The Czech Republic is ramping up efforts to bolster its semiconductor industry and reduce dependency on suppliers from Asia, aiming to play a more significant role in chip production in Europe. With the global semiconductor market currently valued at $600 billion annually and anticipated to double by the end of the decade, the Czech Republic has taken strategic steps to capitalize on this burgeoning sector.

Tomáš Pokorný (STMicroelectronics): V Praze rozšíříme vývoj čipů, v Evropě  chceme posilovat -
 ST Micro has a two-story development center in Prague

A series of recent developments underscore the growth trajectory of the semiconductor industry in the Czech Republic. This includes the impending expansion of production by the American company ONsemi in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and the establishment of a cutting-edge chip research center in Brno through collaboration with Taiwanese partners. Additionally, the national implementation of the European Chip Act is underway, reinforcing the country's commitment to advancing its semiconductor capabilities.

The establishment of the Czech National Semiconductor Cluster last year represents a pivotal initiative, forged through collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Government Office, and Czech entities. This cluster aims to unify national institutions within the semiconductor value chain, from semiconductor component design to chip production, including electron microscopy, to fortify the Czech Republic's position in the semiconductor sector. The cluster fosters collaboration between academic institutions and industrial partners, aligning with the objectives of the European Chip Act.

Noteworthy members of the Czech National Semiconductor Cluster include prominent companies such as ONsemi, NXP Rožnov, ST Micro Praha, and Codasip Brno, as well as academic institutions like Czech Technical University Prague and BUT Brno. This collaborative effort seeks to leverage the Czech Republic's expertise in optoelectronics and photolithography to participate in both front-end and back-end semiconductor production, further strengthening the country's foothold in the semiconductor industry.

The EU's proactive stance to address vulnerabilities in global supply chains, particularly highlighted by recent chip shortages, has prompted the drafting and subsequent approval of the Act on Chips. This legislation, emphasizing objectives such as fortifying research and development, enhancing chip design innovation, and bolstering production capacity, is set to catalyze increased investment in science, research, and talent development within the semiconductor sector.

For the Czech Republic, the Act on Chips will facilitate heightened support for research and development, skill development for the semiconductor workforce, and greater attractiveness for semiconductor investments. The impending "Chips for Europe" initiative, part of the Act on Chips, is expected to stimulate substantial public and private investment, positioning the Czech Republic to capitalize on this momentum.

In conjunction with the Act on Chips, the National Semiconductor Strategy is poised to identify areas of high potential within the Czech semiconductor industry and propose measures to maximize this potential. The strategy underscores the vital importance of nurturing a skilled workforce to drive the growth of the semiconductor sector within the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic's proactive efforts to strengthen its semiconductor industry, in alignment with the European Chip Act and the National Semiconductor Strategy, reflect a cohesive and strategic approach to realize the country's ambitions of playing a prominent role in Europe's semiconductor production landscape. This comprehensive approach, encompassing collaboration between industry and academia, strategic investment, and talent development, positions the Czech Republic to make significant strides in the semiconductor sector.