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Posted: August 1, 2007
France's nanotechnology excellence attracts USA and Japan
(Nanowerk News) More and more companies from the USA and Japan are investing and launching partnerships in France to take advantage of its cutting-edge nanotechnology expertise. France boasts several zones dedicated to advancing nanotechnology excellence, including the SCS cluster in Sophia Antipolis, the Systematic cluster in the Paris region and notably, the global micro-nanotechnology cluster Minalogic in Grenoble.
In 2007, Minalogic will strengthen its leader status by investing €80 million (approx. $108 million) into eight new collaborative projects focused on micro and nanotechnologies for next-generation semiconductors and new manufacturing processes, and it recently welcomed Hewlett-Packard (HP) as its 50th partner. Starting in September, HP will help cluster members save valuable amounts of time and money with access to highly advanced 2-TeraFlop data processors, called Virtual Nodes.
On the research side, France’s world-class nanotech laboratory CEA-Leti and the leading Japanese lithography company Nikon announced a joint effort to examine Double Patterning and Double Exposure technology for 32-nm semiconductor devices. “Leti offers an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility with all of the processes required for Double Patterning,” says Toshikazu Umatate, Executive Officer, Precision Equipment Company, Nikon Corporation. Another Japanese leader, Yamatake, is already working with Leti to develop nanotechnologies.
International companies looking to expand in nanotechnology are also choosing France for their European headquarters. The California-based analog semiconductor company Monolithic Power Systems, ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley by Deloitte, has now opened its headquarters in Bernin-Crolles. Boc Edwards, part of the Linde Group, has also moved its European semiconductor business headquarters from London to Grenoble to be closer to its electronics customers and to recruit skilled talent in the region.
France’s expertise is expected to grow on the healthcare side of nanotechnologies following the recent announcement of the opening of Clinatec, an experimental nanotechnology-based neurosurgery clinic expected to be set up in the next three years. The clinic will benefit from the work being carried out at Minatec, Europe’s largest research center in micro-nanotechnologies.
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