Chips JU launched: New calls and opportunities for the European Semiconductor sector

Background Image: Simon Pugh Photography


On November 30, 2023, the European Commission officially inaugurated the Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) during its Launch event held in Brussels. Today we will delve into its mechanisms and look at the first calls for pilot lines.

In Episode four of the ‘Global Chips: from crisis to strategies’ series published on, we explained the functioning and the European Chips Act (ECA) and its main pillars. The Chips JU is tightly connected to the first pillar, as it is the main implementer of the Chips for Europe Initiative. The initiative, with an expected budget of €15.8 billion until 2030, will fortify Europe's semiconductor sector and economic security. In particular, the Chips JU will manage a budget of nearly €11 billion, the combined contributions of the EU and of participating states.

To have a more clear understanding of the origin and distribution of the ECA funding, you can check out Episode five of our Series on semiconductors. 

First calls for Pilot lines 

One of the key objectives of the Chips JU is to bridge the gap between research, innovation, and production, facilitating the commercialization of innovative ideas. The Commission announced the first call for pilot lines, allocating €1.67 billion in EU funding. These funds are expected to be matched by Member States and additional private funds, reaching a total of €3.3 billion.

These calls seek proposals for innovative pilot lines focusing on specific semiconductor technologies, with a deadline for submission in early March 2024. The pilot lines, that address research and technology organizations, will focus on crucial areas, including Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator, leading-edge nodes below 2 nm, heterogeneous system integration and assembly, and Wide Bandgap semiconductors. These areas represent cutting-edge technologies that will drive advancements in high-speed, energy-efficient applications, advanced semiconductors, and innovative packaging technologies.

For more information about the pilot lines and the application process visit the Portal’s website. 

A board guiding Europe and Europeans towards in new semiconductor era  

To support the implementation of the European Chips Act, the newly formed European Semiconductor Board (ESB) held its inaugural meeting today. Comprising representatives from Member States, the Board will provide advice to the Commission on consistent Act implementation and international collaboration in semiconductors. It will serve as a pivotal platform for coordination between the Commission, Member States, and stakeholders, addressing supply chain resilience and potential crisis responses.

Moreover, the Joint Undertaking will establish pre-commercial pilot lines and a cloud-based Design Platform, promote skills development, facilitate the transfer of knowledge from research to industry, and foster collaboration between established companies and startups.

The work of the Chips JU aligns with the broader goal of reinforcing Europe's technological leadership. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, stated in occasion of the Launch Event: 

‘With already 100 billion euros invested in European semiconductors, the EU Chips Act is fully in motion. Now with the launch of the Chips JU and pilot lines, we take a bold step forward to advance our semiconductor industry. In a world of supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions, Europe is taking its technological and industrial destiny in its own hands.’

This initiative is expected to propel Europe toward the next generation of high-performance, low-power semiconductor devices, contributing significantly to the continent's technological advancement.