20/08/2021 - A renewed trust from our stakeholders

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“The IRT renewed its convention with French public authorities” Hughes Metras, Director of Nanoelec, explains in the 2021 edition of our Technical & Scientific Highlights report.

Hughes Metras, Director of the Technological Research Institute IRT Nanoelec (c) P.Jayet/CEA

The Electronics industry is experiencing a period of tension in terms of component availability, the shortage of which is affecting all products: mobile phones, PCs, digital infrastructures, automobiles, etc. As a result, in 2020, the French and European players in the semiconductor sector became acutely aware of the issues of sovereignty and relocation: Owing to their large-scale dissemination, digital systems are at the heart of our economy. This pervasiveness also makes the entire digital sector a prime target for cybersecurity threats: not a week goes by without increasingly sophisticated attacks impacting our public and private economic players.

Following on from the mission entrusted to us by the French Public Authorities in 2012, Nanoelec is addressing some of these challenges, with the aim of successfully completing collectively defined R&D programs. This open collaborative framework is the very DNA of all the IRTs and ITEs under the FIT (French Institutes of Technology) umbrella.

Nanoelec renewed its convention with ANR, the french national research agency. Thanks to this reaffirmed trust and the results obtained over the last nine years in core technologies such as chip stacking, silicon photonics and component security, we set out a range of roadmaps for the period 2021-2025, to target key applications fields for the industrial partners in our consortium.

One of our ambitions is to support our local ecosystem, specialized in the field of imagers, in the move towards smarter sensors and help them identify or anticipate new applications for their components. Our project in the field of microled displays is a good illustration of how technological innovation can help our industry bring back manufacturing activities that have been abandoned by Europe for a long time. The Smart Pixel concept, which underpins the ambitions of this project in the field of high-end displays, bears witness to the inventiveness of our partners.
Finally, we decided to set digital trust as the core of our developments, in order to address security issues of the IoT, home health care and industrial sectors.

The diversity of our consortium which, around the Minalogic hub and CEA, gathers local academic teams, key industrial players in the ecosystem including large Groups, midcaps, SMEs and startup, enables us to look to the future with confidence and ambition, while continuing with our technological development, training engineering and dissemination missions. This latter includes building R&D and scientific services offerings around the advanced physical characterisation skills of our partners operating the Large Instruments in Grenoble, around our silicon technology platforms and our innovative systems integration and testing resources.

Resilience and sustainable development are the facets of the lens through which society (including the endusers of the digital systems) analyzes and questions itself. The younger generations are challenging us on these issues. Evidence of this is the strong commitment of the GEM and Grenoble-INP students who took part in our workshop to design a green phone last February.

In 2021, we are picking up the challenge: we will implement lifecycle analysis tragetting projects at the R&D phase, evaluate environmental diagnosis tools for the Easytech projects and pursue our actions on professional equality in the electronics sector.