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31 May 2023

The Government promotes the Semiconductor and Chip Alliance of Catalonia to lead its development in Southern Europe

This public-private initiative will aim to attract projects from leading companies in the sector, train, attract and retain specialized talent, promote research and innovation and connect the local ecosystem to the world. The IMB-CNM is part of the governance body of this initiative, the Semiconductor and Chip Alliance, formed by several departments of the Government of Catalonia, companies and agents of the research system.

Vectorial design of a chip over a blue background


Read the complete information at the Govern's press release.

The Catalan Government has approved the creation of the Catalan Semiconductor and Chip Alliance, with the aim of promoting the growth and consolidation of the semiconductor, electronics, photonics and quantum ecosystem to achieve a competitive, innovative and sustainable economy. This is the governance body of the Alliance, which will work to attract projects from leading companies in the sector, train and attract specialized talent, promote research and innovation and connect the local ecosystem to the world.

The Alliance will be integrated into the Department of Business and Labor, which, through ACCIÓ, will provide the technical and administrative support necessary for the development of its functions. It is also driven by the Departments of the Presidency, Economy and Finance, Universities and Research, and External Action and European Union.

Other members will be representatives of companies and agents of the research system, such as the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM, CSIC); the General Council of Chambers of Catalonia (through the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce); the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS); the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2); the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO); the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Subsequently, the Alliance will be opened to other representatives of the business and industry world and ecosystem entities. With the launch of this initiative, the Government of Catalonia and these agents will collaborate to strengthen the ecosystem and the industrialization of chips and semiconductors in Catalonia.

The Government believes that the combination of geopolitical and economic aspects, together with the exhaustion of the current technology roadmap, has created a unique opportunity for innovation in semiconductor technologies. However, the current opportunity faces significant challenges in terms of infrastructure, skilled human resources, supply chain and entrepreneurship.

In this regard, the Alliance's work will focus on four specific areas through the creation of working groups:

  • Ecosystem: strengthening and developing the ecosystem and the different segments of the value chain, fostering synergies in the semiconductor industry in Catalonia and its connection to the world.
  • Talent: train and attract specialized talent to help develop innovative solutions in different multidisciplinary fields.
  • Research: promote research and innovation, bringing it closer to users to devise joint developments that respond to present and future challenges of the industry.
  • Industry and investment: to create and attract Catalonia's world-leading industry in semiconductor technologies along the entire value chain and ancillary industries.

The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia

The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia is in a development phase with high growth prospects. In fact, according to data from ACCIÓ's study Els semiconductors a Catalunya, there are currently 86 companies in the semiconductor sector, with a turnover of almost 160 million euros and employing 700 people. These workers are added to the 3,700 researchers with research projects in the field of semiconductors, so that in Catalonia this ecosystem is already made up of 4,400 professionals. According to the ACCIÓ report, 81% of the companies in the sector in Catalonia are SMEs (and 8% are startups), while 37% have an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros. In this sense, the document points out that the semiconductor industry is in the development phase in Catalonia, but has a great growth projection.

In fact, this analysis does not yet include the projects of companies announced in recent months by various multinationals, as they have not yet materialized, such as those of the U.S. companies Cisco and MPS. In addition, the Generalitat is working through ACCIÓ with a portfolio of some twenty potential foreign investment projects in Catalonia by multinational companies in this sector. If all of them materialize, they would represent an investment of more than 1,600 million euros and the creation of 1,800 jobs in the next two to three years.