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Working towards a semiconductor strategy for Sweden

Photo of five people discussing semiconductors.
A first meeting with the aim of coordinating the national agenda is booked by Erik Renström, Lund University, Stefan Christiernin, Volvo Cars, Darja Isaksson, Vinnova, Pia Sandvik, RISE and Lars-Erik Wernersson, LTH. Photo: Jessika Sellergren

How should we collaborate on a national strategy for semiconductors? The answer could be closer than we think. After the panel discussion during “Politics Week” in Almedalen, Lund University is now taking the first step towards establishing a national competence center for semiconductors.

The shortage of semiconductors is a global challenge that requires quick solutions. During the recent  Almedalen Week, the problem was highlighted by Lund University’s panel discussion on semiconductors. The debate was about the shortage of components, who might play a role in securing the national demand for semiconductors, and how Sweden could also help to improve the security of production for the rest of the EU. As well as Lund University, Vinnova – Sweden’s Innovation Authority, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), and Volvo Cars all took part.

Why, then, are semiconductors such an important component? Lars-Erik Wernersson, Professor of Nanoelectronics at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) at Lund University explains: 

“Semiconductors are found in almost all the electronic equipment we use and rely on – like mobile phones, cars, airplanes, and payment cards. But of course, the list of areas where semiconductors play an important role can be made much longer than that.”

Semiconductors are materials that are adapted to conduct, or not conduct, electricity. Silicone and gallium arsenide are two examples.

A first meeting with the aim of coordinating the national agenda

“The semiconductor shortage everyone is talking about is not about a lack of materials but is to do with manufacturing capacity being insufficient. We have too few suppliers, and the start-up phase for establishing new manufacturing of semiconductor components is long and expensive,” says Lars-Erik Wernersson.

He participated in the panel discussion together with Erik Renström, Vice-Chancellor of Lund University, Heiner Linke, Vice-Chancellor of LTH with responsibility for the faculty’s research, Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova, Pia Sandvik, CEO of RISE, and Stefan Christiernin, Head of Research at Volvo Cars. 

Before the panelists stepped off the stage at Almedalen, moderator and business journalist Thomas Frostberg urged them to get out their calendars and book a first meeting time. The meeting will take place in early September.

“Within the Swedish strategy as well as the European cooperation, Lund’s infrastructures such as MAX IV, ESS, and NanoLab, as well as its cutting-edge knowledge in circuit design and nanoelectronics, are important resources for future semiconductor development,” says Heiner Linke.

Read the entire article

See the panel discussion (in Swedish)

European Chips Act

An EU initiative intended to secure European production of, and access to, semiconductors. The budget of around €40 billion includes support for research and testing centers, for the production of advanced technology, grants to small and medium-sized enterprises, and the implementation of security systems that establish national competence centers – one hub in each country.

montage of semiconductor chip and map of Europe

Almedalen: Chip in – Whole-hearted efforts for semiconductors

Lund University arranged a panel discussion about how a national strategy for semiconductors could be coordinated.

More information about the discussion and a link to the whole seminar (in Swedish)