27 regions across Europe have come together in the European Semiconductor Regions Alliance (ESRA) to boost the local semiconductor supply chain.
During the joint meeting at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) premises on 7 September in Brussels, the regions from 12 member states and Wales launched the ESRA. The alliance members completed the establishment of the European Semiconductor Regions Alliance (ESRA) in the presence amongst others of Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of Saxony and the initiator of the ESRA, Michael Murphy, Vice-President of the CoR, Roberto Viola, Director-General of EC DG CNECT, Thomas Schmidt, the CoR rapporteur for the Chips Act package. The event has be followed by a reception organised by the region of Flanders and IMEC research center in Leuven.
Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of the Free State of Saxony highlighted during the launch event as follows: “With ESRA, we are opening up new ways for regions to collaborate, research and innovate to ensure Europe’s economic and digital sovereignty. The participation of many regions in the launch event underlines the interest in increased cooperation at EU level in the field of microelectronics. The Alliance will make an important contribution to making Europe competitive in this key industry in the years to come.”
The European Semiconductor Regions Alliance was initiated earlier this year on 10 March 2023 by the state of Saxony: 13 microelectronics regions from nine EU member states were invited to a high-level event in Brussels with representatives of EU institutions including Commissioner Breton and industry. They discussed the prospects of the European semiconductor ecosystem and signed a Memorandum of Undertanding. It aims at uniting regions across Europe in a joint effort to strengthen the EU’s capacity of production in the semiconductor industry and enhance cooperation.
On 6 March 2023, a Joint declaration had already anticipated the objective of the Alliance.
On 7 September, 27 regions joined their efforts and launched the ESRA platform.
Objective of the ESRA
The Alliance aims to identify and help remove the obstacles to the industry’s strategic development by improving the legal framework, promoting public and private investment, supporting the sharing of knowledge and the development of strong and resilient value chains.
The ESRA sees itself as a regional platform and partner of the European Commission in the implementation of the European Chips Act.
A platform for cooperation, growth and investment
The Alliance shall act as a platform for the exchange of information and best practices and facilitate cooperation between its members in areas of common interest. The Alliance shall also promote the interests of its members and the semiconductor industry to European and international organisations and stakeholders.
The ESRA’s activities focus on:
- research and innovation, developing new technologies and applications
- skills and talent, promoting education and training programmes
- cluster development, promoting regional clusters and cross-regional partnerships
The signing regions
The alliance includes 27 regions from 12 EU member states. The regions at the launch are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia in Germany; Andalusia, the Basque Country, Valencia, and Catalonia in Spain; Flevoland and North Brabant in the Netherlands; Carinthia and Styria in Austria; the Centro region in Portugal; Flanders in Belgium; Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in France; Piedmont in Italy, Tampere and Helsinki in Finland; South Moravia in the Czech Republic; Wales in the UK; and the Republic of Ireland.