(Euronext Paris), the world's leading supplier of silicon-on-insulator
(SOI) wafers and other engineered substrates, and the French Agency for
Industrial Innovation today announced the European Commission's
authorization for the funding of the strategic R&D program,
NanoSmart. The total cost of the program, for all partners, comes to
200 million Euros over five years. The Soitec Group will receive public
money amounting to 62 million Euros, with 34 million Euros consisting
of a direct subsidy, and 28 million Euros representing an advance to be
refunded-depending on the program's commercial success.
This ambitious R&D project will involve Soitec, its
subsidiary Picogiga, based in Les Ulis, France, and Leti (the
electronic and information technology laboratory), part of the public
French body CEA. NanoSmart is a strategic program for Europe, and will
develop advanced substrates for microelectronic and optoelectronic
components, spotlighting the significant role played in substrate
engineering innovation, not only by France but more specifically by
Bernin and Minalogic, the "Pole de Competitivite" near Grenoble.
As a nanotechnology research platform, NanoSmart will develop
a new generation of advanced materials to improve the performance and
electrical consumption of image processors, high-frequency
telecommunications components, power components for the automotive
industry and home audiovisual equipment and LEDs for lighting.
"We are very pleased to have received the European
Commission's approval for this ambitious and strategic program, not
only for Soitec, but also for France and Europe. Advanced substrates
represent a unique opportunity to strengthen Europe's position in the
high-tech industry, where competitiveness is based on innovation," said
Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, president and chief executive officer of
Soitec. "We are grateful to AII for its support and policy of promoting
innovation in companies of our size, alongside the large French
AII wanted to support Soitec in its new innovation cycle,
using technological breakthroughs shaping the markets of the future.
They also wanted to drive this French growth company to the level of
the world's substrate leaders. This action answers AII's core business
mission by sustaining the French industry through promoting innovation
and significant projects.
This program is an integral part of the Soitec Group's
strategic development plan for 2006-2010, unveiled on July 6, 2006.
Soitec intends to boost R&D at Bernin over this period to allow
the NanoSmart program to benefit from the presence of the production
teams in view of industrial deployment.
This partnership will help the circulation of knowledge in all
domains of nanotechnologies both for European and worldwide research.