Czech Republic opens new microelectronics center

June 1, 2006 – The Czech Republic has officially opened its new Center of Excellence for microelectronics that will pool engineers from central and eastern Europe and Russia to support chip industry R&D efforts.

ChipInvest incorporates a network of university teams, incubators, training programs, and other infrastructure to serve as a comprehensive resource for cost-effective, highly skilled engineering specialists to technology companies. It was first conceived in 2005 as a partnership between the Czech Business Development Agency and Cadence Design Systems, to support chip technology R&D, emerging technology companies, and offer advanced IC design training.

The organization leverages pre-existing infrastructure and assets in central and eastern Europe and Russia, allowing it to be ramped up quickly, noted Radomil Novak, director, US Operations-West and adviser to the CEO, CzechInvest. It is based in the Brno U. of Technology, in Czech’s second-largest city about 70 miles north of Vienna, Austria. Funding from the European Union and the Czech government will subsidize key educational programs for training engineers in microelectronics design.

The group noted that there is significant industry presence in the region, including operations from Freescale Semiconductor, S3, AMI Semiconductor, On Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Flextronics, and Cadence.

SoftInvest, a partnership between CzechInvest and the Czech branch of Microsoft, also will collaborate to create an innovation center focused on embedded systems. One of the objectives of the center is to partner with Czech universities to support the creation of approximately 20 microelectronic-focused software start-up companies within two to three years.


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