Innova IRV at the presentation of the Chip Chair of the UMA, which concentrates the largest funding in Spain

Catedra CHIP UMA

With an investment of 5.5 million euros, its objective is to strengthen training in the field of microelectronics.

The University of Malaga has presented today to companies the Chip Chair, which aims to strengthen research, dissemination and training in the field of microelectronics. With funding of 5.5 million euros – within the framework of the European Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed by the EU with Next Generation funds – it is the best financially endowed of all those to be launched in Spain under the ‘Chip Chairs’ program, with a public investment of 45.7 million euros distributed among 17 universities.

In this project, the UMA goes hand in hand with Innova IRV and the other institutions that pushed for the choice of Malaga as the site of the IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center), the R&D core that is a world leader in semiconductors.

The Chip University-Business Chair Malaga Microelectronics – its exact name – was presented today to about thirty companies in a ceremony held at the Rectorate, chaired by the rector, Teodomiro Lopez, who was accompanied at the opening table by the mayor of the capital, Francisco de la Torre, and Mario Nemirovsky, CTO of Innova IRV Microelectronics.

All of them have congratulated themselves for the fact that the Chair is coming to Malaga and with the maximum funding requested, a consequence of the good work done by all the members of the technological equation of the city, which has determined a solid project with a great future.

In the words of the rector, “we have set a milestone, so if we all work together we will be successful”. For his part, the mayor assured that the launch of this Chair, together with the development of IMEC, “will attract many companies in the sector”, while Mario Nemirovsky emphasized the unique nature of this project, “which brings together three areas of technological research: analog, digital and photonics-related”.


The Chip Chair is not an ordinary sponsorship chair that is launched in academic institutions, but a university-industry chair, a training project that fills the gap in the microelectronics sector. Therefore, in addition to government and European funding – 85% of the 5.5 million euros – there is also a 15% contribution from the companies that are part of the project.

Most of the funding is earmarked for the recruitment of doctoral and postdoctoral students; in other words, for attracting and developing talent. The first training program under this Chair will be the creation of the Master of Continuing Education in Microelectronics and Semiconductors, which will have 25 places and will begin to be taught next year, as explained Enrique Márquez, Vice-Rector for Business, Transfer and Digital Transformation of the University of Malaga.

“These chairs are within the framework of PERTE Chip and come to correct the deficit in training and research that has existed in the field of microelectronics in Spain and Europe for decades, when all production was delocalized to Asia,” continues Márquez, who adds that “it was precisely the supply crisis that occurred after the pandemic that caused Western countries to realize the need to have their own semiconductor industry, since they are essential in any electronic device, something like the oil of the digital economy.”

Analog, digital and photonics

The UMA Chip Chair will be supported on three legs: photonics, supported by the powerful research group led by Professor Iñigo Molina; analog, with the radiofrequency, microwave and millimeter-wave group led by Enrique Márquez; and digital, led by Miguel Ángel González. The Chair, therefore, is based on these three technologies. The UMA has contacted many companies through Innova IRV, generating technical projects that interested them, which has been the basis for them to be granted 100% of the funding requested.

A total of 13 technology companies will be involved in this University-Business Chair: Aertec Solutions, AGPhotonics, Atarfil, Bioherent, Cosigein Ingeniería, Celestia TST, Eurecat Foundation, Keysight, Premo, PhotonicSense, Ontech Security, Smart Health TV Solutions and Tedial.

Another feature of the Chair, as highlighted today by the CTO of Innova IRV, is its international vocation, through agreements with UCCS (University of California). In this regard, the Ricardo Valle Foundation Institute, an institution born in the midst of the pandemic and which is configured as the seed of the growth of the discipline in Malaga, has stressed that the joint work of the university, institutions and industry will be essential to strengthen the areas that have a high forecast of demand for personnel.

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