Three major academic laboratories – an evaluation

The quality and future potential of three major academic semiconductor laboratories in Sweden-the Semiconductor Laboratory (the Royal Institute of Technology), the Ångström Laboratory (Uppsala University) (Chalmers University of Technology) - are evaluated here. These laboratories are important for research and education in microelectronics, the field that underlies modern information technology. Because of ongoing rapid shifts in science and technology, the report also presents a broader perspective which emphasises microtechnology in general and the emerging nanotechnology. International comparisons are made and the role of the laboratories for academia and industry is assessed.

The three laboratories represent considerable investments in buildings and advanced scientific equipment with substantial running costs. The report suggests how the three laboratories should specialise in different areas and coordinate their laboratories to ensure efficient use of resources. Furthermore it is proposed that a Swedish Nanotechnology Network (SNN) be created. SNN will have the responsibility of serving academic research and industrial R&D on a national basis.

The Swedish Research Council, together with the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), has appointed a committee of experts to perform the evaluation. The members of the committee were Klas-Håkan Eklund (Eklund Innovation, Sweden), Stephen Fonash (Penn State University, USA) Jørn Hvam (Technical University of Denmark) and Herman Maes (Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center, Belgium) with Karl-Fredrik Berggren (Linköping University, Sweden) as chairman.

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