Microelectronics from Germany – Driver of innovation for the digital

Microelectronics from Germany –
Driver of innovation for the digital economy
The German Federal Government’s Framework Programme for Research and
Innovation 2016-2020
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Table of contents
Foreword2
1. Microelectronics as a driver of innovation for industry and society
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2. Guidelines and aims for microelectronics in Germany
6
3. Research and innovation
7
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
Expanding technology expertise.................................................................................................................................. 7
Identifying the foundations of future electronics.................................................................................................. 10
Tackling future tasks using microelectronics.......................................................................................................... 12
Strengthening Germany as a place to do business................................................................................................. 15
Ensuring the availability of skilled labour and young professionals................................................................... 17
Supporting networks and clusters............................................................................................................................. 18
4. Measures and instruments
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
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Targeting of research funding..................................................................................................................................... 20
Strengthening innovative small and medium-sized enterprises......................................................................... 22
Harnessing the potential of research institutions.................................................................................................. 22
Creating a foundation for innovation and investment.......................................................................................... 23
Publishing details
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MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Foreword
Microelectronics is making a decisive contribution to
the advancement of Germany’s innovative potential. As
a leading industrial nation, we will continue to require
comprehensive electronics expertise in research and
industry in the future.
With its new Framework Programme for Research
and Innovation, the German Federal Government is
strengthening and bundling its measures to expand the
microelectronics sector in Germany. The Framework
Programme fosters the potential of microelectronics to
bolster the innovative dynamics of industry in Germany and contributes to the implementation of the
new High-Tech Strategy and the Federal Government’s
Digital Agenda.
With the Framework Programme, the Federal Government is also supporting the European Commission’s
Strategy for Micro- and Nanoelectronic Components
and Systems of May 2013. This strategy aims to significantly increase value creation in the European electronics sector by 2025. One of the targets is to transform
new research findings into innovations that can then be
rapidly applied in microelectronics sectors in Europe.
Research is thus focusing on value-added chains ranging from microelectronics through to the strong user
sectors in Germany and Europe.
The Framework Programme is targeted at small,
medium and large companies in microelectronics and
related application industries as well as at universities
and non-university research institutes. It also addresses
companies and investors who wish to establish production in Germany as one of the leading locations for
innovations worldwide.
An agenda process was initiated to formulate the
Framework Programme, the strategic cornerstones of
which were identified by the Federal Government in a
position paper in June 2014. The dialogue with representatives of relevant research institutions, companies
and industry associations was a central component of
this process and will be continued over the duration
of the Programme until 2020. This will help to systematically identify relevant focal areas for research and
continually improve the framework conditions for
innovations in microelectronics in Germany.
Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka
Federal Minister of Education and Research
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MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
1. Microelectronics as a driver of innovation
for industry and society
Without microelectronics there would be no computers, no cars, no industrial production and no identity cards as we
know them today. Microelectronics is one of the most important key technologies for innovations. Either integrated
into new products or serving as the technological basis for services, microelectronics offers solutions to important
societal and economic challenges. Regardless of whether the application in question involves drives and sensor systems for sustainable and intelligent mobility, diagnosis systems for a healthy life, communications building blocks for
the digital revolution in society or industry, or grid control systems for a sustainable energy supply: microelectronic
systems are a fundamental prerequisite for competitiveness and prosperity in Germany.
In their everyday lives, most people regularly use products whose manufacture and operation significantly
depend on microelectronics. However, microelectronics is rarely visible on the outside. As a result, only
specialists are generally aware of the enormous amount
of effort that goes into this innovative technology. The
importance of microelectronics for the digitalisation
of many areas of life and for value creation and the
competitiveness of Germany is of concern to all of us,
however.
More functionalities in a smaller
volume
For a long time, the driving force for research and innovation was the miniaturisation of integrated circuits
consisting of transistors, diodes and storage capacitors
that facilitate quicker data-processing and decreasing
energy consumption. Modern smartphones not only
have more computing power, but also offer significantly
more functionalities than a PC did a decade earlier.
The unparalleled success of information and communication technologies only became possible thanks
to microelectronics as a driver of innovation and the
foundation provided by semiconductor technology.
Today, the application areas for microelectronics are
much broader: cars, houses, factories and even entire
cities are increasingly “intelligently networked”. Innovations with regard to functionalities, safety, reliability
and energy efficiency depend on electronic systems in
important user industries such as vehicle construction,
manufacturing, medical technology and the energy
sector. Future applications such as networked production in industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, electromobility and driverless vehicles can only be realised with
microelectronics and microsystems. At the same time,
secure chips and hardware will play a key role in the
protection of our IT infrastructure and our data.
Not just integrated circuits, but other components such
as sensors too are increasingly being created directly on
chips with the aim of combining as many functionalities as possible. The integration of various semiconductor chips in a single housing has also been receiving
increasing attention in recent years. Often only these
types of complex microelectronic systems are able
to offer the functions that are needed to tackle the
requirements of the future. For this reason, it will also
be necessary to develop specific expertise in the future
too to ensure that Germany’s innovative advantage can
be maintained.
Germany’s competitive position
Germany is in an excellent starting position: the microelectronics industry and its user sectors are currently
benefitting from the close innovation partnerships,
symbiotic value- added chains and a productive research
landscape in Germany and Europe. In addition, microelectronics in Germany is primarily organised in terms
of strong regional clusters that create important networks within the value-added chain of suppliers and
purchasers. The federal state of Saxony has a prominent
role in semiconductor production: a large proportion
of the chips manufactured in Europe now originate
from the region around Dresden.
In order to play a significant part in structuring the international market, Germany must continue to develop its
expertise in microelectronics in a targeted manner.
Existing strengths have to be enhanced in a long-term
approach: these exist in the areas of complex high-
MICROELECTRONICS AS A DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR INDUSTRY AND SOCIETY
quality, high-performance electronics that are used in
the manufacturing of vehicles, machinery and plant
equipment and in the implementation of energy and
climate goals. In addition, new potentials must be harnessed – such as energy-efficient, reliable electronics
and security chips. This requires joint efforts together
with industry and research where the German Federal
Government coordinates its activities with those of the
federal states and the European Union (EU).
The networking of the technological capabilities of
the microelectronics industry with the system expertise of German user sectors is unique in Europe; this
cooperation along value-added chains will continue to
be supported. The productive research landscape will
also continue to be strengthened from basic research
right through to application-oriented research, as this
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research community is a driver of innovation and an
important partner for industry.
An additional factor in the success of microelectronics
is the presence of internationally competitive economic framework conditions. In Europe, the electronics
industry is responsible for over 200,000 jobs directly,
and over one million jobs in the entire industrial valueadded chain are also dependent on this sector. Because
of their great importance for the services sector, microelectronics innovations and knowledge account indirectly for at least 10 percent of Europe’s gross domestic
product. Microelectronics is a key technology and an
important “raw material” for Industry 4.0 and for the
implementation of the Digital Agenda. Progress in
these areas is being driven by government and industry
working in close partnership.
Microelectronics is a basis for
value creation
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MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
2. Guidelines and aims for microelectronics
in Germany
Microelectronics is a basis for value
creation
One in every three chips manufactured in Europe is
from Germany. German companies are particularly
strong in sensor systems, energy-saving electronics
and chip-based security. The support provided to
microelectronics – with a focus on user sectors such as
automobile construction, machine-building and medical technology, in particular – is facilitating a high level
of value creation with knowledge-intensive products
from Germany.
Microelectronics is researchintensive
Physics and chemistry are continually opening up new
potential and driving rapid progress in microelectronics. In the future, too, we will strengthen a research
landscape in Germany that covers all areas – from basic
research through to application-oriented research.
Microelectronics fosters innovation
Forward-looking projects such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, driverless vehicles and the energy revolution are increasingly becoming reality. We are supporting
the development of innovative new types of chips that
can quickly be used in applications in these areas.
Microelectronics is systematically
relevant
We are strengthening microelectronics in research and
industry so that established and new sectors will be
able to meet future digitalisation challenges and, as a
result, preserve Germany’s competitiveness.
Microelectronics offers security
As a result of its many years of experience and its
comprehensive expertise, the German microelectronics
industry can guarantee safe and secure applications
with its products – for example, in energy technology
or the automobile industry. Safety and security are thus
an important aspect of support for microelectronics.
Microelectronics supports climate
protection
Innovations in power electronics increase the energy
efficiency of the generation and transmission of electricity and of industrial plants. They also help to achieve
greater ranges for electric cars. In short, microelectronics can help us to achieve environmental and climateprotection goals.
Microelectronics offers solutions for
societal challenges
The process of digitalisation of economic activity and
society has already begun: more and more products
and services are becoming “smart” and “intelligent”.
Only with our own expertise in microelectronics will
we be able to help to structure the process of digitalisation – i.e. preserve our digital sovereignty.
Microelectronics offers opportunities
to investors
With its strong user sectors and excellent research landscape, Germany offers favourable conditions for investors. We are ensuring that the framework conditions for
investments in new products and manufacturing capacities – including the availability of specialist personnel
– will remain competitive from a global perspective.
Microelectronics requires action
at a European level
In the context of worldwide competition, it is necessary
to act together with our partners in the European Union.
Transnational projects and a common European strategy
for investments will strengthen Germany‘s position
here.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION 7
3. Research and innovation
3.1 Expanding technology expertise
The strengths of the microelectronics industry in
Germany include intelligent and safe electronic and
microsystems, energy-efficient and compact power
electronics, and chip and system design for complex
systems. German companies and research institutions
are also successful in production technologies and
plant engineering for semiconductor manufacturing.
One goal of this Framework Programme is to expand
these strengths and develop new capabilities. This is
to be accomplished as part of five strategic research
focuses in the area of technologies that are described
here in Section 3.1. In order to harness the opportunities offered by progress in the natural sciences, research
will also be carried out on the foundations of future
technologies – as will be described in Section 3.2. At the
same time, it is particularly important to foster existing
technologies in areas where they directly strengthen
the innovative potential of user sectors in Germany –
this will be dealt with in Section 3.3.
Electronics systems with a diverse range of
functions
The electronic systems of the future will be characterised by a strong degree of miniaturisation and, at the
same time, will have to fulfil demanding requirements
as regards functionality, autonomy, network capability,
reliability, safety and energy efficiency. These multifunctional systems combine many component parts
– for example: components for data processing and
communication, and sensors and building blocks for
energy generation or energy management. This combining of digital, analogue and microelectromechanical components – all on one chip, in certain cases – is
referred to as the “More than Moore” trend by those in
the field – as distinct from increasing miniaturisation
of chip structures (“More Moore”).
The research topics here include:
∙∙ Innovative system-integration technologies at the
wafer and substrate levels and a combination of
these for highly integrated, energy-optimised, highquality electronics systems
Microelectronics is researchintensive
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MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
∙∙ Hetero-integration technologies and component
concepts for multifunctional electronics systems that
are suitable for the integration of various functions
and chip technologies and for the integration of
heterogeneous systems on and in sheets, for example
∙∙ Modularisation and standardisation of highly
integrated electronics systems for a broad range of
applications
Power electronics for efficient energy utilisation
∙∙ Innovative sensor concepts and their implementation
on a semiconductor basis
∙∙ Embedding technologies and micro-nano contacting
technologies
∙∙ Strategies for the optimisation and improvement of
housing technologies and materials for electronic
circuits and modules
∙∙ Innovative test procedures and simulation models
for system behaviour
∙∙ Models for understanding and predicting the technological and functional reliability and long-term
stability of highly integrated electronics systems
∙∙ Production-oriented measurement and test procedures for highly integrated electronics systems
Microelectronics fosters
innovation
Power electronics is an important interdisciplinary
technology. In all cases where electrical energy is used,
it has to be distributed, transformed or controlled. This
task is carried out by power electronics. Important applications include power supply in industrial processes,
drive technology, information and communication
technologies, and lighting equipment. Power electronics includes broad areas of value creation: starting off
with complex basic materials, first of all components,
then assemblies and finally entire systems are built
using suitable assembly and connection technology.
Energy efficiency is always the high-level goal here.
Power electronics systems based on silicon semiconductors represent the state-of-the-art technology
today. On the one hand, the integration density of these
systems will continue to increase; on the other hand,
research has developed many very promising precursor
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
materials that can be used to achieve a great increase in
the efficiency of the conversion of electrical energy and
of miniaturisation.
The research topics here include:
∙∙ I nnovative circuit-technology solutions for efficient
overall systems on the basis of power semiconductor
materials
∙∙ New approaches in assembly and connection technology and thermomanagement with the aim of
harnessing the potential of new materials – for
example, for higher switching frequencies and different operating temperatures
∙∙ Modelling for error mechanisms and optimisation of
the reliability at assembly and system levels
∙∙ Stronger networking and system intelligence for
highly integrated solutions on the basis of all material classes
Innovative tools for chip and system design
Today’s processors and integrated circuits consist of
up to several billion transistors in a very confined
space, with some individual structures that are just
14 nanometres wide in certain cases – for the sake
of comparison, this is less than one thousandth of
the diameter of a hair! In order to plan and design
complex chips or electronic systems, highly developed
computer algorithms and sophisticated simulations
are necessary – regardless of whether this is for “More
Moore” or “More than Moore”. These tools for design
automation and validation are the basis for the functionality of chips and systems; they take into account
physical interactions and the framework conditions
that result from manufacturing processes, for example. It is only possible to master the increasing complexity of innovative (micro-)electronics systems
thanks to the refinement and creative use of these
tools and a comprehensive understanding of technology. The effectiveness, degree of automation and
the quality of the design determine the development
cycles of industry and thus also the increasingly
important time factor for market entry.
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The research topics here include:
∙∙ Complex design rules for increasingly smaller structural widths where physical effects which did not
have an impact for larger structural widths play an
increasingly important role
∙∙ Consideration of non-functional aspects such as
power consumption, robustness and ageing effects
∙∙ Highly automated design of “mixed signal circuits”
where analogue components (e.g. in wireless communications interfaces) and digital circuits are integrated into a single system
∙∙ Use of assembly and connection technology for 3Dintegrated, highly compact systems
∙∙ Test and verification methods for mixed analoguedigital systems and 3D-integrated systems
∙∙ Expansion of the computer-aided design environment over the entire value-added chain to safeguard
the entire system at an early stage before the start of
production
Secure chips for a digital society
Chip-based security technologies and functions are the
key to secure digitalisation at the hardware level. Chip
cards that are resistant to counterfeiting and manipulation are already being used for secure identification on
official documents such as identity cards and passports.
The demand for secure chips will continue to grow due
to the strong networking dynamics in applications such
as Industry 4.0, energy supply, mobility and payment
systems and also due to the increasing numbers of
mobile end devices.
This development is being accompanied by increasing
volumes of real-time data that is provided by intelligent
sensor systems that are fitted on increasing numbers
of devices. The secure and efficient use of this “Internet
of Things” and of the services that are based on this are
only possible if the high degree of development expertise in Germany in chip-based security technologies continues to be expanded and if these technologies can be
manufactured in a competitive manner. Security chips
10 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
are a particular strength of the microelectronics industry
in Germany and Europe. However, new attack methods
are always being developed in this area that can circumvent existing protective mechanisms. For this reason, it is
necessary to continuously improve chip-based security
technologies and to implement new types of methods in
chip manufacturing.
The research topics here include:
∙∙ Methods for the unique identifiability of chips – for
example, by implementing physical fingerprints using
so-called “physical unclonable functions (PUFs)” – and
for the verification and validation of specified security
levels
∙∙ Circuit-technology measures to protect chips against
external attacks
∙∙ The implementation of authenticity protection by
manufacturers – for example, to prevent manipulation during production by a contract manufacturer
(foundry)
Existing capabilities in chip-based security technology
must be strengthened and expanded in order to successfully meet current and future challenges. Germany’s
leading position as a supplier of microelectronics can
be consolidated and expanded in the long term by the
manufacturing of cost-effective and secure chips. Chipbased security technologies are being supported primarily on the basis of the German Federal Government’s
framework programme for research “Self-determined
and secure in the digital world 2015-2020”.
Electronics production technologies and
electronics production for the future
In order to join up the value-added chain from semiconductors through to end products, it is necessary
to continue to strengthen capabilities in electronics
production technology. The development of new
production technologies demands a holistic consideration of processes, materials and systems/equipment.
This applies not just for standard components, but also
all the more for multifunctional components. German
suppliers in the areas of materials and equipment are
involved in development here to a significant extent – in
the area of lithography, for example, with extreme ultra-
violet radiation (EUV lithography) for the manufacturing
of particularly small chip structures. Many processes for
the manufacturing of microelectromechanical systems
(MEMS) have also been developed in Germany. Independence with regard to electronics innovation capability
and, in particular, the security of supply for users at competitive conditions represent further important reasons
for the ongoing development of advanced manufacturing technologies.
The research topics here include:
∙∙ Further automation of manufacturing
∙∙ Systems and processes for high-precision, reliable and
cost-effective processing of the smallest, most diverse
components to create complex, multifunctional electronic components and systems
∙∙ Measurement and testing technology to support fast
innovation cycles and high quality requirements
European value-added chains are particularly important for electronics production technologies, which
is the reason why support will be preferentially
implemented in the form of joint European projects.
Research on the sustainability and resource efficiency
of production processes and on challenges in disposal
and raw material recovery is being supported by the
German Federal Government in the BMBF’s programmes “Research for Sustainable Development – FONA3”
and “From Materials to Innovation (Vom Material zur
Innovation)” (calls: “Materials for a Resource-Efficient
Industry and Society” or “Safe Use of Synthetic Nanomaterials”) and in the departmental research carried
out by the Federal Ministry for the Environment,
Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
The strategic framework for this is provided by the
Federal Government’s “German Resource Efficiency
Programme (ProgRess)”.
3.2 Identifying the foundations of
future electronics
A comprehensive mastery and the general availability
of current technologies are of fundamental strategic importance as regards the innovation capacity of
business sectors that use microelectronics. In addition,
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
access to future technological developments must
also be ensured. The aim here is to acquire knowledge
regarding the next generations of technology and, in
this way, to put in place the prerequisites for innovative
and also for radically new solutions and applications.
This represents an important contribution to digital
sovereignty and is therefore being supported accordingly – also in consultation and cooperation with the
German Research Foundation. The European Framework Programme “Horizon 2020” also offers relevant
funding opportunities here – for example, in the
“Future and Emerging Technologies” area, where the
German Federal Government is participating accordingly in setting the research agenda.
Progress on the basis of alternative physical effects,
new materials and innovative components and system
concepts is expected from the radical development
of new approaches, i.e. the so-called “Beyond CMOS”
principle. The following research and development
topics are among those that can currently be identified
for these alternative technologies:
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∙∙ One-dimensional electronics (nanowire, carbon nanotubes [CNTs] etc.)
∙∙ Organic and printed electronics
∙∙ Graphene-based electronics
∙∙ New assembly and connection technologies (e.g. selfassembly, etc.)
One important trend in the development of electronics up to now (“More Moore”) was characterised by
increasing miniaturisation and a resulting increase in
integration density on the basis of the CMOS technology
(complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor).
Every step in this ongoing development process was
associated with higher performances and also with
rapidly falling chip prices, with the result that only
a few very large semiconductor companies – mostly
outside of Europe – are now able to produce these
highly integrated standard processors and storage
Microelectronics is
systematically relevant
12 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
components in an economically viable manner. In the
area of “More Moore”, the ongoing development of
design capabilities (Section 3.1) is of primary importance for Germany in order to be able to use the
corresponding components for innovative electronics systems. The components themselves and access
to the relevant manufacturing facilities outside of
Europe are generally available on the world market
and these are used accordingly by German companies.
Research and development in this area is not a focus
of the programme funding.
Microelectronics offers
security
3.3 Tackling future tasks using
microelectronics
The digital economy, a sustainable and reliable energy
supply, intelligent mobility and the preservation of
health will require further progress in electronics and
sensor systems. For this reason, system expertise and
innovation partnerships between the microelectronics
sector and its clients in Germany and Europe will be
harnessed and further expanded. Accordingly, funding
for research and development will be targeted at these
strategic application focal points. This will happen in
a complementary manner to the strategic research
focuses in the area of technologies (Section 3.1) and
in identifying of the foundations of future electronics
(Section 3.2).
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Towards Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 refers to the coming together of production and information technologies. It offers the
opportunity to bring the flexibility and the energy
and resource efficiency of production processes to the
next level using intelligent control and networking.
Electronics and sensor systems play a key role here:
they turn production equipment and products into
cyber-physical systems (CPS) that communicate with
one another, optimise production and interact with
humans in a safe and reliable manner. The required
hardware is based on complex microelectronics systems for the recording, processing and exchanging of
data and for controlling equipment. These “More than
Moore” systems combine sensor and actuator components, high-frequency and communication components, power supplies, power electronics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and components
from the area of optoelectronics, for example.
The data to be recorded is becoming increasingly
diverse. Important applications include the tracking
of manufactured goods, preventive maintenance of
production facilities and relevant infrastructures by
continuous monitoring, and the statistical evaluation
of process data. All of this gives rise to considerable
impetus for innovations for the services sector; other
areas such as agriculture will also benefit. Various
sensors and measurement procedures need to be used
and combined for these applications. As a result, the
complexity of microelectronics systems is increasing;
at the same time, these systems also have to fulfil
demanding requirements as regards performance,
reliability, robustness and energy efficiency.
Alongside expertise in system integration, the portfolio of basic technologies is also being further expanded in order to meet these challenges. There is a need
for research into the design of complex electronics
systems and into three-dimensional and heterogeneous system integration in a housing (“system-inpackage”, SiP) as an interdisciplinary technology, for
example. Recommendations on research needs, norms
and standards, the security of networked systems, the
legal framework and the requirements for work and
training will be developed within the framework of
the Industry 4.0 platform. According to a recent survey of trends among ICT companies, the importance
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of the topic of Industry 4.0 has increased significantly,
particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises
in Germany. Thirty-nine percent of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) reported that Industry 4.0
was a very important issue, which places them just
behind the large companies, which had a corresponding value of 50 percent.
Electronics systems for electromobility
The range of the vehicles available on the market
must continue to increase if electromobility is to
become a success story and is to make an important
contribution to climate protection. At the same time,
however, costs must be reduced. Innovations in
microelectronics are making a significant contribution here. Work is required in areas such as: new
electronic battery management systems that feed
more energy into battery cells and can extract more
from them, energy-efficient, intelligent on-board
power supplies and control devices, and highly integrated, energy-saving electrical drives. Both space and
costs can be saved by integrating control and power
electronics into engines. The prerequisites for higher
efficiencies at a system level and for more compact
assembly forms include new technologies on the
component and circuit levels – such as elements made
of the semiconductor materials gallium nitride and
silicon carbide – and innovative engine control.
Also important for the success of electromobility is
the availability of easy-to-use charging systems – with
charging capacities that are as high as possible, where
needed. These also benefit from small, light, efficient
and cost-effective power electronics systems. Noncontact charging by means of induction also requires
light, highly efficient coil systems for energy transmission.
Progress in electronics and sensor systems is not only
of benefit to electromobility, but also offer innovation
potential for vehicles with other drives that increasingly make use of electrical functions. Around 80 percent
of the most important innovations in automobile construction today are already being driven by microelectronics and software.
14 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Driverless vehicles of the future
Electronics and sensor systems in driver-assistance
systems are already reducing the risk of accidents and
protecting lives today. However, the highly or fully
automated vehicles of the future will not just further
improve road safety, but will change our mobility in a
fundamental manner: they will improve traffic flows on
motorways and similar road types and in cities too, and
will deliver greater energy efficiency on the vehicle and
traffic-system levels. Noise and air pollution will also be
reduced. In addition, driverless vehicles will make mobility more accessible and allow older people, in particular,
to make use of road transport. In this way, new services
in personalised mobility will be opened up. Electronics
also unlocks the engineering synergy potential of electrical and driverless road transport.
Microelectronics supplies the technological prerequisites here. Detection of the surroundings that works in a
reliable manner under difficult surrounding conditions
and in complex traffic situations will require further
research. The focus here is on recognition of the surroundings using compact sensors and sensor data
fusion/interpretation in real time by powerful control
units. Automatic functions in vehicles also require a high
degree of reliability as well as security against unauthorised access. Chip-based security technologies are a
prerequisite for providing this security.
In addition, autonomous electric vehicles can be integrated into intelligent grids for decentralised energy supply
or embedded into future urban infrastructures that will
offer solutions to the challenges of demographic change
and urbanisation. Complex sensor, electronics and communication systems are also necessary for this purpose.
The market potential is considerable: the worldwide
demand for semiconductors for automobile electronics
had already increased to almost 35 billion dollars by
2014, and annual growth of around 4.5 percent is expected in the next five years.
city system. The task of intelligent electricity grids (or
“smart grids”) is the integration of alternative energies
into distribution grids, in particular. For this purpose,
the status of the grid needs to be detected and controlled to an increasing degree.
In particular, power electronics is a key technology
for the successful connection of regenerative energy
sources and storage systems to the public grid. This
task requires electronics systems for voltage conversion
and feeding-in of energy from photovoltaics and wind
power, for the integration of energy storage systems,
and for ensuring grid stability. “Virtual power plants”
and intelligently networked generation and loads also
require increasingly intelligent electronic systems. The
efficient functioning of the grid needs to be ensured
here at all times; new technologies for increasing security and reliability and redundancy concepts for the
highest levels of availability need to be developed here.
These topics of sustainable and efficient energy supply
have already been tackled in the German Federal
Government’s “Research for an environmentally sound,
reliable and affordable energy supply” energy research
programme. Microelectronics can make significant
contributions here, as a small increase in efficiency in
an individual device can multiply to become a large
saving in the overall system: for example, the modern
power electronics in current converters could reduce
energy consumption in the EU by around 16 terawatt
hours (TWh) per annum, thus saving about 3.7 million
tonnes of CO2 emissions each year – which corresponds
to approximately half of the annual electricity consumption of Denmark. In this way, the promotion of
microelectronics supports German industry in the area
of climate-friendly technologies, and thus also contributes to climate protection.
Electronics systems for a healthy life
Germany is currently the third largest producer of
medical technology worldwide and is also a leading
supplier of electronic system solutions for health care.
A sustainable and efficient energy supply
Germany is one of the pioneering countries worldwide
in electronics for renewable energies. The feeding-in of
renewable energy sources presents new challenges to
the electricity grid and the controlling of the electri-
The turnover of German companies in this area has
been continually growing at two to three times the rate
of gross domestic product since 1995; it is now significantly over 20 billion euros per annum. This sector is
mainly characterised by medium-sized companies.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Against the background of aging societies worldwide,
the increasing individualisation of medical care, and
– in particular – as a result of new technical potential
(e.g. increasing miniaturisation, autonomy and communication for electronic components), this is a market
where long-term growth can be predicted. At the same
time, competitive pressures are also growing. Germany
is able to respond to this with a very active, well-networked and industry-oriented research landscape.
After all, the innovative capacity of German companies
is based on the fact that the national research, industrial and supply landscapes cover the entire value-added
chain – from basic research right through to marketing
as medical products and the use of these products in
human health care.
Electronics is entering into more and more areas of
health care. As a key technology, it is promoting the
development of improved – i.e. more intelligent or
better networked – medical products (“smart health”).
These range from electronics-based diagnosis and
15
treatment systems for in-patient use in hospitals
through to wearable energy-efficient electronics and
sensor systems for mobile diagnosis and therapy on
and in the human body. Medical applications present
special requirements with regard to biocompatibility,
energy consumption, reliability and integration capability, for example.
3.4 Strengthening Germany as
a place to do business
In recent years, the German microelectronics industry
has concentrated on its technological strengths – partly
as a result of international competition.
Instead of manufacturing standardised mass products,
companies in Germany have specialised in complex,
multifunctional microelectronics and sensor systems
for areas of application such as automobile technology,
Microelectronics supports
climate protection
16 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
secure identification and transactions, energy generation
and distribution, and industrial automation. In addition
to actual manufacturers of semiconductors, nowadays
there are also successful companies without their own
production capacities that use contract manufacturers.
There are also important contract manufacturers in Germany, so-called foundries that produce the latest semiconductor components in a flexible, individual manner
in accordance with customer-specific requirements.
Also of particular importance for Germany as a location
for innovation is the wide range of application-oriented
research, including the transfer of research results into
applications. The institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are at the forefront of these efforts. The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics combines the expertise of
eleven institutes with a total of around 3,000 employees,
together with five guest institutes from other Fraunhofer
Groups in related subject areas. This group is an important advantage for Germany as a location, particularly
for small and medium-sized enterprises that are driving
Microelectronics offers solutions
for societal challenges
progress with innovations based on microelectronics
(Section 4.3).
In this way, leading industrial sectors and companies
with R&D expertise have emerged in Germany that have
been able to achieve significant market successes with
highly innovative products and services that are based
on electronics systems. This includes both the supplier
sector (materials, components and plant equipment)
and user sectors in Germany. Germany has a very good
competitive position on a global basis with regard to the
range of coverage and the quality of all these innovation
factors.
The German Federal Government will expand the
exchange process with companies, advocacy groups and
research institutions in the area of microelectronics.
An important element here is dialogue with representatives of various sectors, both in the context of the
expert discussions of the Federal Ministry of Education
and Research (BMBF) on technological developments
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
and future requirements as part of the Microelectronics
agenda process and also within the framework of dialogue between the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs
and Energy (BMWi) and industry.
Microelectronics makes the digitalisation of industry
and commerce possible in the first place. However,
technological expertise is not the only requirement:
framework conditions, standards and regulations also
play a decisive role in the success of German industry
in the global competitive environment. These are to
be discussed and advanced within the framework of
the new Industry 4.0 platform. The BMWi, BMBF and
leading representatives from industry, industrial associations, trade unions and the research community are
represented here.
3.5 Ensuring the availability of skilled
labour and young professionals
The availability of highly qualified employees is a
decisive factor in the success of Germany as a location
for industry. As a high-tech sector, microelectronics
can only be successful in the international competitive arena if it can find and keep specialist staff. At the
moment, there is no general lack of specialist personnel, but there are already significant bottlenecks in
technical professions. This applies not just to academic
qualifications, but also increasingly to those with vocational qualifications. In the coming years, this situation
will become significantly more acute.
The BMBF is fostering support for the next generation of
academic personnel. As part of funded joint projects, students and doctoral candidates are working closely with
industrial partners and, in this way, are acquiring specialist knowledge and interdisciplinary skills. This will help
to smooth their transition into working life, and can
also make it easier for them to enter the microelectronics industry. The BMBF is active in trying to encourage
interest in microelectronics among young scientists at
an early stage – for example, with the “INVENT a CHIP”
competition, where pupils in schools have been encouraged to submit their own ideas for microchips since
2002.
17
The Federal Government has set up the “Alliance for
Initial and Further Training 2015-2018” together with
the Federal Employment Agency, industry, trade unions
and the federal states. The common goal of all partners
here is to strength dual vocational training and to promote the equal importance of vocational training and
academic education. The Alliance partners have agreed
on important measures that will enable and encourage
more young people to take up vocational training.
The profiles of various professions will also be examined on a continuous basis in the context of digitalisation, and training regulations will be updated with
relevant content on electronics, for example. One
current example of this is the inclusion of various
aspects of power electronics in professions relating to
vehicles as part of the process of developing skills in
electromobility.
Cross-sector challenges such as ensuring the availability of specialist personnel and requirements relating to
training are to be addressed by “The Future of Industry” alliance, which is currently in its initial stages. The
BMWi founded this platform in 2015 with 13 additional partners from industry with the aim of preserving
and strengthening the industrial core of German
industry and commerce. Microelectronics will also
benefit from the results of these efforts.
The Federal Government’s concept for specialist personnel also provides for enticing additional specialists
to come to Germany from other countries. For example, the “Make it in Germany” welcoming portal provides information about living and working in Germany
and offers tips to employers. The Federal Government
is also supporting immigrants and other interested
persons with its “Working and Living in Germany”
telephone hotline.
The foundation for better integrating people with
foreign professional qualifications into the employment market was put in place by the Federal Government with its initiative for a Federal Recognition Act
for foreign qualifications, which came into force on
1 April 2012 and has proven itself as an instrument for
attracting specialists. This Act gives specialists from
abroad the right to have their professional qualification
examined as regards its equality of status with a comparable German profession.
18 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Tailored information and advice are significant factors
that contribute to successful recognition in such
cases. The “Recognition in Germany” Internet portal
(www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de), which is operated on behalf of the BMBF, helps people to quickly
find the relevant responsible body. In addition, the
BMWi supports the “BQ portal – The information portal for foreign professional qualifications”: this online
knowledge and working platform (www.bq-portal.de)
provides comprehensive information on foreign qualifications and professional training systems for the
relevant responsible bodies. The BQ portal also helps
companies to evaluate and assess foreign professional
qualifications.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly
affected by bottlenecks with specialist personnel. The
BMWi’s “Centre of Excellence on securing skilled labour”
provides help with finding and keeping specialist staff.
The BMWi’s “Passgenaue Besetzung (Well-matched
recruitment)” programme aims to help SMEs to fill
vocational training positions and to create a welcoming
environment for foreign trainees and specialists.
With these activities, the Federal Government is helping the microelectronics sector in particular, which
is attracting both companies and specialists/scientists
from all over the world to Germany.
3.6 Supporting networks and
clusters
Nowadays, innovations in microelectronics are almost
always the result of cooperation between partners from
various disciplines and sectors. Networks and clusters
offer a suitable framework in this regard: as a result
of their network activities and lobbying for common
interests, they provide their members with an opportunity to exchange information on their experience and
help them to achieve advances with innovations more
quickly and to become more successful on the marketplace. This potential is to continue to be harnessed at
both state and federal level.
The approximately 100 clusters that have been accepted into the BMWi’s “go-cluster” programme are pio-
neers in innovation and reflect the high level of expertise present in Germany in many sectors and areas of
technology.
In addition, the BMWi is actively supporting research
cooperation within industry and also between industry
and the research community with its Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM), which is open to all
technologies and sectors. As part of a ZIM cooperation
network, companies – together with participating
research institutions – are developing a technological roadmap that the stakeholders will use to achieve
their joint goals. Research and development projects
are being initiated by this network. Since the start of
the ZIM in July 2008, over 300 networks have been
supported. Almost 4,000 companies and just under 500
research institutions have participated in this activity.
Microelectronics as a subject area is playing a major
role here: up to now, around 6 percent of the networks
can be assigned to the technology areas of “Electronics,
measurement technology, sensor systems” and “Microsystem technology”.
Strong regions
Germany has strong regions in the area of microelectronics that have a high profile in the European and
global arenas. Under the banner of “Deutschlands
Spitzencluster – Mehr Innovation. Mehr Wachstum. Mehr
Beschäftigung. (Germany’s excellence clusters – More
innovation. More growth. More employment.)”, the
BMBF is supporting the transformation of regional
innovation potentials into permanent value creation
by means of its excellence cluster competition. The
BMBF is promoting international cooperation within
these clusters with top specialists worldwide within the
framework of “Internationalisierung von Spitzenclustern, Zukunftsprojekten und vergleichbaren Netzwerken
(Internationalisation of excellence clusters, future projects and comparable networks)”. This is increasing the
innovation potential of the research community. At the
same time, these measures are also strengthening the
competitiveness of companies and helping to advance
solutions to global challenges.
For example, the federal state of Saxony – which is now
the most significant location for microelectronics and
nanoelectronics in Europe – is benefitting here. The
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
microelectronics sector in the region between Dresden,
Freiberg and Chemnitz currently generates a turnover
of around 6 billion euros per annum with its approximately 25,000 employees. With eleven Fraunhofer
Institutes, five Leibniz Institutes and three Max Planck
Institutes, this region is also one of the most important
research locations in eastern Germany.
The “Silicon Saxony” cluster has also contributed to the
success of microelectronics in Saxony: it was founded
in the year 2000 and now includes over 300 manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, universities, research
institutes and public-sector bodies in the microelectronics and nanoelectronics sector in Saxony. Up to now,
the BMBF has funded two subject-oriented excellence
clusters in Saxony: the “Cool Silicon e. V.” cluster on
energy-saving microelectronics and the “Organic
Electronics Saxony” cluster. The BMBF will be promoting the internationalisation of “Organic Electronics
Saxony” – alongside “Cluster Leistungselektronik im
ECPE e. V.” and other clusters – from 2016 onwards.
Strong networks in the area of electronics have also
been established in other regions: the cross-sector
“microTEC Südwest” cluster, which includes over 350
companies and research institutions in the state of
Baden-Württemberg, deals with microsystem technology for production, mobility, health and energy. The
BMBF has supported “microTEC Südwest” as part of the
excellence cluster competition. The BMBF is fostering
research and development in automation technology
and mechatronics within the “it‘s OWL” excellence
cluster, which brings together partners from mechanical engineering and the electrical, electronics and
automobile supplier industries in Ostwestfalen-Lippe.
The focal point of the “Forum Organic Electronics”
excellence cluster in the Rhine-Neckar region is the
development of printed electronics as a future technology.
Some clusters are also benefitting from funding from
federal states that are running their own support
programmes. The Bavarian cluster initiative “ClusterOffensive Bayern” is supporting the “Cluster Leistungselektronik (Power electronics cluster)”, for example,
which covers the entire innovation and value-added
chain in the area of power electronics.
19
Networking of expertise
With its “Twenty20 – Partnership for Innovation”
funding programme, the BMBF is supporting transregional and multidisciplinary research cooperations.
With this framework, the “fast – fast actuators sensors
& transceivers” consortium – which networks 50 partners from nine federal states in Germany in research
projects – was established in 2014 in order to improve
the real-time performance of sensors and actuators
for applications such as improved driver-assistance
systems.
In 2001, the “edacentrum” was founded in Hanover,
which bundles the research and development resources
of more than ten university institutes on the subject of
EDA (electronic design automation) in Germany and
supports these resources in cooperation with industry.
Progress in the automated design of electronic circuits
is being achieved as part of joint research projects.
European cooperation between high-tech locations is
also being strengthened by industry-driven European
initiatives such as “Silicon Europe”, which networks the
“Silicon Saxony” cluster with other regional clusters
in microelectronics and nanoelectronics in Belgium,
France, the Netherlands and Austria.
In the area of power electronics, the “ECPE European
Center for Power Electronics e. V.”, an industry-led
European research network, brings together around
70 companies and 70 university and research institutes from all over Europe. The ECPE is supporting the
pre-competitive joint research within the “ECPE Joint
Research Programme” and also serves as a platform for
participation in public research projects at national and
international level, as a centre of expertise, and as an
advocacy group.
The expertise of German trade associations is also
being harnessed with the aim of strategic further development of microelectronics: the associations involved
include ZVEI – the German Electrical and Electronic
Manufacturers’ Association, the GMM VDE/VDI Society
of Microelectronics, Micro and Precision Engineering,
the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement and the German
mst-Netzwerk Rhein-Main e.V.
20 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
4. Measures and instruments
4.1 Targeting of research funding
Research funding is an important element in the
expansion of existing expertise and the harnessing of
new technologies and applications in microelectronics.
It accelerates innovation processes along the entire
value-added chain and aims to achieve sustainable
value creation in Germany and Europe. Its effectiveness can be further improved by the coordination of
research funding with European programmes and by
international cooperations.
Expansion of national funding
With its new High-Tech Strategy, the German Federal
Government has set itself the goal of harnessing and
strengthening the potential offered by microelectronics
in cooperation with industry and the research community. Focal areas for the targets of the associated research
funding include societal needs and technological goals
Microelectronics offers
opportunities to investors
in Germany and Europe, and also global developments
in microelectronics and its applications. Working on
the basis of the Federal Government’s position paper
on microelectronics of June 2014, thematic focuses for
funding were developed as part of an agenda process – in
close cooperation with the relevant research institutions,
companies and industrial associations.
The measures here range from workshop discussions
that take a broad approach – for example, for future
manufacturing technologies for microelectronics
– through to discussions on individual topics with
specialists. In particular, research needs with regard to
electronics and sensor systems for use in Industry 4.0
were discussed with the participation of stakeholders
from the areas of mechanical and plant engineering.
The continuous analysis of ongoing research projects –
in power electronics, for example – is an additional element in the BMBF’s strategy development. The BMBF
has discussed future prospects and research projects in
one-dimensional electronics – which offers potential
for innovative electronic and sensor systems – within
MEASURES AND INSTRUMENTS
the context of expert discussions with the participation
of the German Research Foundation, for example.
Focal areas for research funding that are to be further
developed, prioritised and taken into account in discussions over the duration of the programme up to 2020
have already been specified in Section 3. This funding
will primarily be granted to joint and individual projects. As part of selection decisions regarding individual
funding measures, the opportunities for applications
and the multiplier effect for Germany as a location
will be taken into account alongside the quality of the
research approach. The BMBF is planning to make
up to 400 million euros available for the Framework
Programme for Research and Innovation in Microelectronics over the duration of 2016 to 2020.
Coordination with European measures
Between 2014 and 2020, the European “Horizon 2020”
Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
will support the positioning of European economies by
strengthening key technologies, for example. In addition,
the European Commission published “A European Strategy for Micro- and Nanoelectronic Components and
Systems” in 2013. The core aims of this document are a
significant increase in Europe’s world market share in
semiconductors, focussing on European strengths and
leading expertise clusters, and support for the growth
of small and medium-sized enterprises.
With this Framework Programme, the Federal Government is supporting the European Commission’s
strategy for micro- and nanoelectronic components
and systems. The European programmes and strategies
form a framework that is built upon by the measures implemented by individual member states. The
German Federal Government’s aim is to strengthen
the national microelectronics sector as a part of the
European innovation system in order to access new
markets with innovative and sustainable products and
to significantly increase value creation in microelectronics in Germany and Europe by 2020.
Of particular importance for the area of microelectronics is the “Electronic Components and Systems for
European Leadership” (ECSEL) research initiative,
which is co-financed on a European basis and for which
21
the EU has earmarked around 1.4 billion euros between
2014 and 2020 from “Horizon 2020” funds. As part of
ECSEL, application-oriented and technology-oriented
projects along the entire value-added chain are being
funded with partners from at least three countries.
In particular, ECSEL offers an opportunity to support
research-driven pilot lines that prepare the way for
the manufacturing of new products at the interface
between research and value creation in Europe. The
European Union and the participating member states
are financially participating in ECSEL in equal parts. In
its research funding, the BMBF will contribute to ECSEL
with the focal points presented in this programme and
will thus significantly increase the funding for German
stakeholders from ECSEL.
France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – with
the support of Spain, Hungary and Turkey – have
initiated the “Pan-European partnership in micro- and
nanoelectronic technologies and applications“ (PENTA)
EUREKA cluster, which will run for the duration of
2016 to 2020, with the aim of further strengthening
European research cooperation in selected areas
beyond the scope of ECSEL. Within PENTA, there is
the additional opportunity to advance strategically
focussed research topics that could not be covered to a
sufficient extent in ECSEL due to the large number of
participating funding agencies. In addition, the PENTA
cluster is focussing its attention increasingly on applications in automobile electronics, medical technology
and Industry 4.0 and is facilitating projects with two or
more partners from two EUREKA countries.
The participation of German companies and research
institutions in PENTA is being supported on the basis of
this programme. To ensure that better chances of participation are created for SMEs both in ECSEL and in PENTA,
targeted information measures have been established
within the BMBF’s funding advice services (Section 4.2).
Cross-national cooperation is important in order to
consolidate expertise – for example, with France with
regard to application-specific CMOS technologies
and with the Netherlands on lithography and production technologies. In this regard, the initiative of
the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on the intensification of
cooperation with European research institutions such
as CEA-Leti in France, IMEC in Belgium and TNO in the
Netherlands is to be welcomed.
22 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
4.2 Strengthening innovative small
and medium-sized enterprises
Small and medium-sized enterprises are drivers of
innovation and an important interface for the transfer
of scientific findings and research results into industry.
Many of these companies are already market leaders
today in specialised areas in sensor systems, actuators, assembly and connection technology or system
integration, and they also work successfully in innovation partnerships with large companies and research
institutions. With their expertise, they have played a
crucial role in the development of Germany to become
a leading technology location for industrial automation, medical technology and other applications of
microelectronics.
The BMBF and BMWi will continue to strengthen
innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. With
its “Central Innovation Programme for SMEs” (ZIM),
the BMWi has been funding research and development
in all areas of technology – including microsystem,
electrical, measurement and sensor technology – since
2008. In addition to its thematic funding programmes,
the BMBF has been offering quick and easy access to
support for SMEs with its “KMU-innovativ” funding initiative (Funding for Innovative SMEs) since 2007. Open
selection of subject areas and comprehensive advice are
intended to make this measure even more attractive for
companies.
Another goal of the BMBF is more intensive participation of SMEs in German and European support
programmes that focus on electronics systems. The
particular strengths of SMEs are to be taken into
account when national funding measures are being
initiated. In ECSEL and other European programmes,
it is intended that advice services will ensure that
SMEs will be able to deal with the complex framework conditions for European funding. The “PENTA”
EUREKA cluster will support SMEs with networking
events and advice services, and will also offer a simpler application procedure. As SMEs often do not have
their own semiconductor production facilities, the
BMBF also supports research in technology platforms.
These supply established manufacturing processes and
subcomponents that companies can use and combine
in new ways based on a modular principle. In addition,
participation in ECSEL projects in particular opens
up new opportunities: for example, SMEs that do not
have their own semiconductor production can use a
broad spectrum of technologies for the development of
electronics and microsystems that would not otherwise
be available to them.
4.3 Harnessing the potential of
research institutions
One particular strength of the research landscape in
Germany is its comprehensive spectrum of capabilities
and infrastructures that are targeted at both basic and
application-oriented research. Microelectronics and
nanoelectronics are firmly established at the major
research institutions such as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Max Planck Society, Helmholtz Association and
Leibniz Association. For example, the Research Centre
Jülich is carrying out research on topics such as future
electronics materials and assembly elements within the
Helmholtz Association’s “Future Information Technology (FIT)” programme. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
has established performance centres such as the
centres for functional integration in nanosystems and
microsystems in Dresden and for electronics systems in
Erlangen. The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics
was founded back in 1996. With its eleven institutes,
this group is an important partner for industry in the
implementation of the strategy for the strengthening
of microelectronics expertise in Germany. In addition,
the group has research infrastructure such as clean
rooms, which are an important location factor for
SMEs in particular. With the aim of ensuring that the
Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics remains an
excellent partner for industry even in the case of increasingly complex research tasks and customer requirements, closer cooperation – for example, in the form of
a distributed “research foundry” – is being targeted so
as to strengthen the group and thus also Germany as a
location.
There is a diverse range of activities in basic and applied
research at universities and other third-level institutions.
The BMBF is supporting applied research directly in the
form of joint projects with commercial industry, while
basic research at universities is funded by the BMBF
through the German Research Foundation. The excel-
MEASURES AND INSTRUMENTS
lence initiative of the Federal Government and the
federal states is also strengthening top-class research
in microelectronics. One example here is the “Center
for Advancing Electronics Dresden” (cfAED), a centre of
excellence that was set up at the Technische Universität
Dresden (TUD) in 2012.
Research carried out in joint projects between industry and research institutions is the core of the BMBF’s
support of microelectronics. Other opportunities for
transfer exist in non-subject-specific programmes by
the BMWi and BMBF – e.g. within ZIM or the VIP+
measure, which helps researchers to identify the innovation potential of their basic research and to transfer
it to possible applications in transfer projects. As part
of the EXIST programme, the BMWi is also providing
support for entrepreneurs and for spin-off companies
at universities and non-university institutions.
23
4.4 Creating a foundation for
innovation and investment
The microelectronics industry, which has over 50 years
of successful history, is still growing globally today at a
rate of around 6 percent per annum (cf. “Mikroelektronik – Trendanalyse bis 2019 (Microelectronics – Analysis
of trends up to 2019)”, ZVEI) and will continue to gain
in importance as a result of advancements in digitalisation. Technological expertise and sovereignty in
microelectronics are essential for the implementation
of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and driverless
vehicles.
Complex electronics systems are among the strengths
of the German microelectronics industry, which serves
growth markets both in Europe and worldwide.
Microelectronics requires action
at a European level
24 MICROELECTRONICS FROM GERMANY – DRIVER OF INNOVATION FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Microelectronics companies and their customers are
benefitting from the close innovation partnerships,
symbiotic value-added chains and a productive local
research landscape.
Microelectronics is a very research- and investmentintensive field. In recent years, companies based
in Germany have successfully expanded their core
competences. Good support must be provided for
this growth and for the harnessing of quickly growing application areas. Germany can only remain an
attractive location for innovation and investment
in microelectronics in the international competitive
environment if appropriate measures are coordinated
with one another.
An important element on a national level is cooperation with federal states where successful companies
and clusters are based. For example, the BMBF is
cooperating with the federal state of Saxony in the
ECSEL electronics initiative: Saxony is contributing to
funding for projects by Saxony-based participants in
ECSEL up to 2024 with total additional funds of up to
200 million euros, and has already supported a number of strategic pilot-line projects. The prerequisites
for the participation of other federal states in ECSEL
are already in place.
Within the framework of its rules for the funding of
“Important Projects of Common European Interest”
(IPCEI), the European Commission has been facilitating support since 2014 for transnational projects that
aim to increase economic growth, employment and
the competitiveness of Europe. The Federal Government supports this new measure as an important strategic instrument for the promotion of innovation and
investment. The Federal Government regards IPCEI as
an opportunity to respond to distortive practices by
other regions of the world in this technological area. A
number of companies in the microelectronics sector
in Europe are involved in dialogue with the European
Commission and national governments with the aim
of preparing a concrete suggestion for an IPCEI for
microelectronics.
Standards and platforms are an important additional
element in securing the innovative advantage of the
German microelectronics industry. For this reason,
the Federal Government is supporting initiatives
such as the Industry 4.0 platform and standardisation
measures by the German Institute for Standardization
(DIN). The BMWi previously initiated funding programmes such as “Innovation with Norms and Standards” (INS) and “Transfer of Research and Development (R&D) Results through Standardization” (TNS)
with the targeted aim of promoting innovation by
means of norms and standards; these two programmes will be replaced by the “WIPANO – Knowledge
and Technology Transfer via Patents and Standards”
funding programme from 2016 onwards.
MEASURES AND INSTRUMENTS
Legal notices
The measures presented in the Framework Programme
are the responsibility of the respective departments
and are being financed – subject to the availability of
budgetary funds – within the framework of the valid
budgetary and financial planning principles (including
employment positions / established posts).
This funding fulfils the conditions of Commission
Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring
certain categories of aid compatible with the internal
market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the
Treaty (“General Block Exemption Regulation“ - GBER,
Official Journal L 187 of 26 June 2014, p.1) and is thus
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requirement of Article 108(3) of the Treaty. In accordance
with Article 1 items 4 a) and b) of the GBER, the payment
of individual aid in favour of an undertaking which is
subject to an outstanding recovery order following a
previous Commission decision declaring an aid illegal
and incompatible with the internal market shall be
excluded.
25
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April 2016
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