The recent shortages in the supply of semiconductors have resulted in factory closures in many sectors from health to automotive, affecting decrease in production in Europe. This demonstrates how dependent Europe is of the global semiconductor value chain, and the impact of having a very limited number of cutting-edge manufacturers. To confront this challenge, European Commission has proposed an EU Chips Act that will build on Europe’s strengths of world-leading research and technology organisations, networks and a number of pioneering equipment manufacturers.
The purpose of the Act is to build a thriving semiconductor sector value chain to Europe, releasing more than 43 M€ of public and private investments to prevent and prepare for any future disruptions. The ambitious aim of the EU is to double its current market share in the semiconductor market to 20% by 2030, and at the same time to boost Europe’s competitive edge and resilience and help to achieve both the digital and green transition.
The existing Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking will be strategically reoriented through the enhanced Chips Joint Undertaking. It has been announced that 11 B€ will be made available to strengthen existing R&D&I to ensure deployment of advanced semiconductor tools, pilot lines for prototyping, testing and experimentation of new devices for innovative real-life applications to better understand the ecosystem and value chain for semiconductors.
Eeva Viinikka, Principal Consultant at Spinverse says: “This is an extremely important development for European industries at large. We are following the development of the Chips Act closely to see what kind of impacts it will have on European ecosystem working in this sector. Any impacts and changes to the Key Digital Technologies JU, and specifically to the open call within are of central interest: Both the former ECSEL JU and the currently running KDT JU have been excellently flexible funding instruments, enabling truly impactful R&D&I and ecosystem-type consortiums with intense collaboration. Our aim is to continue building large collaborative R&D&I projects such as EuroPAT-MASIP, APPLAUSE, CHARM and Energy ECS."
It remains to be seen what kind of funding calls will be released in the future. We stay tuned to more news and will keep you informed, too.