Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 40 million

Official Journal Reference

L 376 of 1981-12-30

Legislative Reference

3744/81/EEC of 1981-12-07
To promote the diffusion and development of microelectronic technology and its applications, in particular in the areas of CAD for VLSI and equipment for the manufacture and testing of VLSI, and to further a balanced market and competition situation in Europe.


This programme was established after the Commission had examined, in response to the Council Resolution of 11 September 1979 on a Community action promoting microelectronic technology (Official Journal No C 231 of 13.9.1979), the possibilities and methods of coordinating national projects in the microelectronics sector. Its Workplan was developed on the basis of studies carried out during the initial phase of the Multiannual Programme in the field of data processing (MAP).

Upon completion of the programme its projects provided important input to the ESPRIT programme. The workshops known as CAVE (Computer Aided Design for VLSI in Europe) which were initiated by the programme also continued under ESPRIT. The experience gained by participating firms and academic institutions in initiating transnational cooperation had an impact far beyond the programme itself. Seven new start-up companies were formed to exploit some of the results stemming from its projects.


Two areas:

- Equipment for manufacturing and testing Very Large-Scale Integration circuitry (VLSI):
. Step and repeat on wafer;
. Electron beam for direct-writing on wafer;
. Plasma etching;
. Test equipment;

- Computer aided design (CAD) for VLSI:
. Architecture;
. Language and data structure;
. Testing;
. Device modelling.

As of 19.2.1983 the sub-areas under Equipment for manufacturing and testing VLSI were modified by Commission Regulation 397/83/EEC as follows:
. Equipment for advanced lithography;
. Equipment for dry chemical processing and physical treatment of silicon and III-V (three-five) materials;
. Equipment for testing, handling, assembly and packaging of integrated circuits.


The Commission, assisted by a Consultative Committee composed of representatives of each Member State, was responsible for the execution of the programme. Following two calls for proposals and their subsequent evaluation, a total of 15 projects were approved involving 95 participants from the Member States. Community financial support of these projects varied from 30% to 50% of total expenditure.

Four annual progress reports were submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council. A final assessment of the programme, carried out by an independent team set up by the Commission, was also submitted. As a result of this assessment, and in light of the fact that many participants considered 30% funding to be inadequate, the Commission concluded that differential funding is inappropriate and that a 50% Community contribution should be the norm for all precompetitive industrially-oriented R&D projects.
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