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21 January 2019

Sofradir and ULIS investing €150m in French Nano 2022 program as part of EU’s IPCEI initiative on microelectronics

France’s Sofradir of Palaiseau (near Paris), which develops and manufactures infrared (IR) detectors for military, space, scientific and industrial applications, and its subsidiary ULIS of Veurey-Voroize (near Grenoble) are participating in the Nano 2022 initiative.

This follows the European Commission’s approval on 18 December of the ‘Important Project of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI), a joint project by France, Germany, Italy and the UK to give €1.75bn ($2bn) in public support for research and innovation in microelectronics.

Nano 2022 is France’s initiative within the cross-border program that will support developments in nanotechnology (a market sector of strategic importance for the future that includes applications such as smart sensors). The Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, where Sofradir and ULIS have operations, is contributing €35m ($40m) to support Nano 2022.

Sofradir makes cooled infrared (IR) detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe), indium antimonide (InSb), quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology. ULIS makes uncooled IR sensors based on amorphous silicon.

Sofradir and ULIS, whose infrared technologies are used in applications ranging from space observation and environmental monitoring to security surveillance and predictive maintenance, will invest €150m ($171m) over 2018-2022 in the Nano 2022 initiative in order to develop next-generation infrared detectors.

“Infrared technologies can offer the necessary solutions for improving assisted living, mobility, energy efficiency, security and environmental monitoring, which are all crucial societal needs,” says Jean-François Delepau, chairman & CEO of Sofradir and ULIS. “As a result of our investment, equipment manufacturers will benefit from the ease-of-use and performance these new products will offer.”

Nano 2022 will enable ULIS to develop the next generations of infrared detectors to address trends in autonomous systems for smart buildings (workspace management, energy savings), road safety and in-cabin comfort of vehicles. It also enables Sofradir to develop the very large dimension infrared detectors needed for space and astronomy observations as well as compact and light sensors that can be used in portable devices and on drones. Nano 2022 contributes to the funding of the pilot lines required for developing these technologies and products.

Sofradir and ULIS are participating in Nano 2022 alongside other companies based in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, including STMicroelectronics and Soitec.

The IPCEI framework develops key cross-border R&D and infrastructure projects aimed at encouraging member states to channel their public spending into large projects. These aim to make a contribution to economic growth, job creation and the competitiveness of Europe. The European Commission (DGComp) evaluates the funding conditions, ensuring they are in line with EU state aid rules.

See related items:

EC approves €1.75bn funding for IPCEI research and innovation project focused on microelectronics and compound semiconductors

Tags:  Sofradir IR detectors

Visit:  www.sofradir.com

Visit:  www.clustercollaboration.eu/tags/ipcei

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