The European Commission is funding a €6.5 M, three-year programme aimed at reducing the costs and risks associated with designing, prototyping and manufacturing integrated microsystems. Known as INTEGRAMplus, this new Framework 6 Integrated Project will be coordinated by the UK’s QinetiQ and draw on the complementary expertise and facilities of 10 partners from seven different European countries. The consortium comprises: Coventor (France), CSEM (Switzerland), Epigem (UK), IMM (Germany), IMT (Romania), ITE (Poland), Silex Microsystems (Sweden), University of Lancaster (UK) and Yole Développement (France).

The project will adopt a multi-technology, multi-domain approach, with a focus on integrating silicon-based MEMS components, which provide smart functionality, with polymer backplanes and platforms that provide additional functions, packaging and interfacing to the macro-world. Three proof-of-concept demonstrator components will be developed.

INTEGRAMplus builds on the successful Europractice project, INTEGRAM, also led by QinetiQ, which focused on silicon sensors and electronics. Its ultimate goal is to stimulate take-up of micro and nanotechnologies (MNT) by end users by providing flexible design and prototyping services, based on standardised modules, with a route to manufacture for highly integrated microsystems.

Therefore, this project, with its unique combination of pan-European capabilities and supported by an extensive network of supply chain partners, aims to provide the European industry with a world leading facility to stimulate take-up and accelerate time-to-market of smart mixed technology components and products. ‘Design for manufacturing’ principles, based on state-of-the-art simulation tools, will be used to reduce risk via virtual manufacturing design studies.