Leuven (Belgium), October 16, 2023 — Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau (S3B), a not-for-profit organisation aiming to support and grow the semiconductor sector in Australia, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EUROPRACTICE, a one-stop-shop providing a full range of services to design and fabricate electronic circuits and smart integrated systems. EUROPRACTICE was represented by one of its consortium partners, imec.IC-link, a complete ASIC solutions provider that can manage the full product lifecycle from design to volume production. The MoU will foster collaboration and experience exchange between S3B and EUROPRACTICE contributing to semiconductor ecosystem growth in Australia and Europe.
Under the MoU, S3B and EUROPRACTICE agree to:
- Share information and best practices with regard to training, skill and talent development
- Exchange personnel, training expertise and participate as international consultants
- Explore opportunities for bilateral collaboration and mutual interest
EUROPRACTICE will provide introductions, advice and support to S3B and their clients as well as access for academic researchers and start-ups on partnered semiconductor manufacturing runs.
S3B will work closely with EUROPRACTICE to provide introductions between S3B’s clients, university tech transfer offices, and start-up incubators and EUROPRACTICE with the goal of accelerating R&D and commercialisation of new technologies.
“Over the past year, S3B has been busy with a range of activities,” said Dr. Nadia Court, director of S3B. “We have engaged with industry stakeholders to understand the challenges faced by the sector and this has helped us to refine our priorities and identify areas where we can make immediate impact. Imec.IC-link is the lead consortium partner of EUROPRACTICE, a platform which nurtures the growth of a microelectronic design ecosystem in Europe and worldwide thanks to a coordinated brokerage service, a valuable addition to the S3B ecosystem based on the feedback from our network.”
Romano Hoofman, Department Director at imec.IC-link and general manager of EUROPRACTICE, commented: “For many years, EUROPRACTICE has been a success formula in Europe. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with S3B, such that together we can lower the barrier to semiconductor circuit design and fabrication for the Australian ecosystem.”
About The Semiconductor Service Bureau (S3B)
The Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau was established in July 2022 with funding from the NSW Government through the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer to enhance the capability, workforce, market connectedness and competitiveness of the NSW and Australian semiconductor sector. The S3B is hosted as a joint venture between The University of Sydney (USyd), Macquarie University (MQ) and UNSW Sydney (UNSW). Partnering with the CSIRO, the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and with participants from across the Australian semiconductor industry, the entire consortium represents a globally networked, cross-functional grouping that spans the entire semiconductor value chain. S3B is funded annually by the NSW Government and the host universities. The S3B will work at the nexus between industry, universities and government and will build connectivity and collaboration throughout the sector in order to support commercial impact.
EUROPRACTICE is a consortium of research organisations that provides European industry and academia with a platform to develop electronic circuits and systems. For nearly 30 years, the consortium has offered affordable access to prototyping and volume production services in a wide range of technologies, including ASICs, MEMS, Photonics, Flexible Electronics, and more. For future generations of engineers, EUROPRACTICE has provided design tools and a broad training offer ensuring the growing digital economy in Europe. The consortium consists of five partners, namely imec (Belgium), UKRI-STFC (UK), Fraunhofer IIS (Germany), CIME-P from Grenoble INP (France) and Tyndall National Institute (Ireland). Over the years, EUROPRACTICE has been supported by the European Commission, which allowed expansion into new markets and continuation of the high-quality service to more than 600 academic institutions and over 300 SMEs.
Imec is a world-leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec leverages its state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure and its team of more than 5,500 employees and top researchers, for R&D in advanced semiconductor and system scaling, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communications and sensing technologies, and in application domains such as health and life sciences, mobility, industry 4.0, agrofood, smart cities, sustainable energy, education, … Imec unites world-industry leaders across the semiconductor value chain, Flanders-based and international tech, pharma, medical and ICT companies, start-ups, and academia and knowledge centers. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), and has research sites across Belgium, in the Netherlands, and representation in 3 continents. In 2022, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 846 million euro.
Imec.IC-link is part of the global R&D hub imec, and provides complete ASIC solutions, including design, access to advanced ASIC foundry technologies, assembly and test, qualification, and supply chain services. Its services are available to customers worldwide and teams are based in Europe, the USA, India, Japan, Brazil, and Israel.