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Major semiconductor R&D facility launched in Edinburgh

$10 million plant offers labs, clean rooms for chip start-ups

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Edinburgh University is to host a focus for microelectronics and semiconductor start-ups within its science and engineering campus. The $10 million Scotland Microelectronics Centre (SMC) is a jointly-funded project between the university, Scottish Enterprise, and the Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise Council. Scheduled to be fully operational by Q2 2000, the Centre will support up to 30 companies, providing them with labs, office facilities and clean rooms. Technical advice and support will come from the university's department of electronics and electrical engineering, which will be based within the Centre. The SMC will complement Scottish Enterprise's Project Alba, based in Livingston, Scotland, which is currently under development. Alba will focus on system-level chip design R&D. "The semiconductor industry plays an important role in the Scottish economy and support should be given to the R&D which underpins future growth," said Crawford Beveridge, Scottish Enterprise's chief executive. ®

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