$1m investment into Scottish nanotechnology centre

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: $1m investment into Scottish nanotechnology centre Reply with quote

3 September 2007 Scottish Enterprise

$1m investment into Scottish nanotechnology centre

Semi Scenic, the Lanarkshire based semi-conductor support specialist, has secured a contract worth more than $1 million dollars to supply essential components to the UK's flagship micro and nanotechnology project based in Scotland.

Semi Scenic has agreed the deal with Semefab (Scotland) Ltd, the Glenrothes semiconductor manufacturer at the forefront of the UK's centre for micro and nano technology (MNT) network. The announcement comes as Semefab plans to further expand its operations and investment in the 15 million UK MNT project. It has acquired a 3000 square metre facility adjacent to its existing premises in Fife which will enable it to roll out the next phase of the project.

Scottish Enterprise has invested 3 million and the Department of Trade and Industry a further 3.6 million in Semefab Ltd to establish a UK centre of excellence in Micro and Nanotechnology processing. The centre provides SME companies with integrated facilities for the process design of prototype MEMS (micro electro mechanical system) devices.

MEMS technology has a variety of uses and is an important component of bio and gas sensors, car air bags and flat screen televisions. Future applications are likely to include the discovery of new drugs, detecting toxic agents in the atmosphere and turning mobile phones into navigation tools more effective than GPS.

Hailed as the first project of its kind in the UK, the facility in Fife offers open access cleanroom space for potential MNT innovations to help secure Scotland's and the UK's position as a leading force in micro technology in the 21st century. By offering open access to high specification design and fabrication facilities, the project aims to speed up the development process and break down barriers to market entry for SMEs within the sector.

Semi Scenic will supply wafer etch tooling for the MEMs applications, a fundamental constituent in developing the overall project. Semefab selected Semi Scenic as a strategic partner due to the company's comprehensive equipment support and commitment to ongoing process development.

Don Nicolson, Managing Director, Semi Scenic, said: "Semi Scenic are absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity by Semefab and this contract is a testimony to our highly skilled workforce as well as our unique business model. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Scottish Enterprise for their invaluable support over the years. It is very encouraging to see this business being concluded between two Scottish companies. We look forward to building on our partnership with Semefab and sharing in their bright future."

Ian McNaught, MEMS Business Manager for Semefab (Scotland) Ltd said: "The dry etch capability is a key component of our MEMS strategy and I am very pleased to be working with a capable and responsive Scottish organisation.

Semi Scenic competed against worldwide competition for this business and I am confident that Semefab (Scotland) shall receive world class service and support.

As we develop future technologies I am looking forward to partnering with Semi Scenic in order to achieve maximum return from our dry etch investment. I believe their flexible approach to process development and support shall complement Semefab's own innovative engineering and development teams. Semefab placed the order under a very tight timeline and I am encouraged that Semi Scenic delivered the first two tools ahead of schedule."

Semi Scenic is an expanding young company based in Scottish Enterprise Technology Park in East Kilbride. It employs a highly skilled workforce, dedicated to providing a first class service to its customers across Europe. Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire has worked closely with the company and has played an important role in the company's growth. Liz Connolly, senior operations director, Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire said:

"Securing this contract demonstrates the confidence, drive and ambition of Semi Scenic and I am delighted to share their success. This is a superb example of a small technology company realising its potential and adding great value to Scotland's economy through a strategic partnership with Semefab. Enabling technologies such as micro and nanotechnology is one of Scottish Enterprise's priority industries and its development is key to the future growth of our economy."

The project will ensure Scotland has a leading role to play within the DTI's UK Micro and Nanotechnology Network, which aims to capitalise on the growth opportunities within the global nanotechnology market which is expected to exceed $100 billion over the next ten years.

About Semefab
Semefab Ltd is a successful wafer fabrication facility established in 1986, providing robust, innovative and cost effective solutions through the use of well proven design and manufacturing technologies to original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) in the automotive, security, safety, sensor and consumer product markets, world-wide. Within the Microsystems Technology and Nanotechnology (MNT) area, Semefab has been a supplier of Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) foundry processing for pressure sensors, thermopiles, chemical and gas sensors for 5 years now, accounting for over a third in revenue terms. The MNT project will complement its existing CMOS facility with additional MEMS equipment and processing capabilities. Semefab (Scotland) Ltd. has operated its semiconductor Wafer Fab 1 in Glenrothes, Scotland since 1986 fabricating CMOS, ASIC and Discrete process technologies. The company expanded in 2000 adding Wafer Fab 2 for the fabrication of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and now supports a global customer base. Semefab is currently executing a new expansion plan, having expanded Wafer Fab 2 by 29%, and has recently acquired a 3,000m2 building for its 150mm Wafer Fab 3. Under the SemeMEMS banner, Semefab is the primary UK wafer fab node for the commercialisation and volume fabrication of MEMS devices supporting both SMEs and academia. SemeMEMS shall manage technology projects throughout the feasibility, proof of concept and prototype stages. As a customer gains market acceptance, the project can seamlessly transition from SemeMEMS to Semefab in order to facilitate volume fabrication.

About Semi Scenic
Semi Scenic is an expanding young company providing support for Lam Research systems across Europe, offering extensive solutions for these products. In addition Semi Scenic offers full support for Lam Research legacy products in Europe through its distribution agreement with Air Products & Chemicals. Semi Scenic has a staff of highly experienced OEM trained and qualified engineers dedicated to providing a first class service. As the Semiconductor Industry evolves needs are changing to focus on the delivery of cost effective solutions & Semi Scenic can offer a high level of service & expertise at an extremely competitive price.

Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93 per cent of the population from Grampian to the Borders. The Scottish Enterprise Network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies. Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the Network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scotland's people, and to encourage innovation to make Scotland's businesses internationally competitive.

Source: http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/sedotcom_home/
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