September 14, 2007 – The European Commission has authorized 200 million euros (about US $277 million) in funding over five years to support the “NanoSmart” R&D program, which aims to develop advanced substrates for microelectronic and optoelectronic components.
The goal of the NanoSmart program, as a nanotechnology research platform, is to develop new advanced materials to improve performance and electrical consumption of image processors, high-frequency telecommunications components, power components for the automotive industry, and home audiovisual equipment and LEDs for lighting.
Working together under the NanoSmart program are French firm Soitec and its Picogiga subsidiary, and electronics lab Leti. Soitec will receive funds of about 62M euros ($86M), including 34M (~$47M) of direct subsidiary and 28M euros (~$39M) in an advance to be refunded based on commercial success.
“Advanced substrates represent a unique opportunity to strengthen Europe’s position in the high-tech industry, where competitiveness is based on innovation,” said Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, president and CEO of Soitec, in a statement. “We are grateful to AII [the French Agency for Industrial Innovation] for its support and policy of promoting innovation in companies of our size, alongside the large French industrial groups.”
Soitec had previously indicated it would hire at least an additional 100 researchers to support the NanoSmart project, formed to find new applications for the firm’s proprietary Smart Cut technology.