Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
  Industrial
  Nanoelectronics
  Nanomaterials
  Nanomedicine
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Mexico
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


This page was published on 11/02/2004
Published: 11/02/2004

   Headlines

Last Update: 11-02-2004  
Related category(ies):
Information society  |  Nanotechnology  |  Pure sciences

 

Add to PDF "basket"

Private and public money backs European micro- and nanoelectronics

Fortis Bank puts it name beside the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Flemish Government to finance the Inter-University MicroElectronic Centre's (IMEC) new research facility in Belgium, a statement confirms.

The IMEC, research centre in microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems   © Image: IMEC
The IMEC, research centre in microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems

© Image: IMEC

The EIB joined forces with Fortis Bank, Benelux's biggest bank, to provide a €46.8 million loan to the IMEC's ‘300mm Research Facility' being built in Leuven, a renowned university city east of Brussels. The loan will finance construction of a clean room, a central utility building and new offices with the aim of designing miniature silicon wafers used for making integrated circuits (IC) – a critical part of modern-day computers and electronics.

The IMEC's current facility is suitable for equipment which can handle wafers with a diameter of 200mm. But semiconductor makers are keen to retool their production lines to use 300mm wafers in large-volume manufacturing because it reduces the cost per chip. Investing in this new research infrastructure now will help the IMEC – and Europe in general – maintain its leading position in micro- and nano-scale science and technologies.

Professor Gilbert Declerck, president and CEO of the IMEC, said the support received from the EIB, Fortis and earlier from the Flemish Government is an important step to broaden research in the European Union and to produce advanced IC process technologies and nanotechnologies. “We look forward to further extending our partnerships on nanoelectronics research within Europe through the… European Commission,” said Declerck. This may involve collaboration with the EU's executive body through its Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for research which has a dedicated budget of €1.3 billion for ‘nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices'.

Keeping the edge
The Flemish Government in November 2002 gave an advance of over €37 million to get the €84 million construction project off the ground. Industry has confirmed its support for the new centre – partnerships have been signed with leading semiconductor manufacturers Infineon, Intel, Samsung Electronics and STMicroelectronics – which will help create technology up to six years ahead of the game.

Keeping ahead of the competition is a vital mantra in the fast-paced electronics market, but it is also key to European competitive advantage. The EIB's President Philippe Maystadt could not agree more. “Financing innovation and R&D in Europe has become a main objective for the EIB since the EU Heads of State decided at the 2000 Lisbon Summit to… [strive for] a knowledge-based economy,” he said. Approving this finance, the EU's financial institution is fulfilling its ‘Innovation Initiative' objective of granting medium- to long-term loans for projects active in R&D, information communication technologies (ICT), and education and training.

Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin echoed this view in a press statement on 13 November to mark the agreement on the loan package. “The Commission wholly supports this initiative,” he said. “A strong European Research Area in this field will allow European industry to strengthen its competitiveness… to stay in the race with the USA and Asia [which] are both investing massively in this field,” he confirmed.

Fortis' President Herman Verwilst is proud of his bank's role in stimulating research and development in Europe, and its involvement with the IMEC since it was formed in 1984 and grew into the largest European research centre in the field. He said they have financed several phases of the IMEC's current infrastructure and are happy to be on board in the next phase. “Know-how at world-class level attracts new knowledge and research contracts,” Verwilst commented. This guarantees the IMEC's place as an important player in the Leuven region and for Flanders in general, he added.  

IMEC, EIB, Fortis press release

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use the search box at the top of the page to the right of the menu and then select "Information Centre" in the "Filter by" menu on the results page.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

IMEC
EIB
Fortis Bank

Contacts
Katrin.Marent@imec.be, s.parisse@eib.be, Hilde.Junius@fortis.com
  Top   Research Information Center