Grenoble, France, January 21, 2019 – Sofradir and its subsidiary ULIS today announce their participation in the Nano 2022 initiative, which sees the Group invest €150M ($171M) over the period 2018-2022.
This announcement follows the European Commission’s approval on December 18, 2018 of the ‘Important Project of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI), a joint project by France, Germany, Italy and the UK to give €1.75 billion (approx. $2bn) in public support for research and innovation in microelectronics.
Nano 2022 is France’s initiative within the cross-border program that will support developments in nanotechnology, a market sector of strategic importance for the future, which includes applications such as smart sensors. The Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, where Sofradir and ULIS have operations, announced it will contribute €35M ($40M) to support Nano 2022.
Sofradir and ULIS, whose infrared technologies are used in a range of applications from space observation and environmental monitoring to security surveillance and predictive maintenance, will invest €150M ($171M) in the Nano 2022 initiative in order to develop next-generation infrared detectors.
“Infrared technologies can offer the necessary solutions for improving assisted living, mobility, energy efficiency, security and environmental monitoring, which are all crucial societal needs,” said Jean-François Delepau, chairman and CEO of Sofradir and ULIS. “As a result of our investment, equipment manufacturers will benefit from the ease-of-use and performance these new products will offer.”
Nano 2022 will enable ULIS to develop the next generations of infrared detectors to address trends in autonomous systems for smart buildings (workspace management, energy savings), road safety and in-cabin comfort of vehicles. It also enables Sofradir to develop the very large dimension infrared detectors needed for space and astronomy observations as well as compact and light sensors that can be used in portable devices and on drones. Nano 2022 contributes to the funding of the pilot lines required for developing these technologies and products.
Sofradir and ULIS participate in Nano 2022 alongside other companies based in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, including STMicroelectronics and Soitec.
The IPCEI framework develops key cross-border R&D and infrastructure projects aimed at encouraging member states to channel their public spending into large projects. These make a clear contribution to economic growth, job creation and the competitiveness of Europe. The European Commission (DGComp) evaluates the funding conditions, ensuring they are in line with EU state aid rules.
About Sofradir and ULIS
Sofradir and its subsidiaries ULIS and US-based Sofradir-EC are global leaders in designing and manufacturing high quality infrared technologies for aerospace, defense and commercial markets. Their vast portfolio of infrared detectors covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum from near to very far infrared. The Group’s products are at the center of multiple military programs and applications. Its IR detectors are the key component of many top brands in commercial thermal imaging equipment sold across Europe, Asia and North America. The organization is the leading European manufacturer for IR detectors deployed in space. It employs 1,000 staff. Safran and Thales are equal (50/50) shareholders.