Lam Research Cultivates Future STEM Talent at 2023 FIRST Global Challenge in Singapore


Lam Research Cultivates Future STEM Talent at 2023 FIRST Global Challenge in Singapore

Students from nearly 200 countries participated in the world’s most multinational innovation competition



The 2023 FIRST Global Challenge has concluded in the vibrant city of Singapore, after high school students from nearly 200 countries collaboratively competed in a spirited, intellectual and creative battle within the realm of robotics. This seventh annual international robotics competition took place in Southeast Asia for the first time, held October 7-10, 2023 at the Singapore Expo.

This exhilarating four-day event was conceived and organized by FIRST Global, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering scientific leadership and technological innovation among young minds worldwide. The 2023 Challenge helped made possible through the support of title sponsor Lam Research, a global supplier of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.

“Lam Research was incredibly proud to help make possible this year’s FIRST Global Challenge, and witness the passion, ingenuity and collaborative innovation demonstrated by young people at this year’s event,” said Stacey MacNeil, chief communications officer and group vice president, ESG at Lam Research. “I congratulate all of the teams that competed. At Lam Research, we believe that providing transformative learning experiences inspires the next generation of innovators and fuels the semiconductor industry’s future talent pipeline.”

A Deloitte report on the global semiconductor talent shortage estimated that there were more than 2 million direct semiconductor employees worldwide in 2021 and more than 1 million additional skilled workers will be needed by 2030 – equating to more than 100,000 workers annually.1 Lam believes that increasing the pipeline of future talent in technology is not only critical to driving the future of semiconductors but also enabling the world to tackle its biggest challenges.

Lam Research’s US$10 million donation provides critical funding to advance FIRST Global’s mission of enhancing access to STEM education and nurturing the next generation of global technology trailblazers. The Lam donation is the company’s most significant gift since unveiling its social impact platform, Powering Breakthroughs Together, in 2022. In addition to funding, Lam provided over 30 mentors worldwide for competing teams, developing every youth team’s potential to excel at the event. 

“As we celebrate the accomplishments of the winning teams, we also celebrate the ethos of FIRST Global – a commitment to nurturing the curiosity, resilience, and collaborative spirit of the STEM leaders of tomorrow.” said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research & Development and founder of FIRST and FIRST Global. “This year’s challenge was more than a competition; it was a testament to the power of imagination and the potential of young minds to shape a brighter, more sustainable future for us all.

The 2023 event highlighted the role of hydrogen in the planet’s renewable energy and reduced carbon future. As part of the competition, students were encouraged to reimagine the future of energy and create more sustainable ways to power our planet. At the awards ceremony, teams received medals in categories both qualitative and quantitative in nature, staying true to the qualities that FIRST Global aims to inspire in the STEM leaders of tomorrow.

Closer to home, Team Singapore reflected on the experience of representing their country in the Challenge. “We’ve never been to such a large-scale competition where there is representation from every nation. The biggest takeaway for me is the relationships forged with people, the cultural exchange, and the learning of versatile and transferable skillsets,” said Zachary Ng from Team Singapore.

In Singapore, Lam Research partners with local universities and institutions to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as giving insights and awareness of the semiconductor industry. Lam provides internship opportunities for university students to learn and experience a career in the semiconductor industry.

“Witnessing the enthusiasm and talent displayed by these young innovators is a testament to the untapped potential within our region. Lam Research aims to continue to be a catalyst and enabler for talent development,” said Lam’s Corporate Vice President and General Manager for Southeast Asia, Andrew Goh. “We are deeply committed to nurturing and empowering these young minds, as part of our wider strategy to foster STEM talent to enable the semiconductor industry in the future.”

More information on the 2023 FIRST Global Challenge can be found at 

Media Resources:  

1 Deloitte, “The Global Semiconductor Talent Shortage,” November 2022.

Contribution to be distributed over a three-year period, from 2023-2025. 





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