We attended Leti's Annual Review and toured the Minalogic competitiveness cluster dedicated to nanotechnologies and embedded software in Grenoble, France. The two-day session lifted our spirits.
The Minalogic competitiveness cluster was created in 2005 to drive cooperation by rallying resources from industry, research and education around micro- and nano-technologies and embedded systems on chip. Minalogic addresses new materials for electronics and has launched a new initiative, EmSoC (Embedded Systems on Chip), designed to master embedded software technologies.
Seven years have passed, and Minalogic has gained momentum, explained Jean Chabbal, CEO of Minalogic, in his introductory speech. Minalogic now gathers 203 members, including 156 companies (83 percent of SMEs), 12 research centers and universities, 15 local authorities, 16 economic development agencies and 4 private investors.
To date, Chabbal noted that 219 projects have been financed. Subsidies amounted to 615 million euros ($956 million) on a total of 1.7 billion euros ($2.6 billion). For each subsidized euro, companies ought to invest two euros. This is meant to boost R&D investments in small and medium companies. One project in two is led by an SME, and SMEs have raised 89 million euros ($138 million) since 2005.
Today, Chabbal continued, 27 R&D projects are finalized. “We measure every year the impact of these projects. So far, 113 patents have been filed. Projects have created 453 jobs and generated a 72 million euros ($112 million) turnover. For the period 2012-2015, we expect the project will record a 707 million euro ($1,099 million) turnover and, for the period 2015-2020, a 1822 million euro ($2,833 million) turnover.”
Chabbal continued: “These figures are modest. Job creations and profit generation will take time. Ten years are necessary before being able to assess the cluster’s efficiency.”
To reach such financial objectives, Chabbal told EETimes
that Minalogic cluster will help member SMEs export because most of their products have an international vocation. “These companies already differentiate themselves, and growth is accessible at the international level,” he said.
Chabbal said Minalogic has launched initiatives to mutualize efforts at international shows and to create interclusters relationships, notably with Dresden in Germany and potentially with US and Asian clusters. Minalogic is also trying to improve its visibility so that the Grenoble region gains attractiveness and sees international start-ups start business, Chabbal noted.