In a strategic move aimed at solidifying and enhancing Europe’s competitiveness in the semiconductor industry, the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking (“KDT JU”) marked a milestone by launching the new Chips Joint Undertaking (“Chips JU”) during a two-day event held in Brussels on the 30th of November and the 1st of December 2023. 

But what exactly is the Chips JU? 

The Chips JU stands as a European Union-driven, public-private partnership dedicated to funding innovation in electronic components and systems. Its primary emphasis lies in channeling investments into cross-border research, development, and innovation infrastructures within the Union. 

At the heart of the Initiative’s operation is the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2024 – ESC SRIA 2024 (you can access the official 2024 draft here). This agenda will serve as a roadmap, outlining ambitious goals that align with the EU’s long-term objectives, strategic policy priorities (including the European Green Deal), and global challenges such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

Crucially, the initiative establishes a symbiotic relationship with Horizon Europe, providing the foundation for pioneering semiconductor technologies. Simultaneously, the CHIPS JU complements the Digital Europe Programme, designed to fortify European digital capacity and skills in key domains where semiconductor technology plays a pivotal role (High-Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity). 

The Launch Event: priorities and calls 

The event focused on laying out the main policy and funding priorities of the initiative.  

The launch of Chips JU marked a renewed commitment to bring chip production back to the European Union, aiming for more independence from third-party States. The New Pilot Lines zero in on implementing a joint procurement model. Here, essential infrastructures and equipment for chip manufacturing will be co-owned by Chips JU and the respective Member State on a 50-50 basis.  

During the event, notable speakers like Lucilla Sioli (DG CNECT) and Jari Kinaret (Executive Director of Chips JU) highlighted competences as a key focus. To achieve the EU’s ambitious goals for digital transition, the emphasis is on training, upskilling, and reskilling the European workforce and research community. Two upcoming calls will specifically address the establishment of Competence Centres in participating States. These Centres will cover training activities, consultancy for SMEs, networking, and knowledge transfer. 

Chips JU will also feature calls on the Advanced Chips Design Platform, aiming to maximize computing scalability, efficiency, and flexibility. This platform will serve as an open solution, accessible to vendors, ensuring security and effectiveness. This approach levels the playing field for SMEs and start-ups, granting them similar resources as larger companies. 

A special spotlight was placed on new quantum technologies and Artificial Intelligence, identified as key emerging fields set to take center stage in discussions within the tech industry. 

What now?  

The Chips JU launch event provided Moverim’s team with a fantastic opportunity to explore the latest happenings in the semiconductor industry and gain valuable insights into the features and upcoming calls of the Joint Undertaking. Stay tuned by keeping an eye on Chips JU channels and ours to stay informed about the latest updates on calls and the official release of the ESC SRIA 2024.