Technology on a microscopic scale with a worldwide impact

Watching a movie online, using SIRI, calculating the costs of your next purchase or calling to order pizza. Integrated circuits (IC), semiconductors, micro- and nano-technologies might not be the first words to connect with these actions. However, the technology and devices produced by these industries are essential for actions we perform in our daily lives.

The Netherlands holds a strong position in the IC industry worldwide, especially in the designing and manufacturing of equipment needed to produce ICs. At the same time, the Chinese semiconductor industry and research have developed very fast in the past decades. To strengthen the collaboration between China and the Netherlands, the 2017 Sino-Dutch International High Level Talent Forum and Summer School on Semiconductor Technologies takes place at Tsinghua University this week. This is the 6th edition of the summer school.

The program includes, among others, courses on integrated circuits and semiconductor technologies, start-up and entrepreneurship. Every year the program has a theme, this year’s is ICs for the Internet of Things. Innovations officer at the Netherlands Embassy mr. Maurits van Dijk says that the program provides many opportunities for the participants. “Experts and delegates, active in academia and industry, coming from the Netherlands and China, provide insights on all aspects micro- and nano-electronics engineering, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurship in the field. So I hope that the students will learn a lot from the master classes they will receive during their week here.”

Strengthening longterm cooperation

Almost 60 Dutch and Chinese students participate in the summer school which is a collaboration between the TU Delft and Tsinghua University. Interaction between these two groups is highly encouraged during the program. Mr. Van Dijk feels that, “the students can learn a lot from each other since they come from all parts of the world with different cultural backgrounds. Combining them together will for sure create new insights and ideas. Part of the summer school is therefore about the development of soft skills. I think this is very beneficial for the students to learn as well.”

Mr. Van Dijk has been involved in the summer school programs since its first edition in 2012. In his experience, “previous summer schools with different universities throughout China show that there is a need and willingness to work together and this will only intensify in the future. The objective of this summer school is to strengthen the collaboration between China and the Netherlands in the field of micro- and nano-electronics, and create a sustainable link between Dutch and Chinese talented students, academia and industries.”

Currently, Sino-Dutch cooperation in the field of micro- and nanotechnologies is already quite strong. The TU Delft has 4 Joint Research Centers in China, a double degree program with Tsinghua University in the field of micro- and nanotechnology as well as a dependence at the university. Mr. Van Dijk sees ample of room for future collaborations. “Driven by the market needs and supported by national strategies and plans, both Dutch and Chinese semiconductor industries have been growing and they expect even faster development in the upcoming years. So for this case, in the field of semiconductors, it is important to cooperate to learn from each other and to do joint research.”