Dutch government created task force to keep ASML in Netherlands

Hopes of making the Netherlands a global chip powerhouse have been boosted by a new deal between tech giant ASML and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

The pair today pledged to spend €180mn on semiconductor research over the next 10 years. Alongside the investment, the duo have committed to expand their joint research and train more PhD students for the industry.

ASML will also provide funding for TU/e’s new “cleanroom,” a controlled environment for manufacturing chips.

The plans provide fresh impetus to Brainport Eindhoven — a tech hub in the city. TU/e hailed the partnership’s contribution to the region’s “unique position” in the world of semiconductors.

“We will invest together, expanding Brainport’s position as the Netherlands’ most important semicon hotspot,” said University President Robert-Jan Smits.

The collaboration also allays fears about ASML’s future.

ASML strengthens Dutch chip goals

ASML’s acclaimed chip machines have made it Europe’s most valuable tech firm, but the company has become embroiled in political tensions.

One is the chip war between the USA and China, which has led to restrictions on ASML exports. Another involves the local business climate.

ASML has raised concerns about Dutch immigration curbs and plans to phase out tax credits for ex-pats. The company said these rules would restrict access to talent.

In response, ASML reportedly threatened to expand outside the Netherlands. Dutch politicians promptly devised a plan to keep the company at home: a €2.5bn investment scheme dubbed “Project Beethoven.”

ASML and TU/e said their partnership supports the project’s goals. The pair have also bolstered Brainport’s future as a global chip hub.

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