Web based magazine, No.3, June 15, 2007

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Successful European Cooperation

 

European Microsystems Reliability Service Cluster (EUMIREL)

Coordinator: Dr. Marius Bazu [...]
National Institute of Microtechnology – IMT
P.O.Box 38-160, Bucharest, Romania


http://www.imt.ro
tel.: + 40-21-490.82.12, fax: +40-21-490.82.38
e-mail:  mbazu@imt.ro, mariusbazu@yahoo.com

Established in December 2006 as a continuation of the NoE Patent-DfMM, the European Microsystems Reliability Service Cluster – EUMIREL, will offer reliability services to the European Microsystems industry, such as: Reliability analyses (Reliability testing, Failure analysis, Modelling & Simulation), Training, Consultancy and Information about reliability issues. The initiative was prepared by a series of actions initiated in 2005-2006 by the workpackage WP7 Marketing & Dissemination of the NoE Patent-DfMM. Eventually, this activity prepared the background for launching the Service Cluster approach in the end of 2006. The general idea is to have many Service Clusters (six, at this moment), developed from Patent-DfMM internal projects. The linking element will be a Central Office, at Lancaster University, aimed to ensure the synergy of all these Service Clusters.
The partners of EUMIREL are entities from 7 European countries, which are involved in microsystem reliability: IMEC (Belgium), IMT (Romania), Fraunhofer IMS (Germany), POLIMI (Italy), CSL (Belgium), WUT (Poland), BUTE (Hungary). As one can see, three members (IMT, BUTE and WUT) are from NMS.  EUMIREL has a Steering Board formed by four persons (in the first year, from IMEC, IMT, IMS and POLIMI). A Partnership Agreement (based on Patent-DfMM contract, but containing specific provisions about EUMIREL activity) will be elaborated till July 31, 2007 and then signed by all EUMIREL partners.
EUMIREL is a Service Cluster fully autonomous in establishing its own goals and strategies of development. However, for improving the chances to gain and keep a niche on the industrial market, a central office set up at Lancaster University, as a continuation of the NoE Patent-DfMM, will ensure some basic services.
The specific model of the Service Cluster EUMIREL could be synthesized as follows: A “one-stop-shop ……with many possible entrances”: the customers can contact either one of the partners of this cluster directly, or they can contact the board of NoE Patent-DfMM that will redirect them to one or more of the best suited partners. Moreover, any customer has a veto right against any possible conflict of interest. If the customer believes that one of EUMIREL members might be a competitor of his interest, this EUMIREL member will not participate to service delivering in this case.
There are some premises which are favorable to the development of this initiative. First, this business could be a successful one due to the benefits offered to the customers: i) A one-stop access to a broad group of experts in the reliability of microsystems; ii) Work executed by experts selected from an international team (today - seven European research institutes and universities; very soon the number will increase, by adding one university and some companies) with a rich expertise on the reliability of microsystems; iii) Access to a wide range of test, reliability and failure analysis instrumentation available at different partners.
On the other hand, other elements constitutes a „competitive advantage” of this Service Cluster: i) Due to the geographical distribution of the partners, customers from all Europe could be more easily attracted, the partners acting as regional marketing centres; ii) EUMIREL is developed from many joint research projects of the network Patent-DfMM (including one Flagship Project) and many Patent-DfMM partners are involved; this means EUMIREL emerged from the “main stream” of Patent-DfMM activity and the consortium already has a history of three years of cooperation; iii) New partners could be easily included in this service cluster (Patent-DfMM members or outsiders), if they significantly increase the capabilities of EUMIREL; iv) EUMIREL is very flexible, ready to focus on one or other of the current services, according to market requirements.
EUMIREL intends to find a Niche Market formed by SMEs manufacturing microsystems with reliability requirements and users of microsystems with reliability requirements.
In May 2007, the seven EUMIREL partners together with other four partners (University of Athens - Greece, Philips Semiconductors – the Netherlands, Novamems – France and Honeywell Romania) submitted a proposal for the FP7 programme PEOPLE: „Training Network on MEMS Reliability and Testing – MERIT”. Some of these partners might become partners of EUMIREL in the near future. To be noted that three of these new partners are SMEs. Novamems is a possible competitor of EUMIREL, being focused on failure analysis, and a partnership could represent a development idea for both institutions. It would strengthen EUMIREL, where this failure analysis know-how is not present in such detail, and it would strengthen Novamens, where know-how on reliability is less present. We see Philips Semiconductors more as a possible customer of EUMIREL, and hope through the collaboration in MERIT to learn about their needs and increase the trust between EUMIREL and Philips Semiconductors.
Another possible direction for EUMIREL development will be to have links with the Technology Platforms about micro and nanosystems: EpoSS – European Technology Platform on Smart System Integration, ENIAC – European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council. Also, other Technology Platforms, which might have reliability requirements, could be contacted, such as: MANUFUTURE – Future Manufacturing Technologies, ACARE – Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe, EUROP – Robotics, etc.

Announcements

 

4M NMS workshop
24 September 2007

Piran, Slovenia
[...more details]

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4M2007
3-5 October 2007
Borovets, Bulgaria

[...more details]

 

 

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