STMicroelectronics Malta is set to receive support from Malta Enterprise in its goal to reach the “pinnacle” of Smart Factory and Industry 4.0 standards.
This comes after the European Commission approved a landmark €8 billion state-aid package through the second call for Important Projects of Common European Interests (IPCEI) in the semiconductor sector. Malta has been confirmed as one of the 14 participating European Union (EU) member states, with a total of 56 companies from those countries benefitting from the funding for 68 projects.
Through this approval, Malta Enterprise will support STMicroelectronics’ project to incorporate advanced automation concepts, designed to elevate the quality of devices manufactured in Europe.
The project will encompass both research, development and innovation and first industrial deployment activities for advanced back-end manufacturing. The project has a keen focus on collaboration, and promises “significant spillover effects”, which includes partnerships with University of Malta and various industrial players.
STMicroelectronics’ test and assembly plant in Malta has over 1,800 employees from 50 nationalities. This manufacturing plant, part of the company’s global manufacturing network, is currently undergoing a strategic transformation to both increase capacity and implement processes to support customers across the automotive, industrial, and personal electronics markets.
The Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise stated that Malta’s involvement in the IPCEI is a “testament to the nation’s commitment to spearheading industry transformation and embracing cutting-edge technology”. By fostering technological innovation, Malta and the EU are paving the way for sustainable growth, competitiveness, and technological leadership on the global stage.
The approval under the IPCEI is set to tackle critical structural challenges, unlocking the untapped potential of microelectronics and communication technologies for Europe’s industry and society. The Ministry described it as a “stride towards greater technological autonomy for the continent and a future built on innovative solutions”.
The positive result will further consolidate Malta as a “centre of excellence” within the European semiconductors industry.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli remarked that she is “extremely pleased” with the positive outcome as it is a “clear sign of confidence that Malta has retained its attractiveness in the area of foreign direct investment”.
“We have been working with industrial stakeholders to consolidate the Maltese semiconductor industry. Within pan-European institutions, Malta has been on the forefront in negotiating the Chips Act and seeking to develop the necessary structures to future proof this sector in Malta,” she added.
Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia congratulated the STMicroelectronics Malta team for the worked done on the IPCEI application, before saying that Malta Enterprise is working within the industry to “further build on the experience” Malta has attained through this process.
“We believe that the IPCEI process is an important instrument through which Malta can further develop its industrial base with a focus for the future in the area of clean technologies,” he said.
Furthermore, he also took to social media on Thursday to express his delight at the achievement, stating that it is an “exciting time” for Malta Enterprise, STMicroelectronics and their partners.
“Together, we are setting the pace for sustainable growth, competitiveness, and technological leadership on a global scale,” he added.
Mr Farrugia also expressed gratitude to the Malta Enterprise team that worked on the investment project over the last two years, and concluded by stating: “As we move forward into this new chapter, we remain committed to driving innovation and shaping the future of technology together.”