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Since June 2006, Grenoble is hosting the national centre for innovation in micro and nanotechnology (the Minatec centre) under the initiative of the CEA (the Centre for Atomic Energy) , the Institut Polytecnique of Grenoble (Grenoble INP) and local authorities. By 2005, nearly 180 million Euros were invested in this project.
The project aims to manage the whole range of competences. It consists of a new engineering school (Phelma), the laboratories involved (IMEP-LAHC, LMGP, LTM, Spintec,...) and an in-house training centre in microelectronics and nanotechnology.
To accelerate the process of innovation and take advantage of the pluridisciplinarity of the fields covered, the centre will be endowed with a facility ( the Maison Minatec) responsible for is running ,support and influence at both national and international level.. Furthermore, locally, ST Microelectronics together with other partners, as IBM recently, on the Crolles site in the region, had been investing with the aid of the French State and local authorities in the research and production of new and advanced microelectronic circuits on 300 mm diameter silicon wafers.
Within the MINATEC framework, other projects are under way in the institution, in partnership with the UJF and the CEA:
MIGAS, International Summer School on Advanced Microelectronics, has existed since 1998. This school is addressed to PhD students, engineers and researchers coming both from the university and from industry of the semiconductors. Through a program based on lessons given by the best international scientists, the participants will be able to improve their knowledge on state of the art and future nanodevices http://www.migas.inpg.fr/
Using their strong research skills and knowledge, Grenoble INP, Joseph Fourier University (UJF), the CEA and the CNRS have jointly setted up a European School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology "ESONN". Since 2004 it has been aiming at European researchers : PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, research and development engineers.
Furthermore, with the installation of 700 m2 of clean rooms at the CIME (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre) located in Minatec centre, Grenoble universities have a very large micro and nanotechnology training facility. The CIME provides lecturers with the means to allow them to design, build and test different systems, comprising microsystems, nano-objects and integrated circuits for data collection and processing.