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The UAB to participate in the Semiconductors and Chips Alliance of Catalonia launched by the Generalitat

30 May 2023
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The public and private initiative aims to catch the interest of cutting-edge businesses from this sector, train and attract specialised talent, foster research and innovation, and connect the local ecosystem with the world.

Oblea de silici

The Government of Catalonia has approved the creation of the "Semiconductor and Chip Alliance of Catalonia" with the aim of promoting the growth and consolidation of the semiconductor, electronics, photonics and quantum ecosystem to achieve a competitive, innovative and sustainable economy. This is the governance body of the Alliance, which will work to attract projects from leading companies in this sector, train and attract specialised talent, promote research and innovation, and connect the local ecosystem on an international scale.

The Alliance will be integrated into the Ministry for Business and Work, which through the ACCIÓ, will provide the technical and administrative support necessary for the development of its functions. It is also driven by the Ministries for the Presidency, Economy and Finance, Universities and Research, and External Action, as well as the European Union. Representatives of companies and agents of the research system, such as the General Council of Chambers of Catalonia, the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, the National Microelectronics Centre, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Institute of Photonic Sciences, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Technical University of Catalonia, will also be members. Subsequently, the Alliance will be opened to other representatives from business and industry and ecosystem entities.

With the launch of this initiative, the Government of Catalonia and these agents will work together to strengthen the ecosystem and the industrialisation of chips and semiconductors in Catalonia.

The government considers that the combination of geopolitical and economic issues, together with the exhaustion of the current technology roadmap, has created a unique opportunity for innovation in semiconductor technologies. However, this current opportunity faces significant challenges in terms of infrastructure, skilled human resources, supply chain and entrepreneurship.

In this regard, the work of the Alliance will focus on four specific areas through the creation of working groups:

  • Ecosystem: to strengthen and develop the ecosystem and the different segments of the value chain, fostering synergies in the semiconductor industry in Catalonia and its connection to the world.
  • Talent: to train and attract specialised talent to help develop innovative solutions in the different multidisciplinary fields.
  • Research: to promote research and innovation, bringing it closer to users in order to devise joint developments that respond to present and future challenges in the industry.
  • Industry and investment: to create and attract Catalonia's world-leading industry in semiconductor technologies along the entire value chain and ancillary industries.

Thus, the Alliance foresees, among other functions, to study, formulate and coordinate proposals to develop the semiconductor and chip strategy, as well as to monitor, coordinate, validate and evaluate the proposals developed by the working groups. In addition, it will propose and give support to strategic projects aimed at expanding the productive capacity of this sector.

Moreover, the Alliance seeks to promote Catalonia's participation in European initiatives for the development of the semiconductor and chip ecosystem, such as the Semiconductor European Regions Alliance. In fact, Catalonia, through ACCIÓ, is one of the driving regions of this recently created European alliance, which aims to boost the growth and competitiveness of the semiconductor industry on the continent through the exchange of knowledge and best practices and cooperation between regions.

The initiative is part of the National Pact for Industry 2022-2025, which includes a strategic plan for the development and attraction of investment in semiconductor manufacturing, with the aim of positioning Catalonia internationally as a hub for development, investment and infrastructure related to the chip sector.

The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia

The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia is in a phase of development with great growth prospects. In fact, according to data from ACCIÓ's study Els semiconductors a Catalunya, there are currently 86 companies in the semiconductor sector, with a turnover of almost 160 million euros and employing 700 people. These workers are in addition to the 3,700 researchers with research projects in the field of semiconductors, which means that in Catalonia this ecosystem is made up of 4,400 professionals. According to the ACCIÓ report, 81% of the companies in the sector in Catalonia are S&MEs (and 8% are start-ups), while 37% have an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros. In this sense, the document points out that the semiconductor industry is still in the development phase in Catalonia but has a high growth projection.

The UAB, with Sustainable Development Goals

  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Partnerships for the goals