Work Area: Alternative Advanced Semiconductor Materials, Devices and Process Steps
Start Date: 1 September 92 / Duration: 36 months / Status: running
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Abstract NEXUS is the European Network of Excellence in Multifunctional Microsystems, bringing together European expertise and R&D resources in microsystem technology (MST). Its organisational structure includes an Industrial Working Group, a Coordination Board (CB), the General Assembly, and a permanent network office. Specific tasks are carried out by task forces established by the CB. Current activities comprise the strategical assessment of MST development world-wide, the formation of industrial links to SMEs, research coordination, training and education, pubic relations, and a communication infrastructure.
NEXUS brings together European expertise and R&D resources in microsystem technology.
Microsystems are miniaturised, multifunctional, intelligent systems comprising sensors, actuators, and signal processing; they combine eg electrical, mechanical, optical, chemical, and biological functions. Compared to conventional systems, they can provide improved system solutions for many application areas (eg automotive, telecommunication, medical, environmental) including completely new functions. Microsystem technology (MST) describes the methods for designing and fabricating these microsystems. The enormous complexity of MST requires close interdisciplinary cooperation between MST laboratories throughout Europe. NEXUS is now building up an infrastructure to stimulate, support, and coordinate that cooperation, thus enhancing European industry for the world market in microsystems.
NEXUS is organised into various boards and committees as described below:
An Industrial Working Group (IWG) has been set up to define industrial needs and strategies in microsystem technology and to ensure that the actions taken by the network are application and production oriented. Presently, it includes representatives of 12 European companies (Ascom, Bosch, Danfoss, DASA, Druck, IBM, Mietec, Philips, SAGEM, Schlumberger, Siemens, Zeiss). The IWG is chaired by H. Zinner (DASA).
The Coordination Board (CB) is responsible for the scientific, technical, administrative and financial coordination of the network. Presently, it is composed of representatives of 7 companies (Ascom, DASA, Bosch, MicroParts, Siemens, Schlumberger, Philips) and 8 institutes (EhG-ISIT, KfK-IMT, KV Leuven, LAAS-CNRS, LETI-CEA, NMRC, RAL, TU Delft). It is chaired by W. Benecke (FhG-ISIT and Univ. Bremen).
To solve specific problems, the CB has established Task Force committees comprising a limited number of NEXUS partners. Presently, there are 5 task force, responsible for education, industrial links, international relations, core projects, and a communication network.
The General Assembly consists of representatives of all NEXUS partners. It elects the members of the Coordination Board. Presently, 43 companies and 71 institutes from 15 European countries participate in NEXUS. To assist the various boards in its duties, and to form a contact point, a permanent NEXUS Office has been installed, responsible for the management of the network. It is represented by H.-C. Petzold.
Aiming towards a strategical assessment of European and overseas MST activities, the IWG has elaborated a first strategy paper investigating MST user and production needs. This study is presently being refined and quantified in more detail, and it is expected to promote future MST programmes. To support this approach, a detailed inventory of MST activities within the NEXUS community has been elaborated and distributed to all partners; in the future, it will be refined and continuously updated. Additional support will be given by the recently launched Task Force "International Relations".
A Task Force "Industrial Links" has been established to build up links and transfer technology to SMEs. Its main issue will be the coordination of MST related RandD activities between the various national programmes and those on a European level (ESPRIT, BRITE, EUREKA, etc.). There is a close collaboration with the recently launched ESPRIT project MUST.
To strengthen the coherence and the efficiency of the European MST scene, NEXUS has started successful efforts to bring project consortia together. Presently, demonstrator projects are being defined that will have a significant economical and social impact and demonstrate the potential of MST, covering all aspects of MST fabrication.
In the field of training and education, the exchange of scientists between different NEXUS laboratories is now supported, and various MST workshops sponsored by NEXUS are under preparation. For these activities, additional money is also contributed by the CEC's HCM programme. In addition, a survey of available books and lecture notes on MST has been compiled and distributed. As a conclusion, NEXUS decided to initiate the writing of a new, comprehensive MST textbook.
To disseminate knowledge on MST and the network, NEXUS participates in exhibitions such as CeBIT and the ESPRIT Exhibition, provides a NEXUS video and various information brochures, and reports on its activities in a newsletter 4 times a year.
Finally, a task force was established to facilitate communication between the partners by means of a communication network based on electronic mail and related tools.
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft - D
Institut für Siliziumtechnologie
Members of NEXUS
Electronic Vision, A
Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden, D
Danfoss A/S, DK
Technische Universität Wien, A
Bekaert SA, B
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B
Ascom Microelectronics, CH
ASULAB SA, CH
INSA de Lyon, F
ETH Zürich, CH
Landis and Gyr, CH
Institute of Microtechnology, CH
Schlumberger Industries, F
Anschütz GmbH, D
Sextant Avionuque, F
Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH, D
DASA AG München and Ulm, D
NCSR Demokritos, GR
DAS GmbH, D
NTUA Electronic Eng. and Physics, GR
Scuola Superiore San Anna, I
SM Scienzia Machinale
Università di Firenze - DIE, I
Università di Roma Tor Vergata, I
SINTEF SI, N
SensoNor AS, N
Forschungszentrum Informatik, D
Delft University of Technology, NL
Dräger Medical Electronics, NL
MESA Research Institute, NL
Philips Research Laboratories, NL
Jenoptik GmbH, D
Xensor Integration, NL
Karl Slüss KG, D
Linköping Institute of Technology, S
Kernforschungzentrum Karlsruhe, D
Industriellt Mikroelektronik Centrum, S
LITEF GmbH, D
Uppsala Uiversity, S
MPI für biophysikalische Chemie, D
VTT - Medical Engineering, SF
MPI für Festkörperforschung, D
AEA Technology, UK
MicroParts GmbH, D
Applied Microengeneering Ltd, UK
British Aerospace, UK
Raith GmbH, D
Brunel - BCMM, UK
Robert Bosch GmbH, D
Siemens AG Berlin and München, D
Defence Research Agency, UK
TH Darmstadt, D
Druck Ltd., UK
TMI Consulting GmbH, D
Dundee University, UK
TU Berlin, D
Durham University, UK
TU Chemnitz, D
Liverpool University, UK
TU Ilmenau, D
Lucas Advanced Engineering Centre, UK
Universität Bremen, D
Middlesex Uiversity, UK
University Dortmund, D
Newcastle University, UK
Universität Giessen, D
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK
Universität Karlsruhe, D
Southampton University, UK
Universität Tübingen, D
Warwick University, UK
Dr. H.-C. Petzold
NEXUS - 7217, August 1994
please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk
html version of synopsis by Nick Cook