on that sector of business, DuPont reported in filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Partnerships like the one with Silicon Catalyst have helped DuPont identify other sources in the materials sector. Since its partnership, Silicon Catalyst has introduced DuPont to more than a dozen startups, and counting.

Founded in 2014, Silicon Catalyst is an incubator focused exclusively on accelerating semiconductor solutions by providing funding and in-kind services to address the current bottlenecks facing entrepreneurs.

More than 1,000 startup companies worldwide have engaged with Silicon Catalyst and the incubator has admitted over 100 exciting companies and connected them with mentors, design tools and more.

“We have worked closely with the DuPont team to identify and categorize focus areas in materials. In addition, they have participated in two rounds of evaluation of applicants. Their feedback has been very valuable,” Silicon Catalyst Managing Partner Atiye Bayman said.

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