@eewiz: the answer to your question on the availability of 'qualified' PhD graduates, the answer is a NO! But in time, there will be some, thanks hopefully to initiatives like the one by IMEC.
@aarunaku: if you see the description of the focus of this joint effort, it is in nanoelectronics and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). A good majority of Indian engineering colleges don't even have any curriculum in MEMS, let alone nanomems! The country doesn't yet have a MEMS fab (an argument I have made on multiple occasions at Pradeep Chakraborty's blog). MEMS fabs take 1/100th of the cost of a 65nm fab to setup and truly enable a 'system-level' expertise for the engineering curriculum.
A majority of IMEC's efforts are in next generation electronics, like 3D chip design (I take part in some of that effort). I only wish a joint effort like this came about with the participation of India's engineering schools.
Dr. MP Divakar
Great initiative. In response to one of the comments towards skill force (PhDs), India has a lot of PhDs looking for opportunities to apply their skills in India. Most commonly becoming faculty had been the case, but globalization has changed this to some extent. It would be great to have a sizeable cleanroom and good infrastructure to maintain good research to attract manufacturing capabilities later.
One more encouraging news for Wipro in a day! Your question is a valid one. There are many fresh good PhDs candidates from premier institutes such as IITs, who are going out of this country to US and European countries for their research & post-doc work. These guys would now have some choices for coming back if more such research opportunities are established in India.
IMEC is probably one of the best Microelectronic research institutes in the world. A joint R&D center will be definitely beneficial for the Indian semi industry. Hope something good will come out of this JV.
"The initial focus is on systems comprising wireless, sensors and energy harvesting technologies for several vertical industrial markets."
The focus areas seems pretty good. But are there enough PhD types available in India in these areas?