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Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology and Energy

Microchip Memorandum Partners Meet in RTU

28th of March

The partners of the Microchip Memorandum are meeting at Riga Technical University (RTU) to review the results of the study «Development of Semiconductor Technologies and Applications in Latvia» and agree on the next steps for the development of microchip technologies.

The meeting brought together representatives of RTU, the Solid State Physics Institute of the University of Latvia (LU CFI), the Ministry of Economics, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Liepaja Special Economic Zone Authority, «Latvijas Mobilais Telefons» (LMT) and VAS «Elektroniskie sakari».

During the meeting they got acquainted in detail with the study «Development of semiconductor technologies and applications in Latvia» developed by RTU and LU CFI scientists, which assesses Latvia's opportunities and potential to enter the global semiconductor value chain and its impact on the Latvian economy, as well as makes proposals for the development of research, education and innovation and business environment. The study was commissioned by LIAA.

In order to promote the development of the microchip sector in Latvia, creating added value for the economy, the partners plan to prepare a report to the Government, as well as a concept for a competence centre. The majority of the ecosystem participants conceptually supported RTU as the lead partner.

The requirement to establish a centre of excellence for microchips in each Member State is laid down in the EU Microchip Act adopted last September, the main objective of which is to ensure EU sovereignty and to a large extent self-sufficiency in the semiconductor market. RTU, in cooperation with the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science and the CFI of the University of Latvia, has taken the lead in coordinating the semiconductor ecosystem, made the necessary preparations and initiated cooperation talks with leading European and global players in this field. The interest of the global scientific and business community has been stimulated by the achievements of RTU scientists in the development of silicon photonics chips, including several world records in Data Centre Interconnect technologies.

RTU's strategic goal is not only to establish a centre of excellence for semiconductors in line with the EU regulation, but to go one step further and establish a chip design and testing laboratory under the wing of RTU. This would serve chip manufacturers - both global and local - as they emerge. The design and testing stage of the chip value chain currently accounts for the bulk of turnover, and Latvia has a unique advantage over its nearest neighbours in this area - competent specialists and ready technologies. However, the establishment of the laboratory requires a national investment of around €45 million over the next four years. The Minister of the Economy, Viktors Valainis, has already expressed his readiness to take responsibility for the further development of the ambitious project to establish a microchip competence centre, design and testing laboratory at RTU and to find the necessary funding - either through the reallocation of EU funding programmes or state budget investments.

The Microchip MoU partners meeting defined the next steps in attracting new international partners to the MoU and discussed opportunities for cooperation with potential foreign partners, including the organisation of visits.

In late 2022, RTU, the Ministry of Economics, the Employers' Confederation of Latvia, the University of Latvia, «Latvijas Mobilais Telefons», «Mikrotīkls», «Tet», VAS «Elektroniskie sakari» and the Liepaja Special Economic Zone Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing to promote the production of microchips for electronic devices.

RTU tiekas mikročipu memoranda biedri

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