European Commission approves Government supported semiconductor investment

The European Commission has approved an investment by the Irish State in Analog Devices Inc.’s €630m Project FANFARE, which will result in 600 new jobs in Limerick over the next five years, as well as an additional 520 jobs during the construction phases.

FANFARE is part of a new European Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) in the area of microelectronics and communication technologies. IPCEI are a State Aid tool that facilitate large-scale cross-border projects that significantly benefit the EU and help achieve the twin digital and green transitions by investing in breakthrough innovation and infrastructure. They combine both public and private knowledge and resources from across Europe to support projects where the technological or financial risk is too great for one company or Member State alone.

Ireland is one of 14 Member States with direct participants in this IPCEI on Microelectronics and Communication Technologies (IPCEI ME/CT), with a further 5 Member States plus Norway also involved in the project. A total of 68 projects from 56 companies form this IPCEI ME/CT. The participating Member States will provide up to €8.1 billion in funding in the coming years, which is expected to unlock an additional €13.7bn in private investments.

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said of the decision: “My Department warmly welcomes the European Commission’s approval of Ireland’s participation in the IPCEI on Microelectronics and Communications Technologies. The Irish semiconductor industry has grown deep roots over 45 years and this is an opportunity for Ireland to contribute to the development of European capacity and capability in increasingly vital frontier technologies.”

The IPCEI ME/CT, which is the first IPCEI in which Ireland is directly participating, addresses the technological performance, sustainability and societal challenges of the next decade and is expected to result in a clear innovation advantage for Europe. The IPCEI ME/CT will connect a thriving ecosystem of innovative start-ups, SMEs, large enterprises, and research organisations from across the EU, with collaboration between participants a key element of the IPCEI. Indeed, the Irish participant, Analog Devices Inc. from Limerick will collaborate with several new partners from other Member States on their project but also on the projects of other companies.

Semiconductor chips are ubiquitous in our daily lives, and they are needed in almost every vital sector and service. They have critical application for health, energy, communications, and automation and as such, are central to the European Union’s digital and green transitions. Ireland has a significant semiconductor design and fabrication history, and we have developed a strong domestic and international semiconductor industry and R&D ecosystem, with over 130 indigenous and foreign subsidiary companies across the microelectronics value chain.

Ireland’s participation in the IPCEI ME/CT is an example of our ability and commitment to play our part in realising the ambitions of the EU, outlined in the European Chips Act, to strengthen our capacity and capability in semiconductor production.

Follow Irish building magazine on LinkedIn for the latest news and updates