ESTnet Premier Member IQE plc (AIM: IQE; “IQE” or the “Group”), the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and services, has launched its Open Innovation programme “openiqe,” aimed at establishing partnerships to support the development of a broad range of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs).
The first major project under the new programme is the IQE Open Technology Challenge, which will be marked by a launch event at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff on Friday 21 March 2014.
The aim of the challenge is to engage with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), larger businesses and academic institutes, initially focusing primarily on the Welsh region, to develop new and enhance existing supply chains. The project will focus on technology areas termed the Three Grand Challenges identified in the Science for Wales strategy and other major International programs, including the EU Horizon2020 Program. The three areas are life sciences and health; low carbon, energy and environment; and advanced engineering and materials.
Technology will play an increasingly important role in addressing a range of societal challenges. IQE's Open Technology Challenge is aimed at establishing partnerships along an end-to-end supply chain to develop and commercialise products that will meet real needs within the areas defined by the Three Grand Challenges.
Welsh Government Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
”IQE is one of Wales’ leading technology based company and we are delighted to support them in developing an open innovation platform and working with like-minded Welsh SMEs. Their experience and understanding of future technologies can add real value to other Welsh companies working across key sectors, helping to support and develop supply chains.”
Dr. Drew Nelson, IQE President and CEO, commented:
“IQE has more than twenty-five years' experience of working closely with partners and customers worldwide to meet demanding technical specifications. We are delighted to be contributing our experience of collaborative innovation in the form of our new Open Innovation programme.
“We are confident that the Open Technology Challenge has the potential to become a key stepping stone towards the establishment of a major technology cluster in the region, as well as building stronger links to the global technology community.”
IQE's Open Innovation programme is supported by the Welsh Government.