MEDCHIP aims to develop the microelectronics training capabilities in the southern EU regions and bring them to the level of the more advanced central and northern member states in order to globally enhance the social and economical cohesion and harmonisation of Europe and also sustain the development of microelectronics engineering activities in the SME's established in such regions. The following broad sub-objectives are identified:
- in a coordinated transnational way, stimulate and consolidate microelectronics engineering culture into the University environment and then promote its penetration at the industry level in order to assure the required critical dimension in qualified human resources.
- create a permanent cultural and technology communications network connecting the educational and training institutions in order to maintain a long-term technology awareness.
MEDCHIP is a catch up training action aiming at enhancing the very large scale integration (VLSI) design capabilities of the southern regions of the Community. Academic Institutions of the southern European countries (Portugal, Spain, Southern Italy and Greece) will form a training group, together with training networks across the regions, which will undertake a series of high level training activities.
A brochure was produced describing the motivation, strategies and programme overview of the action. The first transnational MEDCHIP Workshop on 'Microelectronics Training Enhancement for Industry Competitiveness, Innovation and Modernisation in the Southern European Community Regions' was organized and the transnational survey study was completed on the current microelectronics training capabilities and future needs of the technology universities (and polytechnics) established in the Southern European regions. The MEDCHIP newsletter has been designed and disseminated through universities and polytechnics.
During the first year of activities, the MEDCHIP Working Group concentrated on the following main activities:
- Launch informal meetings among interested participants to define the required strategies and implementing policies for revamping education and training in the broad interest areas of MEDCHIP.
- Organise MEDCHIP Workshops and Interest Group Meetings, both at National and International levels.
- Start consultations to establish a multidisciplinary Training Group responsible for developing training programmes in the most efficient way bearing in mind the served population and the requirements of the local markets.
- Create information materials for dissemination.
- Develop a survey study on the current training capabilities and future needs of the technology Universities (and Polytechnics) established in the southern EU regions.
The potential of MEDCHIP will be to increase the level of human resources with high qualifications in the area of microelectronics engineering in the southern member states of the European Community, thereby ensuring the sustained involvement of SMEs. This will be achieved by providing trainees with:
- high-level training by a pool of selected European experts
- continuous, local training support by specially trained staff
- access to adequate CAD tools for implementing alternative design methodologies
- access to foundry services for alternative technologies
- access to adequate testing and characterisation equipment.