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SEMI implores EU initiatives to boost chip market

Posted: 10 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor? Europe funding? chip industry?

Amid the seemingly dwindling role of Europe in the global IC industry, SEMI industry association urges initiatives from the European Union and the national governments to promote the region's chip industry.

Semi analysis said the aggressive trend of outsourcing manufacturing to Asia has made a threatening impact for the European industry. The group warned that the decline of mainstream electronics production will have a deteriorating effect on Europe's overall competitiveness. It added that while some elements of the supply chain such as R&D, system integration and small-scale production have managed to stay competitive in Europe, the core elements are continuously falling apart.

"Without major IC manufacturing, this may lead to knowledge-based activities relocating to other regions with severe consequences for Europe's competitiveness," the group commented in a white paper.

In the paper, the group addressed six issues for which it believed government intervention or EU funding and promotion would be essential to put an end to the ongoing erosion and strengthen the global competitiveness of the European market.

Semi proposed to increase funding for chip R&D, as well as manufacturing. In particular, the access to technology and funding for small and medium enterprises should be encouraged.

At the same time, it said the microelectronics supply chain has to be supported by stimulating and promoting the creation of industry clusters, following the patterns used in other regions.

The group also suggested promoting the education, protection of intellectual property and encouraging the industry to get involved in relevant environmental and health legislation. Essentially, it noted, the first priority to keep in mind is the necessity to develop a European vision for the IC industry.

"Microelectronics is the driving force for technologies in all industries, addressing societal challenges such as safety, climate change, energy shortages and health," said Heinz Kundert, president, SEMI Europe. "Innovative incentives in other regions have contributed to reduced European competitiveness," he added. He noted that it is vital to take an immediate action. "It is late, but not too late," Kundert claimed.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe

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