After the social and economic upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis, research and innovation (R&I), and technological sovereignty are at the heart of Europe’s recovery plans. The European Union (EU) aims to drive a ‘collective and cohesive recovery that accelerates the twin green and digital transitions in order to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness, resilience and position as a global player’. As the provider of essential technology building blocks for the green and digital transformations, the Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) industry has a key role to play in this recovery.
“Collaborative innovation is one of the most effective mechanisms for addressing societal challenges and delivering growth. Today, in the wake of COVID-19, we need to amplify the impact of collaboration in ECS even further and faster. AENEAS has worked with sister-industry associations ARTEMIS-IA and EPoSS for many years and already in September 2019, AENEAS, together with 92 European associations, urged the EU Institutions to make RD&I a priority within the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-27 in a Joint Statement. We reiterate our plea for adequate investment in RD&I. It is the key to European digital sovereignty and to a resilient recovery that benefits all Europe’s citizens,” states Caroline Bedran, Director General of AENEAS.
AENEAS has been collaborating with two sister-industry associations, ARTEMIS-IA and EPoSS for several years. In 2019 the three associations (3A) have renewed their memorandum of understanding to extend their cooperation to support EUREKA alongside the ECSEL Joint Undertaking and the envisaged new European Partnership on Key Digital Technologies (KDT). The 3A are strongly involved in the co-design of the new KDT.
Jan van den Biesen, strategic advisor to AENEAS, gives an overview of 3A advocacy actions during preparations for the new Horizon Europe framework. He ends with an update on the 3A’s current advocacy focus and the status of KDT. “As Commissioner Breton said in his speech at the Hannover Messe Digital Days, autonomous European capacity on microelectronics is key for technological sovereignty in digital technologies – a topic high on the political agend” underlines Jan van den Biesen. “Thus, as these significant discussions continue, we will maintain our strong advocacy for the interests of 3A and the European ECS value chain in the post-COVID recovery”
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton in his speech on 15 July 2020 at Hannover Messe Digital Days, put data, microelectronics and connectivity at the heart of Europe’s digital sovereignty.
“Without an autonomous European capacity in microelectronics, there will be no European digital sovereignty,” said Thierry Breton. Noting that corona virus is confronting Europe “…with our over-reliance on others in critical areas,” Mr Breton added: “The moment has come to identify and invest in the digital technologies that will underpin our sovereignty and our industrial future.”
There are three areas where Europe has clear objectives and scale, he continued: data, microelectronics and connectivity. Based on this vision, Mr Breton announced plans for a European Alliance for Industrial Data and Clouds and for safe, rapid deployment of 5G. And at the heart of Europe’s digital sovereignty, he put rebuilding Europe’s capacity to produce high-quality microelectronics.
Citing the success of the EU ECSEL initiative in raising Europe’s production of microelectronics from 6% to 10% in five years, Mr Breton said: “Now, we must invest massively, with the objective to produce in Europe high performance processors (with a 2 to 3nm of feature size) and reach 20% of the world capacity in value.”Europe has all it needs to develop its own industrial value chain. It is the world’s producer of machines to manufacture chips. What matters is political will and up-scaling collective investment, he stated.
To back this up, Mr Breton spoke of a possible of a European alliance on microelectronics, with an R&D pillar and a production pillar, and an initial combined public and private investment of €20 to €30 billion. “The real industrial revolution is starting now – provided we make the right investments in key digital technologies,” he concluded.
The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union has published, a July – December 2020 ambitious programme for education, research and innovation.
The programme has a clear focus on strengthening Europe’s ability to face up to such shocks in the future. But it sets this within the broader context of ensuring Europe can compete effectively in the digital world and in creating a sustainable economy and society for the long-term.
Reflecting the theme – ‘Towards a resilient, sovereign and sustainable Europe’ – pharmaceutical and pandemic research are key priorities. From the wider perspective, education systems that boost Europe’s innovativeness and equip citizens for the digital age also feature prominently. AI receives attention as an innovation driver, a motor for resource-efficient industry and a “force for good in society”. The Presidency has ambitions for an ‘AI made in Europe’ network and will launch a Joint Undertaking on AI.
Central to the Presidency’s priorities is a more dynamic and reoriented European Research Area (ERA). “…, Germany will be committed to unlocking the full potential of cooperation and enabling the highest possible degree of seamlessness and solidarity in the exchange of knowledge between national research and innovation systems.”
Concretely, the German Presidency aims to launch an IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) on data to take the GAIA-X cloud to the European level. It will also promote “excellent research and innovation services in key technologies such as trustworthy microelectronics [including an IPCEI in this field], high-performance computing and quantum computing” that “lay the foundations for achieving technological sovereignty.”
Further, it will promote the application and commercialization of research results and even closer alignment of existing instruments such as Horizon Europe, the Digital Europe Programme (DEP), the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and InvestEU. The Presidency will support negotiations to conclude the distribution of the Horizon Europe budget, and work to achieve agreement on partnerships within the reorientation of the ERA.
All of this will be underpinned by social relevance. The German Presidency wants to drive greater engagement with citizens and society. Through initiatives such as a ‘Plastic Pirates’ citizen science campaign, and wider participation in defining the themes of funding instruments and their subsequent implementation, the Presidency seeks a ‘resilient, sovereign, sustainable Europe’ based firmly on societal values and needs.
Austria will take over the EUREKA Chairmanship from July 2020 to June 2021 with a new motto of “Towards a NEW Eureka”. The new Chairmanship held by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), intends to explore and build on past achievements and successes, while at the same time looking into and working on what is needed for the future. Accordingly, the Austrian Chairmanship will prioritise the further development of Eureka’s programmes, global outreach and internal cooperation, as well as upholding the unique selling point of Eureka: keeping its valuable local specialisations and core DNA intact.
Margarete Schramböck, Austrian Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs highlighted that during this Chairmanship, the Eureka programmes will be renewed to provide the optimal toolbox for Member States and Eureka global partners to support a new generation of innovative solutions. She insisted on the fact that the NEW Eureka shall form a leading platform to connect our industries, SMEs and knowledge institutions and to fulfill the common vision and mission.
Ulrich Schuh, Austrian Eureka Chairperson 2020/2021, added that the Chairmanship team will implement the new Clusters programme designed by the Netherlands Chair, and the new Strategic Roadmap 2021-2027 will set the priorities of Eureka global network in the coming years. NEW Eureka will be achieved: firstly, by promoting our renewed toolbox of instruments; secondly, by ensuring and extending our outreach and encouraging intensified global cooperation; and thirdly, by advancing collaboration within the network to shape the future of NEW Eureka.
o ECSEL JU-IMI Joint Activity Call, a one-stage Call has closed on 30 September | Get more information
o EC Call coronavirus response has closed on 11 June 2020 to allow the call to focus on delivering results quickly | Get more information
221 submitted proposals out of which 6 were inadmissible and 4 ineligible- the budget requested for above-threshold proposals: €348 million. Applicants have been informed about the evaluation results for their proposals begin of August 2020. Get more information
o EUREKA Clusters AI Call has closed on 15 June 2020. | Get more information
Over 40 viable proposals were received and have been reviewed for Technical Quality by the Clusters supporting the AI call. National Authority assessments are also being processed with the intent that applicants will know if their project will be labelled in the early part of November 2020. Out of the 40 proposals, 4 are EURIPIDES² and PENTA led projects and an additional 5 projects linked to EURIPIDES² and PENTA are led by another Cluster.
The AI Call opened a new Chapter, and significant opportunity, in the area of publicly supported collaborative innovation. For the first time, 5 Clusters worked together to stimulate projects in a thematic area considered to be of high importance to a large number of Eureka countries. The concept of thematic calls is expected to be a key element in the new Eureka Clusters Programme (ECP).
o 2021 Euripides² and Penta Call | Get more information
The 2021 Euripides² and Penta Call will be launched at the online EFECS 2020 event.
The ECS value chain is the main driver of the global digital economy. Guided by the ECS Strategic Research Agenda, this Call will stimulate the formation of collaborative ecosystems along the ECS value chain. There are many ways to engage with the 2021 call, starting at EFECS and including online brokerage events & tools, country based briefing seminars and office support. See the PENTA and EURIPIDES² websites for more details.
Impact on Europe’s business and on society is the core of the ECSEL JU programme. Read the full Stakeholder’s impact assessment of the ECSEL JU programme here.
Extrapolating from today’s performance, at completion in 2024, ECSEL JU is expected to have spearheaded about 90 world-class projects representing some € 5 billion investment in RD&I, engaging over 3000 participations by leading industrial companies, universities and research institutes, with roughly 1/3 of participants being SMEs.
ECSEL JU’s risk-sharing model demonstrates unique leverage: each euro invested by the EU leverages an additional euro from the participating states, which in turn leverages 2 additional euro from the project participants.
ECSEL has brought partners together from the most diverse parts of the European Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) value chain who have together created a common Strategic Research Agenda (ECS-SRA) for this entire domain. Around this SRA, the EU participating states and the partners see a common way forward: key eco-systems have been built that ensure the best conditions to valorise the investments made and the projects’ results. This pan-European Strategic Research Agenda – together with ECSEL’s co-funding mechanism – is aligning European and national RD&I efforts, thereby effectively implementing the European Research Area (ERA) in the ECS domain.
At the request of the ECSEL JU Governing Board, Deloitte and VVA recently published updated reports in which the focus lay mainly on the direct impact and benefits for project participants.
The stakeholder’s impact assessment of the ECSEL JU programme goes beyond this somewhat narrow scope to examine the broader impact and socio-economic value of RD&I programmes as championed by ECSEL JU, including several high-level evaluations and tangible examples. This impact lives and breathes in every conceivable aspect of our lives: in domestic appliances, infotainment, industrial processes, logistics, smart infrastructure, energy, mobility, aerospace, and healthcare, to name just a few.
Being part of a collaborative R&D ecosystem is one of the most effective ways of enabling rapid innovation that can then result in rapid economic and societal development. Learn more about Penta and ECSEL JU Projects:
- How is the Penta project Hyb-Man having a significant impact with the hybrid 3D manufacturing of Smart Electronic Systems?
Together the partners at Hyb-Man have created an ecosystem which covers the complete value chain of materials, equipment, product manufacturers/OEMs and end users.
- Read about the expected impact of the Penta project GaNext and how the project will remove barriers to the adoption of GaN by developing an intelligent power module to increase efficiency, reliability and compactness of power systems.
- Learn about the potential impact of the Penta project XSR-FMC project on the security, safety & reliability of flash memory storage systems used in automotive, industrial IoT & Industry 4.0 markets.
- The recently finished ECSEL JU DENSE project has made important steps in the way that automated vehicles can “see” their surroundings, which is vital for safe operation of for example autonomous cars. The participants in DENSE are now leading the world in being able to offer more advanced solutions than can bring safe, all-weather autonomous vehicles within reach.
- Find out how ECSEL JU SCOTT Project is helping to reduce risky driving with a secure connected IoT device that helps drivers analyse their driving behaviour.
- AENEAS is actively involved in the COREnect consortium which brings together European players in microelectronics & telecommunications to develop a strategic roadmap for hardware enabling technologies supporting European technological sovereignty in 5G objectives for connectivity platforms.
- AENEAS SME Directory promotes SMEs expertise. This is a living document regularly updated. See the latest edition.
If you want to apply, please send your application to email@example.com
- SOI Consortium Bi-monthly updates: read the message from the Directors.
- Learn about the H2020 funded EnaBLES project, the European Infrastructure Powering the Internet of Things project and watch their webinars here.
Save the date
12 – 16 October 2020
|2021 PENTA and EURIPIDES² Call- Swedish Webinar||
13 October 2020
|2021 PENTA and EURIPIDES² Call- Canadian Webinar||20 October 2020|
25-26 November 2020