KU Leuven and TU/e enter into chip collaboration

KU Leuven and TU/e signed a collaboration agreement in the field of semiconductor technology, focused on joint education and research. The goal is to connect and strengthen the semiconductor knowledge and innovation ecosystems around Eindhoven (Brainport) and Leuven (Mindgate) in collaboration with industry partners, writes the TU/e in a press release.

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photo TU/e

In the agreement, the two universities commit to the shared training of jointly funded PhD students to enable them to become top semicon experts. These PhD students will conduct research in areas such as AI, mechatronics, software development, materials science, plasma physics, microchip technology and optics. The universities are also establishing a seed fund to explore new research paths and will seek opportunities to attract external research funding.

Education

In addition, KU Leuven and TU/e plan to establish joint master tracks (in areas such as optics, photonics, quantum technology, semiconductor engineering and high-tech systems engineering) with exchanges of both students and researchers between the two institutions. The two universities will also explore the possibility of creating a joint bachelor’s program. In addition, there will be a Summer School each year, exclusively for 100 top students worldwide in areas relevant to semicon, which will be organized together with industrial partners.

The universities will closely involve IMEC and ASML in the collaboration and are investigating which other parties can be involved. TU/e recently signed an extensive collaboration agreement with ASML. Together, the universities will invest at least four million euros, and that amount will most likely increase through the acquisition of additional funds and the possible creation of new courses.

Place to be

“We have high expectations for this collaboration,” says TU/e Rector Silvia Lenaerts. “As top institutions in the field of semicon, each embedded in our own regional knowledge and innovation ecosystem, we complement one another perfectly.” Rector Luc Sels of KU Leuven expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating: "I am very happy that we can build on our trust-based relationship, geographical proximity, and existing collaborations with TU/e.”

TU/e has been active in the field of semiconductor technology for over fifty years. Some seven hundred TU/e researchers are currently working in this area in the university’s Future Chips flagship. In the coming years, those numbers will double. “We want to show everyone, from here to South Korea, that TU/e is the place to be for anyone that wants to do anything with chips,” said Bart Smolders, ambassador of the initiative, about the upcoming plans.

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