ICT Research: ENIAC Nanoelectronics Joint Technology Initiative Enhanced
The European Commission has granted autonomy to the ENIAC Joint Undertaking, a body created by the EU's Council of Ministers to bring together European research in nanoelectronics. This is a major step forward because it marks the real beginning of a balanced and innovative public-private partnership in which industry, Member States and the Commission aim for industrial excellence and a significant impact on the economy. The European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) will implement a budget for research of up to €3 billion over ten years, giving it critical mass on a global scale. ENIAC will foster research and development collaboration between stakeholders such as industry, public authorities, academia and research centres inter alia by effective coordination of resources and funding from EU, industry, national and intergovernmental R&D programmes. Nanoelectronic parts are very widely used, often almost unnoticed, to improve the performance, energy efficiency and functionalities of many kinds of machines ranging from cars, planes and phones, to factories, washing machines and televisions.
Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "ENIAC is on track to bring nanotechnology research closer to the market's needs and to deliver the advanced electronic systems that are vital to Europe's growth and competitiveness. I call on industry and national governments to pool their resources in ENIAC as foreseen because only a pan-European initiative like this gives us the critical mass needed to have a real impact."
Since February 2008, ENIAC has already been instrumental in the launch of 18 large projects in a variety of fields. For example, a total of €44 million have been invested in a project called E3Car which targets efficiency improvements across various components of electric cars and wants to make Europe a global leader in the electric vehicles of the future.
Until now the ENIAC Joint Undertaking had operated under the umbrella of the European Commission. As an autonomous body it will from now on implement its own budget. ENIAC’s operations (staff, offices) will be financed jointly by industry (represented by the AENEAS Association which gathers European key players in nanoelectronics, such as large industry, small and medium enterprises, research institutes, academia and associations) and the European Commission while it will draw on resources from industry, 21 member countries and the European Union to fund research projects.
At present, the following countries participate in the ENIAC Joint Undertaking: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
ENIAC's sister body, ARTEMIS, addresses research into the invisible computers (embedded systems) that today run machines ranging from cars, planes and phones, from energy networks and factories to washing machines and televisions. It was also awarded autonomous status on 26 October, 2009.