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Chipmachine maker ASML and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have signed an agreement on an expansion of their collaboration. The company will invest €80 million in the university in the coming ten years, announced ASML in a press release.

Based on common roadmaps, the two partners will conduct more joint research and train more Ph.D. students in areas such as plasma physics, mechatronics, optics, and AI. In close collaboration, almost a hundred PhD students will conduct research in areas relevant to the chip sector over the next ten years. The agreement, now concluded, is the elaboration of the memorandum of understanding that ASML and TU/e signed last year.

Why this is important:

As a result of the central cabinet’s Project Beethoven, ASML and the TU/e are strengthening their partnership, aiming to grow more talent for the semiconductor industry.

Strengthening the bond

ASML will contribute financially to the new cleanroom building that TU/e will build. This lab building will be a top facility focused on research, education, and startups in the field of semiconductors. It will be larger and more modern than the existing TU/e cleanroom, which it will replace. TU/e is also investing heavily in semicon: an expected total of more than a hundred million for the cleanroom building and the many Ph.D. students who will be appointed. The parties will also involve other companies and institutions in the region and beyond in the collaboration to increase its impact.  

Roger Dassen, Chief Financial Officer of ASML. “With this agreement, we are expanding our long-term collaboration with TU/e. TU/e is the purveyor of talent in the region and an important academic partner. The collaboration will increase the availability of PhDs, which our industry has a strong need for, and will provide scientific insights that are relevant to the chip industry and society. With this agreement we are investing in science in the Netherlands and in training experts.”

Robert-Jan Smits, President of the TU/e Executive Board: “We are proud that we are giving an enormous boost to the strong collaboration that we have had for decades. We will invest together, expanding Brainport’s position as the Netherlands’ most important semicon hotspot. This development once again shows the exceptional strength of TU/e in terms of collaboration with industry and our pivotal position in Brainport. For us, the agreement is extra special because it is our largest agreement ever with an industrial partner. And it is an important recognition of the quality of our university.”

Beethoven and Future Chips

The collaboration between ASML and TU/e aligns with Project Beethoven’s goals. This project, financed by national and regional authorities and industry, aims to further strengthen the Brainport region and the Netherlands in the field of semiconductors, with a view to creating solutions for society and our future earning capacity. In terms of ‘talent,’ Beethoven’s focus includes strengthening relevant education and scientific research. 

With its recently launched Future Chips flagship, TU/e is placing extra emphasis on semiconductors. The university has been conducting leading international research in various areas of chip technology for more than fifty years. More than 700 TU/e researchers from 25 research groups are working on semiconductors, which is expected to grow considerably.