Over EUR 300 Million of Relevant EU Funding for SEMI / PV Group Members

Over EUR 300 Million of Relevant EU Funding for SEMI / PV Group Members

The European Commission NMP work programme 2011 has a budget of EUR 300 million (up from 98 million in 2010) in addition to EUR 130 million for PPPs (Public Private Partnerships). The number of topics in the core NMP 2011 work programme is higher: 35 topics compared to 22 topics in the previous year.

The European Commission has the Framework Programmes (FP) to allocate research budgets. FP7 has a budget of 50 billion EUR over a period of seven years. The programme is divided in various topics, of which some are directly relevant to the SEMI community of companies, i.e. semiconductor and photovoltaic equipment/material suppliers and device manufacturers.

In July 2010, the call was launched for 2011. For our members, we have listed some of the items which are most relevant. If you have never participated in an EU-funded project, this may seem daunting at first, but you can identify partners that can help. Within FP7, there’s a network of National Contact Pointswhich is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation. In addition, SEMI can assist you.

  • Theme 4: NMP - Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies (106 pages). For instance Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, Materials, New Production, "European Green Cars," "Factories of the Future" (Budget: euro 160 000 000).
  • Theme 5: NMP ENERGY(82 pages, budget 25 million EUR, call announced 20 July; deadline for proposals 25 November). This call includes: “Energy Efficiency and Savings, Renewable Electricity Generation, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.” The Solar Europe Initiative includes ENERGY.2011.2.1-2: Development and up-scaling of innovative photovoltaic cell processes and architectures to pilot-line scale for industrial application and ENERGY.2011.2.1-3: Productivity and cost optimization issues for the manufacturing of photovoltaic systems based on concentration.

Working with other regions (including USA, Russia or Japan) is also possible:

  • NMP Coordinated call EU-Russia. Budget: euro 4 500 000. Publication Date: 20 July 2010. Deadline: 31 March 2011.
  • NMP Coordinated call EU-Japan. Budget: euro 5 000 000. Publication Date: 20 July 2010. Deadline: 17 November 2010.

EU Commission Framework Objectives

The key objectives of the European Commission framework programme for research are to improve the competitiveness of European industry and to generate knowledge to ensure its transformation from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive base, by creating step changes through research and implementing decisive knowledge for new applications at the crossroads between different technologies and disciplines. This benefits both new, high-tech industries and higher-value (such as semiconductor and photovoltaic), knowledge-based traditional industries, with a special focus on the appropriate dissemination of RTD results to SMEs. These activities are concerned with enabling technologies which impact all industrial sectors and many other themes of the 7th Framework Programme.

In September 2009, SEMI organized a seminar on how to apply for EU funding. The event was limited to SEMI members and sponsored by STMicroelectronics.

Research also Relevant for SMEs

The European Commission recognizes the importance of SMEs, so the NMP theme is particularly relevant to SMEs from all industrial sectors due to their needs and roles with respect to advanced technologies. SMEs can participate in each and every call for proposals implemented by the NMP theme. Moreover, dedicated calls for Collaborative Projects targeted to SMEs are implemented with the aim of reinforcing their scientific and technological base and of validating innovative solutions. Priority will be given to proposals demonstrating that SMEs play a leading role and that they represent in the order of 35 percent or more of the requested EU contribution.

EU Framework Programme testimonials by SEMI Members

Prof. Dr. Michael Heuken, VP, Corporate Research and Development

AIXTRON AG

As a high technology company, AIXTRON maintains a strong Research and Development infrastructure, with significant resources devoted to R&D projects. AIXTRON’s R&D activities are critical for the Company’s strategy to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading providers of deposition equipment for the manufacturing of complex device structures for semiconductor industry.

One important building block in AIXTRON’s longer term R&D policy is the participation in publicly-funded R&D projects. National as well as European funded R&D projects give AIXTRON the chance to collaborate with many well-known universities and research centres in the development of future advanced deposition technologies. The technology developments in the frame of such research cooperation give AIXTRON the opportunity to develop risky new deposition processes and prototype equipment ahead of marked requirements.

Currently AIXTRON participates in six running FP7 projects, one last FP6 project and is involved in two ENIAC as well as three FP7 proposals submitted for the last calls.

AIXTRON’s funded European projects aim for the development and manufacturing of processes and equipment for the selective MOCVD of IIII-V materials on Si (DUALLOGIC), material development for next generation on capacitors and memories (MAXCAPS), development and manufacturing of MOCVD production technology for III-V based concentrator solar cells (APOLLON), InAlN based HEMTS and sensors on diamond and SiC (MORGaN) as well as Si and InGaN nano rods for solar cell applications (ROD-SOL).

The large variety of RTD projects helps improve the competitiveness of AIXTRON deposition technology for the numerous emerging markets in the semiconductor sector. The European and national funded projects strengthen AIXTRON’s position as European world leading manufacturer of CVD equipment and result in the creation of new jobs at AIXTRON as well as on the sub-supplier site.

Ines Stolberg, manager, Strategic Marketing Litho

Vistec Electron Beam GmbH

As a long-standing European equipment supplier, the Vistec Electron Beam GmbH is providing leading edge technology solutions for advanced electron-beam lithography in both direct write as well as mask-making applications. Constantly increasing lithography performance requirements and growing system complexity are the most challenging aspects of the company’s business, which necessitate world-class R&D to enable high innovation speed. Beside Vistec’s internal R&D resources, the company takes advantage of the regional and European research infrastructure.

Since 2001, Vistec Electron Beam participated in five different MEDEA / MEDEA+ projects and submitted a project outline for a multiple electron-beam lithography system in the recent ENIAC call. Being a partner in such European and national funded projects ensures an aligned and application-orientated product development. As an equipment supplier, Vistec was able to establish contacts to leading-edge European research institutes, semiconductor manufacturers and their tremendous expertise, which hold up until today. The introduction of Silicon-based electron-beam direct write for fast prototyping, design evaluation and low-volume production at STMicroelectronics / CEA Leti, for the most part explored in MEDEA / MEDEA+ projects, stands as an example for the productive cooperation.

Although it requires formal administrative work and some reporting which requires resources, which are often hard to spare for SME’s, the participation in European projects is more than worth it. These projects are very important to keep Vistec competitive in its field as it is today. Vistec Electron Beam benefits from synergies within the European and worldwide semiconductor eco-system.

SEMI is a non-for-profit global industry association representing 2000 companies that supply equipment, materials and services for the manufacturing of semiconductors, photovoltaic, MEMS, displays and related technologies. SEMI supports 200 member companies in Europe, including world champions like ASML, Soitec, Siltronic but mostly SMEs representing 90 percent of its membership. SEMI members produce EUR 9 billion and directly employ 105,000 people in Europe.

September 8, 2010