The European Commission has endorsed, under the EC Treaty’s rules on state aid, €232.5 million of public funding for a research and development project jointly set up by German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG, German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and US chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) in Dresden, Germany (Saxony).
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The project is aimed at establishing a research platform for nanoelectronic technologies including two new research centres where a series of collaboration research projects will be carried out. As all the requirements of the Community framework for state aid for research and development are met, the Commission considers that the aid is compatible with the EC Treaty (Article 87).
EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “I am pleased to approve aid which increases Europe’s competitiveness in the field of nanoelectronic technologies, promotes innovation and at the same time contributes to economic development in an assisted region”.
The overall project amounts to €700 million and is a public-private partnership between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the industrial partners Infineon and AMD. Both Infineon and AMD have already production facilities in Dresden and will invest a significant part of own funds. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest German public non-profit research institute focusing on applied research.
The research carried out in the field of nanotechnologies is oriented at the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) and is in line with the objectives of the EU Research Framework Programme. According to information provided by the German authorities, the objective of the project is to make the Dresden research platform the third pillar of European top-research in the field of nanoelectronic technologies, beside the French research organisation LETI in Grenoble and the Belgium research establishment IMEC in Leuven.
The project will lead to the recruitment of about 190 new researchers and will safeguard existing jobs at Infineon’s and AMD’s production sites in Dresden.
The aid amounting to €232.5 million in total includes €48 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is based on several national (federal and regional) approved aid schemes.