A global response for stranded researchers in Micro and Nano technologies

July 27, 2020: The global pandemic has stranded many students in their home countries, unable to return to their studies and cut off from the tools and expert assistance they need to design and test components in advanced technologies.

Without access to their labs and research infrastructure, these students are unable to continue the design and manufacture of research prototypes. This is a major setback for the students who are left without the means to keep up in the highly competitive world of microelectronic and nanotechnology research and development. The resulting reduction in innovation will be felt globally for years to come through missed economic benefit and the loss of up-and-coming industry leaders that were unable to reach their potential.

To continue the development of these projects and the students that are conducting them, the Global MicroNanoTechnologies (Global MNT) group is coming together to help stranded students continue their research.

The Global MNT group is an informal association of organisations world-wide which provide support for education and research in microelectronics, photonics, sensors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other advanced technologies.

The group is asking stranded students to reach out to any of its organizations in order to access the vital research infrastructure and design capabilities that they need, regardless of whether they have been clients of any of the group members before. The organizations will then work together and with their suppliers to provide access to sophisticated design software and prototype manufacturing services.

“In the course of our usual interactions, we realized we each have clients stranded in our respective countries,” said Romano Hoofman, Program Director IMEC IC-Link. “Given the international reach and breadth of expertise available through the Global MNT group, we’ve identified that the best way we can help is to provide these stranded students with access to the tools they need to keep their research moving, and to continue on their respective career paths.”

The Global MNT group includes:

  • Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)
  • Canadian Microelectronics Corporation (CMC),
    • Circuits MultiProjets (CMP) France
    • Fraunhofer, Germany
    • IMEC, Belgium
    • Tyndall National Institute, Ireland
    • United Kingdom Research Institute (UKRI/STFC)
  • IC Design Education Centre (IDEC), South Korea
  • Systems Design Lab, the University of Tokyo (VDEC), Japan and
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI)

representing Australia; Canada; the European Union plus Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia; South Korea; Japan; and Taiwan respectively.

The Global MNT group has been convened by CMC Microsystems for over a decade. CMC’s CEO Gordon Harling, said: “In normal times our collaborative approach to providing infrastructure allows researchers to access best-in-breed technologies from around the world – in these unusual circumstances our collective can help to cushion the impact of the pandemic on research.

Some of the projects being conducted by students targets the diagnosis, assessment, and management of COVID-19, while a significant proportion of the rest are laying the foundations that will enable the global economy to not just recover after this, but to thrive. It is vital that we work together to enable this research, and we hope that our assistance can help to bring about some positive results from these uncertain times.”


Gord Harling President & CEO
P: +1. 613. 449. 6820

Mr. Harling is available for interviews in English or French.

About CMC Microsystems:

CMC Microsystems works with researchers and industry across Canada’s National Design Network®. We provide access to world-class platforms for Computer Aided Design (CAD), prototyping and manufacturing services (FAB), training and support (LAB) for researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry. Our services are geared for microsystems, nanotechnologies, photonics, and other innovative sectors of the next-generation economy. CMC reduces barriers by offering simplified access to the right tools to create tomorrow’s technologies.

Accelerate your project by adding CMC to your R&D team!

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