Compound semiconductors (CS) are a vital part of our modern connected world, as an enabling technology found in everything from smartphones, TVs and satellites to LEDs, lasers and solar panels. As their name suggests, they conduct electricity under certain conditions and are composed of two or more elements, commonly, but not only, from periods III and V of the periodic table. The UK, and south Wales in particular, is noted for its strength in research and manufacture of CS materials and devices. However, given the huge investment necessary to purchase equipment to test and develop CS materials and devices, many companies are unable to bring their ideas to market. As a result of funding and investment by Cardiff University, the United Kingdom Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) was established in 2016 and offers pay-to-use, open access facilities to enable companies to develop their products without having to purchase expensive equipment. The ICS is an innovative concept providing world-class fabrication and testing facilities for academics and industrial users to develop and test their research to prepare it for exploitation by industry.