First, may I wish you all a safe and healthy 2022 year.
2022 begins with the appointment of NXP’s Kurt Sievers as the new President of AENEAS. Kurt Sievers is President and CEO of NXP Semiconductors. He succeeds Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics, to whom we offer many thanks for his contribution as President of AENEAS over the last three years.
Looking back at 2021, we can see it paved the way for much that will happen in 2022. 2021 marked the start of Horizon Europe, the most ambitious EU Research and Innovation programme ever. And at the end of the year came the launch of the new Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking (KDT JU) partnership under Horizon Europe. 2021 also saw the start of the Xecs Cluster in the new Eureka Clusters Programme. A lot of novelties in the RD&I landscape for Electronic Components and Systems in just one year!
As we are all aware, such initiatives are needed more than ever. Digital technologies are essential to overcoming the pandemic; innovation will be instrumental in accelerating the green and digital transitions; and mastering digital technologies in Europe is fundamental to securing its technological autonomy. Thus, our role in 2022 is to further stimulate collaborative innovation to accelerate growth, job creation, and boost the competitiveness of our industry.
In this context, RD&I in semiconductors design and manufacturing is increasingly critical. With the launch of the Industrial Alliance on Processors and Semiconductor Technologies, the upcoming Chips Act and the pre-notification to the Commission of the new IPCEI on microelectronics on 20 November 2021, strong political messages have been sent to secure the industrial competitiveness of Europe for the future.
Let us build on the next coming IPCEI, on the KDT JU and on Xecs to drive Europe’s ambitions to the next level while supporting transnational cooperation projects on microelectronics.”
Caroline Bedran, Director General of AENEAS.
This announcement follows the adoption of the Single Basic Act and the publication in the Official Journal of the Council Regulation (EU) 2021/2085, establishing ten European Joint Undertakings (JUs), including the Key Digital Technologies (KDT) JU, on 30 November 2021.
Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Bornefeld has been appointed as the first Chair of the Governing Board of the newly formed KDT JU. He is currently Senior Vice President of Automotive Electronics division at Robert Bosch GmbH. He succeeds Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, CEO/CTO of Infineon Austria, as chair of the Governing Board of the predecessor ECSEL JU.
The KDT calls 2021 opened on 16 December 2021 with a deadline on 27 April 2022 (one-stage calls). KDT JU is the only JU having opened calls in 2021.
Over the period 2021-2027, KDT will receive up to €1.8 billion from the EU, a steep increase over the €1.2 billion for ECSEL. Matching investments i.e., up to €1.8 billion will come from participating states, namely: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Additional participating states may join during the existence of KDT JU. The total R&I project volume should reach more than €7 billion.
For the calls 2021, the overall EU budget is € 208.0 million. The Participating States budget should match the EU budget. The 2021 Work Programme has been published here. The ECS Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 2021 has been adopted as the KDT 2021 SRIA.
The calls 2022 are expected to open mid 2022 with a deadline after the summer break 2022 and selected projects to start by the end of 2023.
More about AENEAS announcement of KDT JU Launch and the first calls here.
The European Commission proposed Horizon Europe Webinars and recordings to support access to HE. If you wish to retrieve the relevant documents, you are invited to look at:
- “How to prepare a successful proposal in Horizon Europe” recording , 24 March 2021
- “A successful proposal for Horizon Europe: Scientific-technical excellence is key, but don’t forget the other aspects”, 21 April 2021
- “The Funding & tenders Portal for beginners”, 27 May 2021
- “Dissemination & Exploitation in Horizon Europe”, 9 June 2021
Missed the 29 November to 1 December Info Days from the European Commission on Pillar 2, Cluster 4, ‘Digital, Industry & Space’? Watch the recordings and look at the presentations here. The Work Programme can be found on the Funding & Tender portal of the European Commission.
EU Mission info days on Horizon Europe are organised by the European Commission 18-19 January. No registration is required.
DigitalEurope recommendations on semiconductor priorities for the EU
On 4 November 2021, DigitalEurope, a trade association representing digitally transforming industries in Europe, released its “Recommendations on semiconductor priorities for the EU Executive Summary”. Europe’s share of global semiconductor production has declined from 22% in 1998 to 8% today, as other regions in the world have gradually introduced a more favourable business climate.
DigitalEurope call for action to the European Commission as it prepares the European Chips Act is as follows:
- Bring together in the European Semiconductor Alliance microelectronics companies, their design and manufacturing supply chain, as well as downstream industries, including chip users.
- Make public investments based on market demand. The EU should help expand production capacity for chips of any size, as determined by market dynamics.
- Improve the efficiency of administrative systems, speed up IPCEI selection and execution procedures, and introduce innovation measures like tax credits.
See the full call to actions towards 2025 in which DigitalEurope outlines that ‘Innovative digital technologies can provide Europe’s people with competitive jobs, better health, and better public services. However, in order to reap the potential of these technologies and to position Europe as a global leader, access to capital and strategic investments in innovation are crucial. Europe can only lead if it invests in European technology adoption and the creation of innovative eco-systems enhancing innovation in areas like AI, IoT, 5G. Whilst the European Commission’s proposal for the “Digital Europe investment programme” is a good first step in the right direction, much more funding is needed in order to truly enhance innovation and to invest in the future’.
ZVEI discussion paper on Semiconductors Strategy for Germany and Europe
In October 2021, ZVEI, the German Electro and Digital Industry Association, published the discussion paper “Semiconductors strategy for Germany and Europe“, a new strategy paper outlining that policy actions must now focus on securing supply for all size range of microchips to support key sectors of the economy like manufacturing, consumer electronics and healthcare. In spite of the significant impulses the European Commission’s approach to establish the production of chips < 5nm, the strategic development of the semiconductor industry in Europe also requires to produce 12 – 40 nm chips to face the increasing demand.
On 4th November 2021, Digital Europe released an article with ZVEI building upon ZVEI study, ‘The EU Chips Act needs to create a competitive microelectronics ecosystem based on market demand’.
“We need to expand production capacity for chips of all structure sizes, in line with market dynamics. In the coming decades, Europe’s downstream industries will need both high-performance processors in smaller structure sizes and power electronics, sensors, or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in more mature structure sizes. The demand for power semiconductors alone will triple by 2030.” stated Wolfgang Weber, CEO of ZVEI in the article on 4 November 2021 “The EU Chips Act needs to create a competitive microelectronics ecosystem based on market demand”.
Report from Kearney on future of semiconductor industry ‘Europe’s urgent need to invest in a leading-edge semiconductor ecosystem’.
Today’s chip shortage has put a spotlight on the degree to which the European economy depends on semiconductors. With limited local production capability and capacity, Europe risks its technological sovereignty and needs to correct course to maintain long-term competitiveness.
Europe would significantly benefit from local leading-edge chip manufacturing and is well positioned to succeed. Indeed Europe’s consumption of leading-edge non-memory semiconductors is expected to skyrocket by 2030: the EU’s demand by 2030 will be equivalent to the total demand for computer chips today.
Joint report by MERICS and Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
In December 2021, the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV) and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) published the new policy brief on “China’s rise in semiconductors and Europe – Recommendations for policy makers”.
“Current European Union proposals to secure a leading-edge chip fabrication plant don’t amount to a viable strategy” and “won’t suffice,” said Jan-Peter Kleinhans of the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung think tank, and John Lee, formerly of the Mercator Institute for China Studies, authors of the report in the Bloomberger article on 8 December. While subsidising the construction of such fabs is necessary, the EU needs to move away from “a narrow set of policy prescriptions” and enter strategic partnerships with east Asian economies that play a critical role in the value chain, including Taiwan and South Korea, but also Japan, Singapore or Malaysia, the authors write.
Kleinhans and Lee instead urge the EU to pour funds further down the supply chain, focusing on assembly, testing and packaging alongside encouraging local start-ups and universities to focus on chip design. The pair also called for the region to get a better grasp of its supply chain to avoid further bottlenecks and shortages.
o KDT 2021 Calls | Get more information
o Testing and Experimentation Facility (TEF) for Edge AI Call | Get more information
The Edge AI TEF will be a “joint distributed platform”, with its development led by European centres of excellence in microelectronics technologies and key industrial players in the microelectronics ecosystem.
The platform will be a pilot line open to EU industrial businesses, including SMEs, through European or nationally funded programmes. The EC foresees strong cooperation with the Joint Undertaking on Key Digital Technologies (KDT), as well as European partnerships in other areas such as High Performance Computing, 5G/6G and cloud computing.
Specifically, the EC is seeking to ensure European industry will have access to “trusted, high performance, low-power edge components and technologies to support the massive data-processing requirements of AI and the digital transformation.”
o 2022 Xecs Call | Get more information
Collaborative RD&I is crucial to support the creation of robust innovation ecosystems and create economic and societal impact.
More about ECSEL and PENTA projects impact:
- Watch the outcomes of the ECSEL project PRYSTINE after 42 months of duration. PRYSTINE has involved 60 partners across Europe to create fail-operational systems for autonomous vehicles in urban and rural settings based on robust Radar and LiDAR sensor fusion and control functions. Over the course of the project, consortium partners produced 30 demonstrators, that showcased the technological developments of the project. Some can be seen in the demonstrators section of the PRYSTINE website, while others can be discovered on the PRYSTINE youtube channel here. They demonstrates autonomous vehicles, also Heavy Duty Vehicles, in everyday day road situations, including approaching an intersection with pedestrian partially occluded, stopping in emergency lane, detecting hazardous objects on the road (e.g., wild animals, potholes) and alerting other vehicles, allowing a seamless switch between manual driving and autonomous driving mode, back parking in docky station,…
- Learn about the ECSEL project CHARM started in June 2020, aiming at developing industrial IoT (Internet of Things) – sensors and IoT network- solutions with an improved tolerance towards harsh industrial surroundings. The CHARM Use Cases include six different industry sectors, majority of them presented by large enterprises that belong to the world-wide market leaders of their own sectors: mining, paper mills, machining, solar panel manufacturing lines, nuclear power plants maintenance and decommissioning, and professional digital printing. Each industrial large enterprise, a use case, needs expert help on electronics and systems and puts together a value chain. And at the end of the project, the companies can purchase the solutions. Watch the introductive video here, and learn about the promising achievements in six use cases here.
- Discover the final results of the ECSEL project SECREDAS involving over 70 partners from 17 countries and aiming at improving security, safety & privacy of autonomous driving then avoiding external malicious interference or hacking to enhance consumer trust in automated systems in the video hosted on the website here. During the consortium’s conference on the 19th and 20th October 2021 at the Helmond Automotive Campus (NL) gathering 160 participants, over 40 integrated hardware and software demonstrators were showcased and the recorded results from the live validation tests were presented. A common reference framework has been developed allowing to design, develop and test technology solutions that span all security, safety and privacy domains simultaneously. This framework has been successfully tested across a range of realistic ‘on-road’ driving scenarios and hacking/vulnerability threats.
- Hear about ECSEL project POSITION II impressive results with promising improvements in the field of minimally invasive surgery. Watch the documentary video here and learn about the project main achievements. In POSITION II, a pilot line for the realization of the next generation of smart catheters and implants has been established. Smart catheters and instruments add “eyes and ears” to minimally invasive instruments. Many clinical studies have underlined their value in improving the outcome of interventions, and in reducing cost. The achievements will enable the further development of the European R&D and manufacturing capability in an extremely innovative industrial segment with a high economic importance, not only encompassing the micro-fabricated device itself, but also the various value chains that they enable.
- How to overcome sensor issues with professional healthcare diagnostic applications? The PENTA project pAvIs will develop intelligent sensor systems for professional healthcare diagnostic and therapy applications such as scans and vital signs monitoring. It aims to deliver a paradigm shift from today’s ‘one-size fits all’ to sensor-based systems with real-time adaptability to individual patients and the operating environment. These sensors systems will employ embedded AI algorithms to modify both the settings of individual components and the complete signal acquisition system. Plus, by integrating high-efficiency AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms and hardware AI accelerators, the systems will be optimized for low-power usage as well as for optimal diagnosis and treatment of each patient. Read the full pAvIs project profile here.
- The PENTA project SunRISE aims at implementing a comprehensive security solution, concentrating on aspects and issues critical to future systems related to the internet of things (IoT).
Watch this video and hear Eduard Hoeberichts, CEO of Sandgrain, explaining the benefits of joining the SunRISE project consortium as an SME. SandGrain will develop a solution for Shared IoT Security, where the SandGrain chip will securely authenticate the end-nodes. The products will be tested in the context of a high value industrial asset and an energy grid solution. This is an extremely important project for Sandgrain as it allows Sandgrain to develop and implement the first SandGrain chips and ID management systems in a strong European consortium. Read the SunRISE project profile here.
- How to solve the dilemma between high-yield intensive agriculture and protecting the environment to feed the global population set to grow from 8 billion in 2025 to 9.6 billion in 2050? To address this issue, the PENTA project PLANtAR is focusing on development of affordable, highly integrated, miniaturized sensors and close-mesh sensor networks (including nano-sensors and paper-based microfluidic devices) and application intelligence in three areas: precision farming (field / urban), greenhouse / indoor farming and farm monitoring. Watch the Plantar video to get a sneak peak and read the full PLANtAR project profile to get a complete overview.
- AENEAS, as the partner representing the ECS community in the COREnect consortium, is pleased to inform you on the latest developments of this H2020 project.
Please find the COREnect White Paper as well as the COREnect November newsletter, and register for the 3rd public workshop to contribute to the roadmap definition. Note that Smart Networks & Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) was formerly established in November 2021. SNS JU targets 6G Research and Innovation, and deployment of advanced 5G networks. The first Work Programme for 2021-2022 was published in December.
- The AENEAS SME Directory promotes SMEs expertise. This is a living document that is regularly updated. See the latest edition. If you want to apply, please send your application to email@example.com.
- The Health. E Lighthouse Symposium is announced to take place on 8-9 March 2022 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Organised by the HELoS project team and Health.E lighthouse liase, this symposium constitutes the 3rd Workshop of the HELoS CSA, which supports ECSEL Health. E Lighthouse Initiative exploring the possibilities, advantages, and issues associated with open technology platforms for emerging medical devices.
- EnABLES newsletter Issue 11 is available online here. EnABLES provides fully funded access to key European research infrastructures (RIs) in powering the Internet of Things (IoT)