Twelve partners in Latvia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop semiconductor manufacturing and training in the country.
There are three key strands to the memorandum: developing the microchip ecosystem, developing educational and research capabilities, and fostering development and manufacturing capabilities throughout the entire semiconductor supply chain.
Several startups in the country are producing chips, particular for photonics, including Mikrotik, HansaMatrix, Lightspace Technologies and SAF Tehnika. It also is home to various scientific institutes already providing R&D for the chip development.
The deal aims to tap into funding from the EU Chips Act to boost areas such as 5G and semiconductor education.
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The memorandum partners are Riga’s Technical University, the University of Latvia, the University of Latvia – Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, and the University of Latvia – Institute of Solid State Physics as well as Mikrotik, Tet, the Electronic Communications Office of Latvia, the Liepaja Special Economic Zone, the Confederation of Latvian Employers, the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia and the Education and Science Ministry of the Republic of Latvia.
Latvia’s electronic and optical device manufacturing sector is the fastest-growing manufacturing sector since 2010, growing from 3.7% to 7% of manufactured volume in 2022.
“Any production, innovation, or supply chain element, which we can provide locally in Latvia, strengthens our positions within the community of international innovators and our independence from other countries’ capabilities or desire to be involved in our projects,” said Juris Binde, President & Chairman of the Management Board at mobile operator LMT, which organised a 5G forum this week called 5G Techritory and also signed the MoU.
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“The strengthening of the local microchip production ecosystem and signing of this Memorandum is one more step toward the extension of the technological horizon, which for several years now has been promoted by Europe’s most important forum – 5G Techritory,” said Binde.