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ERDF 307: MEMS Characterisation Facilities

Project Cost: €635,962
Beneficiary: University of Malta
Line Ministry: Ministry for Education and Employment
Start Date: 2013
End Date: 2015

Non Technical Short Summary Of Project

An important area of research and innovation is the development of Smart Microsystems in various fields ranging from biomedical to automotive, to communications, environment, gaming, space applications. To develop this field of research, the project entailed the setting up of MEMS (Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems) Characterisation Facilities at the University of Malta for the testing and characterisation of MEMS devices and Smart Microsystems, for both single devices as well as packaged devices.

Operational Programme: OPI Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life ERDF
Fund: European Regional Development Fund
Operational Objective: To undertake a number of smart investments in the knowledge infrastructure and research capacity in higher education;
Priority Axis: PA1 Enhancing Knowledge and Innovation
Focus Area Of Intervention: OPIPA1 Investment in RTDI and RTDi-related Infrastructure and ICT

Project Objectives

Setting up facilities for MEMS characterisation at the Department of Micro and Nanoelectronics -both as single chips as well as packaged devices - will provide a Research Infrastructure in MEMS and Smart Microsystems with European added value. These Facilities will be open to European researchers and will greatly facilitate the participation of the Department in European Research projects, under the Horizon 2020 programme. Malta already has a vibrant Microelectronics industry. The availability of MEMS Characterisation Facilities at the University will expand the University’s capacity to allow it to grow into a modern-day University providing teaching, research and participation in sustainable economic development but will provide highly-trained researchers for the microelectronics industry in Malta and will further place Malta on the map of innovative research in Smart Microsystems. The project will also contribute to the enhancement of already ongoing collaboration between industry and the University in this area.

Project Results

• Enable more significant, participation of the Department in EU research and innovation projects. Two European projects should be achieved after project completion. • Enhance the ongoing industry-university collaboration in the Microelectronics area, and more specifically in the rapidly-growing MEMS field. Two industrial projects should be achieved after project completion.• The project should increase the student intake taking up undergraduate microelectronics modules by around three students per year and an average increase of one post-graduate student per year after project completion.• This means that through the equipment that will be purchased, the University will be able to improve the design skills of their prospective students. This will be the main goal of the project as through improved student skills and facilities, the Department will be able to offer characterization of locally produced MEMS with the aim of improving product specifications by identifying design problems and suggesting design improvements. This will enhance the Department’s reputation in the field of MEMS increasing the Department’s participation in EU projects and in this respect; the Department will participate in an ENIAC project after project completion.