Delving into the heart of microelectronics of the future

IRT Nanoelec runs multi-partner R&D dissemination and development programs to make the microelectronics sector more competitive. It is based in Grenoble, France, a leading global hub for research and innovation in microelectronics. IRT Nanoelec is a consortium of 21 members from the private and public sectors.

The aim of IRT Nanoelec members is to work together to carry out research and development programs to help businesses create value and grow. Information and communication technologies professionals work in the frame of Nanoelec for the digital transition, energy transition and secure connected systems fields.

Nanoelec is one of the Technological research institutes (IRT) set by French Gouvernement since 2012 to bring together academic laboratories and industries for R&D and innovation.

Dissemination & Human capital

Nanolec provides also a technology dissemination program for SMEs and mid-caps and an education & training to prepare human capital for expected changes to its partner organizations. These two programs receive support from the French State and local authorities, especially the AURA region.

Since 2012, 238 associated partners, including 184 SMEs and 17 foreign companies have carried out projects with IRT.

Investments for the Future

Nanoelec has been operational since 2012 and is one of the eight technological research institutes (IRT) as part of the program ‘Investments for the Future’ (PIA) set up by the French Governement. These institutes are R&D operators, bringing together an ecosystem of public laboratories and private partners, each with a specific focus on a technological field of the future.


IRT Nanoelec’s organization is designed to keep pace with fast-changing markets. It model of consortium collaboration is more agile than traditional public-private R&D partnerships. Grenoble-based Leti, a research institute of the CEA, one of the major French RTO, is a major partner of the IRT Nanoelec.

> Our programs

Microelectronics innovation

  • Carry out world-class collaborative R&D in four main areas for real brekthrough in embedded systems and components: News generations of displays and image sensors (smart devices embedding artificial intelligence at the edge), silicon photonics sensors, GaN power components and digital confidence 
  • Develop and transfer these technologies to create the electronic circuits of the future
  • Give industry players access to development, prototyping and advanced characterization resources

Technology dissemination

  • Help businesses in the field of information and communication technologies meet the challenges of IoT and digital trust and security
  • Promote cooperation between SMEs, mid-caps and large companies
  • Collaborative innovation to unvail new applications

Development of human capital

An eductation & training development program to

  • Attract more young people into jobs in electronics
  • Map out needs and assess employment opportunities
  • Design training courses to meet current needs
  • Anticipate future skills required in the sector: sustainability, transversality, collaborative innovation

> Key figures

  • 21 Members
  • 258 Associated partners since 2012: 203 SMEs (39 active in 2020), 22 international
  • 54M€ average annual budget: 2015-2020 (52,4 M€ in 2020)
    220 Full Time Equivalent workforce: 2015-2020 (226 in 2020)
  • 6 startups
  • 199 patents and 43 software filed (in 2020, 26 patents, 7 software filings)
  • 472 scientific or technical publications & communications since 2015 (78 in 2020)
  • 25 european projects since 2012 –(12 active in 2020)

> Micro and Nanoelectronics, a high-potential market

Over the coming years, the entire integrated-circuit value chain will be transformed by breakthrough innovations in microelectronics. And the R&D conducted at IRT Nanoelec will provide early insight into how emerging technologies—like 3D integration and photonics-on-silicon—will affect integrated circuits. By 2020 these technologies, which are complementary to today’s CMOS technologies, will represent huge market potential, opening the door to enhanced integrated circuit features and performance.

The micro and nanoelectronics market is expected to reach €500 billion by 2025, and will represent 12% of global GDP—as an example, the global automotive industry represents 10%. The market for semiconductors for IT and multimedia applications alone is expected to be worth €300 billion per year. Other major market segments include electronic components for automotive (€100 billion), healthcare (€50 billion–€100 billion); and lighting (around €20 billion) applications.