Finland looks to become Europe's leading chip hub

Finland looks to become Europe's leading chip hub

When one part of the production chain fails, like the COVID-19 pandemic in the automobile sector, Finnish chips, household appliances, and cars may get stuck in the production pipeline. Finland could become a significant European center for chip knowledge, with Espoo at the forefront of chip technology and manufacturing.

Tiny microchips play a crucial role in everyday life and across industries. Tech products like quantum tech and healthcare are utilized by mobile phones, household appliances, mobile networks, and cars. Artificial intelligence and the green transition are driving this growth.

The worldwide problem of microchips is currently a multi-billion-dollar industry. The United States and China are fighting for chip supremacy, and the European Union has created its own chip regulation to ensure chip self-sufficiency in response to chip shortages.

The field of quantum technology relies heavily on semiconductor technology. It can help develop new drugs more quickly, for example.

Since the early 1990s, Espoo has been at the forefront of microchip development, working with universities and companies on projects ranging from mobile phones to telecommunications networks. Technology that enhances chip self-sufficiency and Finland's position as one of Europe's most important microelectronics and quantum technology hubs is being developed in the depths of Otaniemi's low red-brick buildings. With the launch of Micronova, the largest cleanroom facility in the Nordic countries, located in Espoo, and the new pilot line called Kvanttinova, Finland and Europe will enhance Finland's security of supply for microchips and semiconductors.

Now, Finland is positioned as Europe's leading microelectronics and quantum technology research and business cluster.

This capacity will nearly triple with Kvanttinova investments, which is already the largest research cleanroom in the Nordics, says Tauno Vähä-Heikkilä, head of microelectronics and quantum technology at VTT.

Silicon and microchips are a thriving industry for the future. Technology Industries of Finland reports that companies in the semiconductor industry in Finland employ 5,000 people, and they anticipate the number of jobs to increase to 20,000 by 2023. By 2032, Finland's Semiconductor industry revenues are forecast to grow from around 1.5 billion euros to six billion euros.

What is the difference between a chip and a semiconductor?

The materials that conduct electricity and allow controlled electrical conduction are known as semiconductors.

Espoo has a robust ecosystem for quantum technology development, including quantum computing, quantum software, and quantum computers.

Key players in Brief: Kvanttinova Project and Kvanttinova Project

Kvanttinova is a joint venture of VTT, Aalto University, the City of Espoo, the Technology industries of Finland, and other industry companies. The goal is to build a new shared cleanroom environment for businesses and research organizations, seamlessly connecting to Micronova's cleanroom in Otaniemi. The Nordics' largest research cleanroom, Micronova, will boast a capacity of nearly triple its capacity, which is already the largest in the Nordics.

Finland aims to create one of Europe's largest and most significant research and business hubs for specialized microelectronics and quantum technologies. Finland's semiconductor companies employ 5,000 people, and they predict that the number of jobs will increase to 20,000 by 2023. Publicly funded shared cleanroom facilities support research and the purchase of research equipment.

This project will be carried out on a commercial basis, allowing companies to rent their own rooms within the shared cleanroom. The shared cleanroom facilities shared publicly funded by taxpayers are currently worth 130 million euros. In addition to this, Kvanttinova's plans for investments in Kvanttinova exceed 500 million euros.