Top management at Malta Enterprise (ME) and STMicroelectronics Malta (ST) recently came together to discuss the business climate in terms of both challenges and opportunities that Malta-based companies are facing.
The visit also served as an opportunity for ME to better gauge the overall market developments in the semiconductor industry. ME notes that such meetings are “key” when it comes to understanding how it can be of service to the various industries and companies operating in Malta.
Discussions were held on the current market and political environment, including the EU Chips Act, one of the key dossiers followed by ME. In essence, the EU Chips Act is a legislative proposal to bolster Europe’s competitiveness, increase manufacturing production capacities and resilience in semiconductor technologies in Europe, hence strengthening Europe’s technology leadership in the field.
As of 2022, Europe accounts for less than 10 per cent of the production of semiconductors worldwide, and the European Commission hopes to increase the figure to 20 per cent with a €43 billion investment.
ST’s 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 “leading-edge processes” to support customers across the automotive, industrial, and personal electronics markets.
The plan will harness the benefits of Industry 4.0 through further digitalisation and automation, including the deployment of additional robotic platforms, and further development of data analytics and machine learning through the manufacturing process.
Discussions took place between ST and ME’s senior management, together with Members of European Parliament Josianne Cutajar and Alfred Sant, as well as with the Permanent Representation of Malta in Brussels, who are actively following the EU Chips Act.