December 05, 2022

Minister Paolo Zangrillo visits SPEA, urgent action needed to defend Italian microchips

Minister Paolo Zangrillo visited SPEA on Friday, December 2, to meet in person a Turin-based company that leads the world in the microchip sector, that has recently been declared as strategic for Italy


The importance of the microchip industry and SPEA’s leadership


The recent understanding of the importance of a sector that has been mostly ignored for many years stems from the component shortage that has crippled every sector of the economy, and from realizing the awareness of how dependent the entire world is on Asian manufacturers for these small objects.

Over 80% of the world’s microchips are made in Asia despite most of the customers being based in the United States and Europe.

Many countries are currently aspiring to expand domestic production, from major economies, such as the United States, Europe, Korea, and China, to emerging countries wanting to industrialize, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

Specific testing machinery is needed to make microchips and this is an area in which SPEA is a world leader together with very few other companies. More in detail, SPEA excels in microchip machinery for the automotive, medical and power sectors, batteries, MEMS and sensors for automotive and smartphones.

The United States has already enacted the U.S. Chips and Science Act to secure dominance in the microchip industry that they deem so strategic. The plan also largely involves universities for training the new talents needed to achieve the desired growth.


The call for swift action to the Italian government


SPEA is calling on the Italian government to swiftly pass measures to support, bolster and protect the nation’s industries that excel in the areas of microchip manufacturing, microchip testing machinery and related equipment.

The main Italian suppliers in the sector are STMicroelectronics, SPEA and Technoprobe. These industries are booming and their growth will bring substantial employment and increase the exports of their Italian-made products for years to come.

Bolstering the Italian microchip ecosystem would make Italy attractive to the big players that would find it convenient to open manufacturing plants in the country.

These issues were at the center of the meeting held at the Volpiano company, which was attended by Minister Zangrillo, Rector of Turin Polytechnic Guido Saracco, Senator Roberto Rosso, President of the Turin Industrial Union Giorgio Marsiaj, Regional Councilors Biletta and Ruzzola, and Mayor of Volpiano Giovanni Panichelli.

“We must create a strong ecosystem and the government must take action now to succeed. There is no time to waste”, said SPEA President Luciano Bonaria, emphasizing the urgency of the requested measures.

Mr Marsiaj agreed on the urgency, while Prof. Saracco stressed the value of boosting the cooperation between industries and universities for the country as a whole.

Minister Zangrillo backed Mr Bonaria’s words: “I am a firm believer in creating local ecosystems where our universities can meet businesses. If we lose these excellences, Piedmont will lose the challenge, and this means that the whole nation will lose as well.”

Senator Rosso closed the visit urging the attendees to request a parliamentary committee hearing and Zangrillo pledged to involve the relevant ministries on the matter.

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