EU makes €1.67bn available for 'innovative pilot lines'
The EU has officially inaugurated its Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) – a fund to 'bridge the gap between research, innovation and production'.
Like other regional powers, Europe is racing to strengthen its position in the global semiconductor space. The centrepiece of this strategy is the European Chips Act, a legislative proposal first announced in February 2022.
The Chips JU is the main implementer of the Chips for Europe Initiative, with an expected budget of nearly EUR 11 billion by 2030. Now, the European Commission has officially inaugurated the JU, and has assigned EUR 1.67 billion of funding for the first round for applications, with a deadline of early March 2024.
The EU says the Chips JU will:
- Set up pre-commercial, innovative pilot lines, providing industry state-of-the-art facilities to test, experiment and validate semiconductor technologies and system design concepts
- Deploy a cloud-based Design Platform for design companies across the EU
- Support the development of advanced technology and engineering capacities for quantum chips
- Establish a network of competence centres and promote skills development
For this first round of calls, the organisation has requested proposals on:
- Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator, towards 7 nm
- Leading-edge nodes below 2 nm
- Heterogeneous system integration and assembly
- Wide Bandgap semiconductors
Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency at the EU, said: "I warmly welcome the launch of the Chips Joint Undertaking and the new pilot lines for semiconductors. We cannot achieve our Digital Decade without the foundational technologies on which our digital society is built. Our transition to a more digital future is dependent on our access to and leadership on semiconductors."