Inderscience Publishers

The technological competence of European semiconductor producers

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A new method for assessing changing corporate technological competence and the impact of European collaboration policies is developed and applied to the case of the European semiconductor industry. The data indicate that European technological competencies improved in the latter half of the l980s. Increasingly, European firms adopted pro-active technology partnerships (joint ventures and technology exchanges) as opposed to passive activities (second-sourcing and licensing). Although the European research and development subsidy programmes of the 1980s attempted to remedy Europe’s weaknesses, there are reasons for questioning the policy methods chosen. Given the risks of high cost close-to-market subsidies, policies for the 1990s should seek to encourage technology transfer from non-European partners and to stimulate healthy competition within Europe.

Keywords: application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), complementary metaloxide semiconductor, CMOS, dynamic random-access memory, DRAM, erasable programmable read-only memory, EPROM, European Community (EC), European Strategic Programme of Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT), integrated circuit (IC), Joint European Sub-micron Silicon Initiative (JESSI), microprocessor unit (MPU), static random-access memory, SRAM

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