Tampere aims to be at the top of European chips expertise
In the future, Finland can be a significant European centre of chips expertise based on the solid foundation of cooperation between Tampere University and businesses. The European Union’s Chips Act contributes to the achievement of this goal.
In April, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the Union’s Chips Act. The aim is to increase the EU’s global market share in semiconductor production to at least 20% by 2030. This will reduce the EU’s vulnerability and dependence on foreign actors and improve the security of supply, resilience, and self-sufficiency of the chips sector.
The Chips Act will mobilise some €43 billion of public and private investments to support, for example, technological capacity building and related research and innovation in European Union member states.
The City of Tampere and Tampere University actively promote the objectives of the Chips Act at the regional and national levels. Together with Aalto University, City of Espoo, Technology Industries of Finland’s semiconductor industry group, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and partner companies they have proposed a national chips programme for Finland.
- We hope that the new Government Programme will commit to arranging national funding for the Chips from Finland initiative, says Teppo Rantanen, Executive Director of Economic Policy, Competitiveness and Innovation at City of Tampere.
Funding for centres of expertise and pilot environments
The creators of the Chips from Finland initiative are seeking a slice of the hundreds of millions of euros in the funding sources of the Chips Act. The funding would be used, among other things, to build chips competence centres and pilot environments in Tampere and Espoo.
- As soon as possible, we will apply for funding mostly for equipment that will enable the assembly, packaging, testing and verification of the functionality of complex microelectronic and photonic components and circuits. The System in Package chip piloting environment SIPFAB, which is planned for Hervanta in Tampere, could house such devices. The piloting environment would enable the design, development and testing of III-V elements-based semiconductor chips in cooperation with businesses, says Pauli Kuosmanen, Director of Research and Innovation Services at Tampere University.
Tampere has already demonstrated strong expertise in key areas of chips expertise, such as photonics and system circuit design. Tampere University is leading PREIN, a national photonics flagship platform funded by the Academy of Finland. It is also coordinating the SoC (System-On-Chip) ecosystem project, which focuses on system circuit design. The project is developing expertise in system circuit design and microelectronics in Finland and Europe together with a consortium consisting of Nokia and other companies. In the SoC Hub project, Cargotec, for example, participates in investigating how its own systems on a chip could give a competitive edge to the company. Nokia and Tampere University are also jointly developing 5G-Advanced and future 6G network technology.
- In the future, Tampere can offer expertise and development capacity to industry and businesses. By designing and piloting their own chips, the branch can gain a competitive advantage, which also means that Tampere will attract new investments, says Kuosmanen.
The strengths and prospects of Tampere’s chips expertise and 6G research will be presented to representatives of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy on 17 May 2023. Henna Virkkunen, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri and Mauri Pekkarinen, among others, will visit Tampere University and companies in the Tampere region.