Pre-qualification to Submit an Application for a "Chips Competence Centre" on Semiconductor Technology and Smart Systems

Important dates

21 Jun 2024

Deadline for submitting an application

01 Jul 2024

Expected response to the application

Important dates


The call is a prequalification to apply for funding through Chips JU's call for funding for a centre of expertise in Norway on semiconductor technologies. The main call will open on 8 July 2024 and have a deadline of September 2024. 

Only one project will receive a letter of support from the Research Council through this pre-qualification call, which must be submitted with the application to the main call.

About the call for proposals

In July 2024, Chips JU will announce EUR 116 million for national centres of excellence in semiconductor technologies. The aim of the European Chips Act is to strengthen Europe's competitiveness in this area. The centre is expected to start up at the end of 2024.  

The Norwegian centre will assist Norwegian start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), larger companies and research communities in exploiting the capacity that is being built up in Europe for the manufacture and design of semiconductor components. In addition, the centre must be able to advise SMEs on opportunities for financing and venture capital. The centre will also build expertise and skills in the field in Norway and spread knowledge. 

The centre should have a limited number of partners and can connect with any expertise that is lacking through the purchase of goods or services from subcontractors.  The coordinator of the centre must have in-depth knowledge of similar open Norwegian offers for semiconductor manufacturing (NorFab). 

The Chips JU call is scheduled to be posted on 8 July 2024 and the application deadline is scheduled to be in September 2024. In order to apply for this international call, the Research Council must submit an attachment stating that the application has been approved by the Research Council. Only one application can be approved and submitted from Norway. 

You can find a description of the upcoming Chips JU call on the website "Chips Multiannual Programme 2023-2027". For more information, see Appendix 4 2024 Initiative, pages 11-18, chapter titled "2.4. Chips-2024 CCC-1: Competence centres». The national assessment will emphasize the elements described in the document under the following: 

  • "Expected outcomes" 
  • "Scope" 
  • "Access to the Chips Competence Centre" 
  • "Consortia for Competence Centres" 

These points will be assessed where appropriate under the Digital Europe programme's assessment criteria, which are described on pages 16-17 at the end of the chapter. 

When the nominated application is later to be prepared further and submitted to Chips JU, you are required to use the template "EU grants: Application form DEP". You can find the template here for information. You are not required to use the template in the national nomination. However, it may be smart to start looking at the structure of the template to plan the application to Chips JU already now.   

In the application for the national prequalification call, you are free to use the parts of the template that are relevant to achieving the points described in Appendix 4 in the chapter "2.4. Chips-2024 CCC-1: Competence centres», pages 11-18. The maximum page limit for the project description for the national prequalification is 20 pages (the application for Chips JU can be up to 70 pages). 

The call is available in both Norwegian and English. The text of the Norwegian call for proposals is legally binding. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Approved Norwegian research organisations, companies and the public sector are eligible to apply. See the list of approved research organisations and definition of the public sector.  

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The research organisation/public agency/enterprise listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the application. 

If the application is a collaboration between several organisations, the Project Owner must submit the application on behalf of all partners. 

Requirements relating to the project manager 

There are no formal requirements for the project manager's qualifications. 

The Project Manager must be employed by the Project Owner or by one of the partners. 

Requirements relating to partners 

Approved Norwegian research organisations, the business sector and the public sector may participate as partners in the project and receive funding under the main project. The Project Owner and any partners may purchase goods or services from subcontractors. 

What can you seek funding for?

This is a pre-qualification call to apply for an international main call. This call therefore does not include funding. 

The conditions for the allocation of funding mentioned below will apply to the project that is awarded through Chips JU's call, and are set up here for information if your project should receive the recommendation to apply to Chips JU. 

The Norwegian centre will receive a total of EUR 4 million in funding from Chips JU and an equal amount from the Research Council of Norway. The funding is distributed over 4 years. 

Prerequisites for the award of funding 

Support for a research organisation goes to the organisation's non-economic activity. It therefore does not constitute state aid. The Research Council assumes that the necessary accounting separation is in place. Aid to "undertakings" constitutes state aid. In this context, an undertaking means any actor that engages in economic activity by offering goods and/or services in a market. When an undertaking is to have part of its project costs covered, either as a Project Owner or as a partner in the project, this must be done in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). Read more about state aid.  

In addition, you must be aware of the following if you should receive an award from us: 

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Enabling technologies

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Please note that you can only submit the application once. If you submit the application before the deadline and subsequently see that it still needs to be changed, you can create a new application – e.g. as a copy of the one you have already submitted – and in this way submit a new version before the deadline expires. The deadline for submitting applications for this call is 21 June 2024 at 13:00. 

  • The application and all attachments must be written in English. 
  • All attachments must be in PDF format. 

Mandatory attachments 

  • Project description of maximum 20 pages. There is no template for a project description, but see information about the project description under "About the call". 
  • Short CV for project manager/coordinator for the centre (maximum 1 page) 

Applications that do not meet the requirements above will be rejected. 

Optional attachments 

  • CVs for key participants in the project 

All attachments to the application must be submitted with the application. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application deadline unless we have requested additional documentation. 

We will not consider documents and websites linked to in the application, or attachments other than those specified above. Be careful to upload the correct attachment type, as there are no technical restrictions on what kind of templates it is possible to upload in the application form. 

Administrative procedures

Applications will be assessed administratively by the Research Council's case officers, a recommendation for submitting applications to the main international call for proposals for Chips JU, with a deadline of September 2024. Applications for the national prequalification will be assessed on the basis of the following points (which you will find in more detail in Appendix 4): 

  • "Expected outcomes" 
  • "Scope" 
  • "Access to the Chips Competence Centre" 
  • "Consortia for Competence Centres" 

We expect to publish which applications are recommended for submission to Chips JU's call by 1 July 2024. 

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