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India Semiconductor Mission and Purdue University, US sign MoU
Purdue University continues to rapidly expand its global boundaries in semiconductors, announcing a transformative agreement to become the flagship academic partner and collaborator with the government of India.
With the announcement, Purdue is established as a key collaborator with India and the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) in skilled workforce development and joint research and innovation in the burgeoning fields of semiconductors and microelectronics.
Purdue signed the agreement Tuesday (May 9) with the leadership of the India Semiconductor Mission in the presence of Honorable Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is in charge of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology in India and also oversees the country’s semiconductors program. It marks the second major global partnership Purdue has announced within the last week. On May 3, Purdue, the state of Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation announced a partnership with Belgium-based imec. This is on top of numerous other Purdue forward-leaning efforts over the last year-plus to address critical national semiconductor needs.
“Purdue is excited to form this pioneering partnership with the India Semiconductor Mission, the first of its kind under the framework of U.S.-India governmental partnership,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “We share Minister Vaishnaw’s enthusiasm in generating talent and collaborating on innovation, and look forward to co-leading the national semiconductor roadmap of our two nations.”
With the agreement, Purdue will focus on:
- Creating cutting-edge online and hybrid academic programs for specialized training in areas including chip design and fabrication, advanced packaging, semiconductor materials, and embedded system design that can be made available to Indian students as ISM-endorsed training programs, both as noncredit offerings and through integration into the curricula of Indian educational institutions.
- Exploring the creation of dual-degree programs in semiconductors and microelectronics with Indian educational institutions.
- Joint research and development programs aimed at designing, manufacturing, and commercializing semiconductor chips.
- Driving technological advancement and strengthening bilateral relations between the U.S. and India by facilitating collaborations with Indian educational institutions and companies, to obtain joint funding opportunities in the areas of semiconductor research and chip design, manufacturing, and commercialization.
Purdue’s MOU with India and ISM is for five years, with the opportunity to renew. This collaboration aligns with ISM’s mission of driving India’s strategies for developing a comprehensive semiconductors and display ecosystem.
“This partnership brings together the vast capabilities of Indian scientists and Purdue’s rich scientific legacy and resources to address the 21st-century challenge of producing both the research and the talent the world needs to continue advancing semiconductor and microelectronic innovation. Purdue is not alone in working to expand its partnerships in India, AAU recently announced, at the behest of the Biden Administration, a task force to examine and foster strategies to expand critical research and educational partnerships with India’s leading universities. These relationships will be key to the prosperity and security of both of our nations,” said Barbara Snyder, president of the American Association of Universities.
The agreement falls under the Semiconductor Supply Chain Innovation Partnership, signed by the U.S. and India on March 10. It is also aligned with the U.S. and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) partnership launched by the National Security Advisors of the U.S. and India in January 2023, focused on collaboration in emerging and critical technologies, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
Purdue University continually works to answer the call for semiconductor workforce development with the Semiconductor Degrees Program, the first comprehensive set of innovative, interdisciplinary degrees and credentials in semiconductors and microelectronics in the country. The SDP is advised by an industrial board consisting of CTO/EVP-level executives of more than 25 leading global semiconductor companies and has been endorsed by the CEOs of many of these companies.
The agreement marks Purdue’s ongoing global outreach effort to help ramp up skilled talent for the next generation of the semiconductor workforce in India. In November, Purdue and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) announced plans to launch a dual-degree master’s program and an integrated five-year bachelor’s and master’s program in semiconductors.
Purdue has also partnered with Ivy Tech Community College, the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, to develop industry-driven credentials and experiential programs. The collaboration brings Purdue’s resources to populations that may not have had access to this type of program while upskilling a motivated workforce.
This is another groundbreaking international partnership for Purdue. Besides the agreement with imec, the university announced less than a year ago that MediaTek Inc., a leading global fabless chipmaker, would open the company’s first semiconductor chip design center in the Midwest, to be housed on Purdue’s campus. Located in Taiwan, MediaTek Inc. is the world’s fourth-largest chip designer by revenue.
That was followed by U.S.-based SkyWater Technology, which announced a $1.8 billion investment for locating a major semiconductor manufacturing facility in Discovery Park District at Purdue. It will provide SkyWater with access to both Purdue University faculty experts and highly sought-after graduates prepared to work in the industry. Purdue
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