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European Commission Approves $8.7B to Boost Microelectronics

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Leaders from across Europe’s photonics industry will join an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) focused on the development of microelectronics and communications technologies (ME/CT). The European Commission (EC) approved €8.1 billion ($8.7 billion) in public funding to support the initiative, which has been jointly prepared by 14 member states across the continent.

The $8.7 billion in public funding is expected to unlock an additional €13.7 billion ($15 billion) in private investments, according to an EC media release.

Teledyne, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, TRUMPF, Carl Zeiss, Vigo Photonics, and ADVA are among the companies that will contribute to the IPCEI ME/CT. 

As part of the IPCEI, 56 companies, including small- and medium-size enterprises and startups, will undertake 68 projects. Roughly 600 indirect partners across Europe will provide assistance, with R&D projects spanning materials and tools, chip design, manufacturing processes, and more. The full project will cover five main technology fields: energy efficient chips, power semiconductors, smart sensors, advanced optical equipment, and compound materials.

Beyond communications, projects will contribute to the technological advancement of autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

Courtesy of The European Commission.

Courtesy of the European Commission.
The first products stemming from these projects could be introduced to the market as early as 2025, with the completion of the overall project planned for 2032, according to the EC release. Timelines of individual projects under the IPCEI ME/CT umbrella, as well as their function and the companies involved, are varied.

Courtesy of The European Commission.
Courtesy of the European Commission.

The EC’s approval of the IPCEI follows a series of earlier efforts to support Europe’s microelectronics ecosystem. With the 2020 joint Declaration on a European Initiative on Processors and Semiconductor Technologies, 22 member states signed on to cooperate and co-invest in semiconductor technologies by mobilizing industrial stakeholders through an alliance. The declaration called on the member states to address common challenges through various funding mechanisms, and to set up a new IPCEI.

Two years earlier, the EC approved the first IPCEI to support microelectronics research and innovation, with a budget up to €1.8 billion. 

Information on the amount of aid to individual participants is not yet available. Several participating companies, including Tachyum, ADVA, Vigo Photonics, and Analog Devices, released information detailing their individual participation following the EC’s press release. 

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2023
BusinessfundingstateEuropean UnionIPCEIImportant Project of Common European InterestchipsmicroelectronicsopticsEuropean CommissionIPCEI ME/CTAustriaCzechiaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIrelandItalyMaltathe NetherlandsPolandRomaniaSlovakiaSpainFiber Optics & CommunicationsEuropeIndustry News

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