© Bart van Overbeeke
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The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is strengthening semiconductor technology development with the new Future Chips flagship. With this initiative – also financed by the funds allocated by the project Beethoven – the university aims to accelerate the creation of solutions for the major societal, economic, and geopolitical challenges in the domain.

The Future Chips flagship is a strategic collaboration between all involved groups, centers, institutes, and departments of TU/e to accelerate the multidisciplinary development of semicon technology in terms of education, research, and valorization. In doing so, the university is committed to collaboration with its strong partners in the Brainport region and beyond.

Why this is important

To retain its semiconductor industry leadership, the Brainport Eindhoven region can’t do without the contribution of its main university.

Need to strengthen the Dutch semicon position

“There is an urgent need to strengthen the position of the Netherlands and Europe in the global chip sector,” explains Rector Magnificus Silvia Lenaerts. “With the Future Chips flagship, we are taking our responsibility, together with our strong industrial and academic partners, to make a maximum contribution to this. Given the enormous expertise that we have had for decades, TU/e is excellently positioned for this. We have a unique collaboration with the semicon companies in the Brainport region, we are the purveyor of engineering talent for these companies, and we are home to top researchers in the relevant research domains.”

“The Dutch government’s investment of 2.5 billion euros to facilitate the Dutch chip sector with Project Beethoven is a particularly welcome development. 450 million of this is earmarked for talent. We will flesh this out in a regional context, together with Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Summa College, among others,” says Robert-Jan Smits, President of the TU/e Executive Board. “This is an investment in the future economic model of the Netherlands and contributes to Europe’s sovereignty agenda. It will act as a booster of our Future Chips flagship, which we will use to build on our strengths in semicon.”

TU/e at the forefront of semicon for decades

TU/e has been conducting leading international research in chip technology for over fifty years. This includes not only the development of new types of chips but also research into the hyper-complex chip machines that must deliver increasingly extreme performance and into the materials and processes used to make microchips. At the TU/e, more than 700 researchers from 25 research groups work on semicon, a number that is now expected to grow significantly.

Given the importance chips have acquired in today’s society, countries around the world allocated huge stimulus packages to the strengthening of their chip sectors. For example, the European Union launched the European Chips Act in 2022, and a few weeks ago, the Dutch government decided to invest 2.5 billion in facilities for the Dutch chip sector (Project Beethoven), with the main focus on Brainport.