AENEAS plays a key role in shaping the future of the ECS community

09 Mar 2022

Interview with Patrick Cogez, AENEAS Technical Director.

After having spent most of his career in various management positions within one of the main actors of the European semiconductor industry, Dr. Patrick Cogez has joined AENEAS in 2016 as Technical Director, covering both vision building activities and operational tasks. He drives various AENEAS bodies such as the Technical Expert Group, the Scientific Council and the SME Engagement Council.

Patrick is one of the main architects of the Electronics Components and Systems Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (ECS SRIA), which provides the basis for the work programmes of the KDT Joint Undertaking and the Xecs Eureka Cluster, and he also holds an active operational position in the latter programme.

How did you join COREnect? What is your role in the project?

AENEAS plays a key role in shaping the future of the Electronic Components and Systems community, promoting networking, encouraging collaborative research and innovation, and representing our members in front of the European, National and Regional Public Authorities. It was therefore natural for the association to be part of the consortium of the COREnect project. We were immediately enthusiastic to join, as we saw the project as a great opportunity for common work between the ECS and SNS communities, resulting in a better identification of the ECS technological challenges resulting from the needs of the SNS community and conversely, a better knowledge by the SNS community of the ECS potentialities.

We also hoped that the resulting roadmap would have a stronger influence on the policy makers, since it would be supported by the two communities elaborating it together.

What are your expectations from a project of this nature for your organisation?

As mentioned earlier, while jointly developing the COREnect roadmap, the two communities are gaining a better mutual understanding of possibilities and expectations. The priorities outlined via this process are therefore ambitious while realistic, and provide our members with solid information for their internal development plans to address the needs of the future networks.

At the same time, this joint work leads to identify gaps between SNS expectations and ECS planned offering, which would not been addressed without voluntary action from both the public and the private sectors. These gaps should not be viewed as weaknesses that cannot be overcome, but instead as new opportunities. Indeed, one key feature of COREnect is that it proposes concrete and feasible paths to mitigate these discrepancies in the medium to long term.

On top of the immediate value of its deliverables, COREnect is also building a bridge between the actors of the two domains. Already, our respective communities have been made aware of the R & I opportunities of the other side, via crossed presentations at key events. This will pave the way for more cooperation, and increased innovation and efficiency.

In your view, could COREnect impact the European strategy in microelectronics and connectivity in the next 10 years, and how?

Communication infrastructure is the backbone of the nervous system of our society today, and connectivity is a must-have for all components and systems. Mastering in Europe the enabling technologies for connectivity systems is therefore essential in the context of strategic autonomy. The widespread support of industry and States for the Important Project of Common European Interest on Microelectronics and Communications is clearly demonstrating that there is consensus on this matter. With a wider scope yet, the EC proposed early February the Chips Act, a package including public and private investment in excess of 43 billion euros up to 2030, to strengthen European resilience to supply chain disruptions and to increase European capacity in semiconductor RD&I and production, particularly for advanced nodes.

In this context, the COREnect recommendations come at exactly the right time to fine tune the global digital strategy of Europe, when it comes to Electronics Component and Systems supporting future networks, and they provide guidance on where and how to execute on this strategy. The direction is set, many financial and other instruments are being put in place, whether it is within EU programmes, under the Eureka umbrella (most notably with the Eureka Clusters CelticNext and Xecs), or at the level of individual States, now COREnect will offer a strong basis to define the detailed fine print. It has therefore the potential to have a very significant impact on the European strategy and its execution.

The interview source here.