The Chips Joint Undertaking (JU) supports research, development, innovation, and future manufacturing capacities in the European semiconductor ecosystem.
The European Chips Act and the amendment to the Regulation establishing the Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe entered into force on 21 September 2023, paving the way for strategic developments in the chip technology sector.
One significant outcome of these changes was the expansion and renaming of the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking (KDT JU), into the Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU). As part of the Chips for Europe Initiative, the Chips JU confronts semiconductor shortages and strengthens Europe’s digital autonomy, engaging a significant EU, national/regional and private industry funding of nearly €11 billion.
The Chips JU has an enlarged scope compared with the KDT JU. It has been indeed equipped for its new tasks related to the Chips Act.
The Chips JU will implement activities under the original KDT JU (also known as ‘non-Initiative’ activities) as well as activities under the ‘Chips for Europe Initiative’ under the first 4 operational objectives detailed hereafter:
Objective 1: Build large-scale design innovative capacities for integrated semiconductor technologies
Objective 2: Enhance existing and developing new pilot lines
Objective 3: Build advanced technology and engineering capacities for accelerating the development of quantum chips
Objective 4: Create a network of competence centres across Europe
The Chips JU activities are broken down into research & innovation activities and capacity building activities.
More details about the Chips Act and the Chips JU here.
As the outcome of a long legislative process, the EU budget will support the Chips for Europe Initiative with a total of up to €3.3 billion, including €1.425 via Horizon Europe, €1.45B via Digital Europe Programme and €425 M for the Chips fund via Invest EU and the EIC in the period 2023-2027. Together with €1.3 billion from the EU budget for the KDT JU, this results in a total EU budget of €4.175 billion for the Chips JU.
The Participating States are expected to provide commensurate amounts. Therefore, together with the contributions from project participants, the total public and private budget of the Chips JU for 2023-2027 will be about €11 billion.
Builds on KDT JU and ECSEL JU achievements
The KDT JU renamed Chips JU builds on its predecessor the ECSEL JU, which had a total of €4.8 billion investment and included 16 calls, 92 projects, and more than 3 100 participations.
Today Europe accounts for roughly 9-10% of global production – up from 6% five years ago thanks to the EU ECSEL initiative, which has been instrumental to reverse this trend.
The Work Programme (WP) is structured in two parts:
- One specific part dedicated to the implementation of the Chips for Europe Initiative including:
- A sub-section on capacity building activities (funded under the Digital Europe Programme)
- A sub-section on related research and innovation activities (funded under Horizon Europe)
- Another specific part dedicated to the R&I activities not covered under the Chips for Europe Initiative, being the continuation of the KDT JU activities (funded under the Horizon Europe Programme).
All research & innovation activities will be based on the Electronic Components and Systems Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda prepared by the industry associations AENEAS, EPoSS and Inside and adopted by the Governing Board of the Chips JU.
More to come on the Work Programme.
The first Calls on the non-initiative are expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2023. More to come soon.
Regarding the capacity building activties, the first Calls for Expression of Interest for the first Pilot Lines and for the Design Platform are expected to be launched still in 2023. To better prepare, the ECS SRIA 2023 amendments have been published here.
The role of AENEAS in the Chips JU
The three Industry Associations AENEAS, Inside and EPoSS, that are partnering in the Chips JU with the European Commission and the Participating States, represent RD&I actors, such as large companies, SMEs, RTOs and universities. Their members participate in the Chips JU programme through collaborative projects.
The three Industry Associations, each have a seat with voting rights in the JU Governing Board, allowing them to represent the interests of their members and get the best conditions for their RD&I activities, be it in terms of topics covered by the Calls for proposals or the funding conditions of the associated grants.
The ECS SRIA is the basis for the next coming Chips JU Calls for proposals. For the focus topics, please also refer to the description of each focus topic under the next coming Work Programme.
ECS key applications
Foundational technology layers
Chips JU Contacts
White Atrium Building
Avenue de la Toison d’Or 56-60