Catalonia, through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the agency for the company's competitiveness of the Department of Business and Labour—is one of the 13 regions promoting the "Alliance of European Semiconductor Regions", an initiative that aims to encourage the growth and competitiveness of the semiconductor industry in Europe based on the exchange of knowledge, best practices, and cooperation between the regions.
The regions promoting the initiative, apart from Catalonia, are Bavaria, Saxony (Germany), Carinthia, Styria (Austria), Flanders (Belgium), Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (France), Piedmont (Italy), North Brabant, Overijssel (Netherlands), Aveiro-Central Region (Portugal), Moravia (Czech Republic) and the Basque Country (Spain).
Representatives from the new alliance will meet in Brussels to hold a working meeting and sign the coalition's cooperation agreement, which will primarily focus on research and innovation for developing new technologies and applications in the chip sector, promoting technology transfer, and marketing these advances. Simultaneously, it will promote talent and training centers in this area, besides collaboration and joint work between the clusters of the cooperating territories, as well as trans-regional agreements.
Shortly, the committee will start constructing the organization's foundation and positioning the European regions in semiconductors. The driving areas create a fundamental process for implementing the future "European Chips Act," presented in February 2022.
The law suggests creating a regulatory framework to enable the EU to capture 20% of the global semiconductor market by 2030. It plans to invest more than 43,000 million euros in the community to achieve this goal. Among other aspects, the European chip law contemplates investments in next-generation technologies, access to design tools and lines to create prototypes, chip certification procedures, support for startups, or the creation of international associations.
“The new alliance will primarily focus on research and innovation for developing new technologies and applications in the chip sector.”
Following March 16, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment will announce Catalonia's semiconductors strategy at an event in Brussels. The Secretary of Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, Albert Castellanos, will be attending, as well as the delegate of the Government before the European Union, Ignasi Centelles, and representatives of companies in the sector, such as Intel or the Catalan company Ideaded, in addition to the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and representatives of the European Commission.
The ecosystem of semiconductors in Catalonia
According to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment's 'Semiconductors in Catalonia' study, 86 semiconductor companies in Catalonia invoice almost 160 million euros and employ 700 people. It brings 3,700 researchers with semiconductors research projects in Catalonia to 4,400 professionals. Additionally, according to the ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment report, 81% of the companies in the sector in Catalonia are SMEs (and 8% are startups), and 37% of them have an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros. In this sense, the study points out that the semiconductor industry is still developing in Catalonia but has excellent growth projections.
The analysis still needs to include the company projects announced recently by various multinationals, such as those of the American companies Cisco and MPS, as they have yet to materialize. In addition, the Generalitat is working through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment with a portfolio of 22 potential foreign investment projects in Catalonia from multinational companies in this sector. If they all materialized, 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.