INTEGRAMplus, a three year, €6.5 M programme funded by the European Commission and aimed at reducing the costs and risks associated with designing, prototyping and manufacturing integrated Microsystems, has been launched. The new project will be co-ordinated by the UK’s QinetiQ, the company that also led the programme’s successful forerunner, INTEGRAM, which focused on silicon sensors and electronics. As well as QinetiQ, this new project will also draw on the complementary expertise and facilities of 10 partners from seven different European countries.

The programme will adopt a multi-technology approach and will initially focus on integrating silicon-based MEMS components with polymer backplanes and platforms. Three proof-of-concept demonstrator components will be developed and will include a bio-diagnostics sensor based on customer requirements.

The ultimate goal of INTEGRAMplus is to stimulate take-up of micro and nanotechnologies (MNT) by end users by providing flexible design and prototyping services with a route to manufacture. With its unique combination of pan-European capabilities and supported by an extensive network of supply chain partners, the programme aims to provide 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.

Welcoming the programme’s launch, Marcel Hugen, project officer for the European Commission, sponsor of the programme, said, “Micro and nanotechnologies are increasingly being exploited across a wide range of markets with many European companies and institutions demonstrating world-class capabilities. INTEGRAMplus will be a flagship EC project, combining the expertise of its partners for the benefit of European industry, from design and proof of concept, to manufacturing and system integration. This will ensure the continuation of the well known Europractice Initiative in the domain of micro and nanosystems.”