Merck and Intel fund new academic research program in Europe
Merck and Intel Corporation are looking to enable more sustainable semiconductor manufacturing solutions by funding a new academic research program in Europe.
The program will specifically leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to drive innovation in semiconductor manufacturing processes and technologies. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at making a joint investment over three years.
“Semiconductors are the basis for most of our everyday electronic devices and demand is increasing worldwide. Manufacturing is very energy and resource intensive and practically calls for sustainable innovations. Identifying these cutting-edge practices and technologies while ensuring the stable performance of chips that are becoming smaller and more sensitive is crucial. Artificial intelligence can open completely new avenues for us here,” says Dr. Beate Burkhart, Head of Materials Innovation Pipeline at the Electronics business of Merck, in a press release.
The companies will invite suitable Europe-based research groups to apply for funding through a joint Call for Proposals process, beginning in Q2 2023.
“More sustainable solutions for semiconductor process technology are important for the planet and benefit from collaboration throughout the value chain. New fundamental insights, methodologies and tools are needed—from material and process technology research and development through high-volume manufacturing,” says David Nessim, Program Manager at Intel Corporation. “The time is ripe to responsibly harness and accelerate the potential of AI to continue to deliver innovative pathways and breakthrough solutions. We look forward to engaging European academic excellence and government support for the success of these ambitious goals.”
The joint research program will focus on new technologies and collaborations. For example, developing new artificial intelligence programs with analytical capabilities to identify innovation potential. Merck and Intel will work directly with the awarded research groups during the program period, engaging closely with faculty and students. In addition to university funding from both companies, public co-funding of the program, including from European governments, will be sought to support the program’s ambitious, multi-disciplinary scope and goals.