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© EU Commission Business | December 19, 2018

EU Commission to support microelectronics research project

The European Commission says has found that an integrated project – notified by France, Germany, Italy and the UK – for research and innovation in microelectronics is in line with EU State aid rules and contributes to a common European interest.

The four Member States will provide in the coming years up to EUR 1.75 billion in funding for this project that aims to unlock an additional EUR 6 billion in private investment. The project should be completed by 2024; with differing timelines for each sub-project. "Microelectronics can be found in almost all electronic devices we use every day – be it your phone, computer, washing machine, or your car. Innovation in microelectronics can help the whole of Europe leap ahead in innovation. That's why it makes sense for European governments to come together to support such important projects of common European interest, if the market alone would not take the risk,” says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, in a press release. The integrated research and innovation project will involve 29 direct participants, headquartered both in and outside the EU. They are mostly industrial actors but also two research organisations, carrying out 40 closely interlinked sub-projects. These direct participants will work in collaboration with a large number of partners, such as other research organisations or small and medium-sized enterprises, also beyond the four Member States. The microelectronics project The project's overall objective is to enable research and develop innovative technologies and components that can be integrated in a large set of downstream applications. These will include consumer devices and commercial and industrial devices. In particular, the project is expected to stimulate additional downstream research and innovations in particular in relation to the broad area of the Internet of Things and to connected or driverless cars. More precisely the project participants and their partners will focus their work on five different technology areas; Energy efficient chips; Power semiconductors; Smart sensors; Advanced optical equipment as well as Compound materials. All five technology fields are complementary and interlinked – chips are not typically sold by themselves but are often supplied as part of an integrated system. Such systems require a combination of processes and technologies covered by the different fields of the project. For this reason, the project participants will be involved in over 100 collaborations across the different areas in the 40 closely interlinked sub-projects.
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