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Nanotechnologies to support the Competitiveness of the European Microelectronic Industry

SEMI (Semiconductor, Equipment and Materials International), a global industry association representing the suppliers of equipment and materials used to manufacture semiconductors and other high-tech technologies, has published a White Paper entitled 6 Recommendations to the European Union and National Governments to Increase Europe’s Microelectronic Industry Competitiveness (SEMI White Paper). The paper identifies nanotechnologies as a core enabling technology to the advancement of the European semiconductor industries:

Technology Development Leadership: Europe’s microelectronics companies are among the world’s leading companies in the development of advanced semiconductor technologies and materials, including nanoelectronics, micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) and photovoltaic. The speed of innovation and time-to-market in the semiconductor industry is unprecedented and sets the pace for all other industries.

The White Paper calls for active promotion of the European microelectronics supply chain through creation of industry incentives, similar to those that have been successfully implemented in other regions.

In order to cope with the rising issues of education and increasing lack of high-skilled workforces, SEMI recommends taking the following measures:

  • Improve the image of industry and increase information among students, in particular with regards to career opportunities based on statistics and foresight scenarios. Special attention should be given to female students
  • Intensify cooperation between industry and the education sector to develop and integrate adequate technical and science curricula in the formal education channels; set up European degrees at each level in semiconductor education; these should include a nanoelectronics content
  • Encourage innovative forms of training (engineer apprenticeship, transition points between technical and university education, training of less skilled people)

The White Paper concludes by calling upon the European Commission to support the industries’ efforts to ‘address public concerns on nanotechnology’, through fostering a better understanding of the‘specificities of nanoelectronics’: ‘Nanotechnologies bring great potential for social, economic and environmental benefits, from innovative medical techniques to savings on materials and energy, as well as advances in detection and remediation of pollution...nanotechnology is not new to the semiconductor and equipment and materials supplying industries - it is the next scaling dimension...Nanoelectronics are manufactured in the same safe environments as microelectronics and the industry can build on its experience in working in such environments, and on its work towards engaging with all stakeholders in relevant research to find appropriate solutions’.

 

Follow this link to download the full SEMI White Paper.

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