As a result of some initiatives and actions (for example TEMPUS projects, EUROCHIP, the EUROEAST project, the East European Microelectronics Cooperation Network EEMCN, as well as individual initiatives of institutions in CEE/NIS countries), the start of education and practical training in ASICs oriented VLSI design has been successfully reached. Now approximately 25 technical universities in these countries have new design labs and offer courses and practical training. Some of them, but still not all, have design facilities comparable with the best western universities, offer training to a large number of students and routinely send student designs to be fabricated in the EU countries.
However, the impact of this education in the industry is still limited. The next step will be to establish special support centres, acting as technology transfer sites serving other academic institutions and companies interested in ASIC design and applications.
The general operation philosophy of the centres will be based on the idea of "best practice" actions introduced recently in the Fourth Framework Programme of the European Commission. For the establishment and operation of the support centres, this project includes additional actions such as funds for software support and chip prototyping, support for participation in EUROPRACTICE courses and organisation of education oriented European workshops with participants from all European countries.