Europe’s recently launched industrial strategy to reinforce micro- and nanoelectronics manufacturing is more than just a vision — it’s a major opportunity for equipment and material suppliers to participate to large-scale investment projects, increase their holding in key technologies and reach out to new customers and markets. Implementation is already underway: the first EU funding calls for projects will start at the latest in early 2014 and discussions are already underway on investment priorities. The recent launch of five EU projects, worth over €700 Million and bringing together over 120 partners, around 30 percent of which are small and medium enterprises, is proof that Europe can put its “money where its mouth is.” So what should you be doing to join the 10/100/20 momentum?
10/100/20 in a nutshell
Dubbed the ‘10/100/20’ strategy, the EU initiative will see €10 billion worth of EU co-funded projects (public/private investment), coupled with €100 Euros investment by the industry with the goal of 20 percent of global chip manufacturing by 2020. The aim is to focus on Europe’s strengths, pool together EU, national and regional resources and invest in specific areas that can give Europe a competitive edge globally. EU investment will cover the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain, from research to design and device makers. Maintaining leadership in equipment and material supply is clearly stated as an objective of the EU’s strategy, as is the integration of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in value chains and providing them access to state-of-the-art technologies and R&D&I facilities.
Why get involved, especially as a SME
A number of companies, and small and medium enterprises in particular, may shy away from EU projects, perceiving them to be too complex to access and placing too much of an administrative burden for little financial gain. But the true value of EU projects lies in the new network you have access to: a variety of companies across the supply chain, many of who will become your new customers, and access to state-of-the-art research facilities and technologies. Take the example of the five pilot lines recently launched with combined funding from the EU, national governments and partner companies under the ENIAC program:
The European 450 Equipment Demo Line (E450EDL) will support the equipment and materials industry in the 450mm wafer size transition. 43 partners from 11 European countries will develop and test lithography, front end equipment, metrology tools and wafer handling and automation equipment. The partners include the large European research centers and equipment and device manufacturers, as well as smaller companies. The demo line will provide a world-class research infrastructure to validate tools that remain at the manufacturers’ sites, thus giving suppliers access to state-of-the-art facilities and an opportunity to share the knowledge and financial burden of testing their products. The Lab4MEMS project will create the first European pilot line for innovative technologies on advanced piezoelectric and magnetic materials, including 3D packaging, offers SMEs and fabless companies a manufacturing route for their future projects that has been difficult to access so far.
Interested? So what’s next?
Now is the time to decide on the technology trends that you want your company to follow and start reaching out to your partners and customers. If you think your technology could give Europe a competitive edge and should be part of Europe’s investment strategy, then start talking about it, show its benefits and convince people that this is the way to go. In the case of EU projects, there is strength in numbers, so start talking to your customers and your suppliers, look at what others are doing, and see how you can fit into the technology and investment trends.
The EU pledge of €10 billion worth of public/private co-financed projects will be spent gradually in the form of regular EU funding calls, the first of which is expected by end 2013. The call will set the overall requirements for project ideas: what technologies the project should focus on, what parts of the value chain should be partners to the project, the estimated overall budget and duration of the project as well as the technical details for applying for EU funding. By the time the call has been published, you should already have an idea of what it is you want to do, who you want to work with and how you can fit your idea into the investment priorities that will be announced.
How to get connected
If you are visiting SEMICON West in San Francisco, then mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 10. At 16:00/4:00pm there will be a presentation of the new 10/100/20 strategy for Europe at the TechXpot in South Hall. Join us to find out more about the new strategy, why it’s important and how to get involved.
Your next major opportunity to meet with the equipment and materials industry, learn about the latest technologies and discuss the EU strategy is SEMICON Europa 2013 (8-10 October, Dresden, Germany). Our programs will cover each of the major projects, including 450mm wafer processing, power electronics, MEMS, FDSOI as well as advanced packaging including 3D and TSV technologies. They will in one way or the other all address Europe’s 10/100/20 strategy. The SEMICON Europa Executive Summit will discuss implementation of the strategy and we are also organizing an EU funding workshop with hands-on advice about how to identify funding opportunities for your company and join EU projects.
For more information on SEMICON Europa, please visit: www.semiconeuropa.org. The event in Dresden will again be co-located with Plastic Electronics Europe. The conference and exhibition is the leading international technology-to-industry and industry-to-industry event focused on organic and large area electronics. It is the premium forum in its kind where professionals in the area and from around the world meet to present and to discuss progress of topics. For more information, please visit: www.plastic-electronics.org.