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Malta Enterprise signs deal with semiconductor research leaders Imec

Malta Enterprise signs deal with semiconductor research leaders Imec
Memorandum of Understanding seeks to boost local access to knowledge and opportunities

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Malta Enterprise has signed a deal with the international microelectronics research centre Imec, allowing University and MCAST students better access to Imec facilities during their postgraduate studies. The memorandum of understanding also aims to help Malta-based firms in the sector obtain Imec start-up support and expand their business opportunities. Imec, headquartered in Belgium, is a world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The EU has made a concerted effort to ramp up EU-led research and production of microchips, introducing the European Chips Act in 2023, which is expected to lead to more than €15 billion in additional public and private investment in the EU’s semiconductor sector. Malta has obtained approval to inject €20 million in state aid into Malta-based semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics as part of the EU-led initiative. The local semiconductor industry contributes around 15 per cent of Malta’s exported goods and generates around 8 per cent of all employment in the manufacturing sector. Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia expressed optimism about the deal, emphasizing the government's commitment to encouraging start-ups in the sector and making it easier for them to access European infrastructure. Jo de Boeck, Executive Vice President and Corporate Strategy Officer at Imec, praised Malta's efforts to make use of the EU Chips Act, stating that the country's investment and the setting up of a competence centre will bring a new wave of innovation.