Infineon leads new European sustainable electronics project, EECONE

Infineon to head the EECONE project for sustainable development, manufacturing, and use of electronics in Europe.

Germany’s largest semiconductor manufacturer and former Siemens spinoff Infineon Technologies has become the head and coordinator of the European Ecosystem for Green Electronics (EECONE), a research project that aims to make electronics in Europe more sustainable by investigating technologies along the entire value chain, from design, to manufacture, use and recycling.

Multi-partner project with EU support

EECONE is supported by the European Union as a joint undertaking with 49 participating partners from multiple countries including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, and Turkey. The project has a volume of approximately €35m in total costs and is being funded by the European Union and the national governments of the participating companies with around €20m.

“Electronics are fundamental to improving the sustainability of many applications. But this is not sufficient, electronics themselves have to become greener,” said Constanze Hufenbecher, Infineon Management Board member and Chief Digital Transformation Officer. “Infineon is pleased to take on the lead role in the research project EECONE in order to advance the circular economy together with our partners along the value chain. The only way to achieve sustainability from design and use and all the way to recycling is by working together.”

Infineon leads EECONE
Infineon leads European sustainable electronics project | Credit: Unsplash

EECONE partner companies:

  • 4Mod Technology
  • Acorde Technologies Sag
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo superior de Investigaciones cientificas
  • Aniah SAS
  • Arcelik A.S.
  • Atea Sverige AG
  • AT&S – Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik
  • Centre national de la Recherche scientifique
  • Charokopeio Panepstimio
  • Commissariat a l’Energie atomique et aux Energies alternatives
  • Dassault Systemes
  • Design and Reuse
  • EcoDC AG
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (DE)
  • Get electronique
  • Infineon Technologies AG
  • Institut mikroelektronickych Aplikaci SRO
  • Institut polytechnique de Grenoble
  • Interactive fully electrical Vehicles SRL
  • Interuniversitair Microelectronica Centrum
  • Leonardo – Societa per Azioni
  • Luna Geber Engineering SRL
  • Melsen Tech A/S
  • Nerosubianco SRL
  • Orbotech Ltd.
  • Ozyegin Universitesi
  • Premo, S.L.
  • Research Institutes of Sweden AB
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Siec Badawcza Lukasiewecz – Instytut Mikroelektronik i Fotoniki
  • Silicon Austria Labs GmbH
  • Smartsol SIA
  • Soitec SA
  • STMicroelectronics SAS
  • Synano BV
  • Technicka Univerzita v Liberci
  • Technische Hochschule Deggendorf
  • Tecnologias Servicios telematicos y Sistemas SA
  • Teknologisk Institut
  • Tetradis
  • Thales dis France SAS
  • Università degli Studi di Perugia
  • Université catholique de Louvain
  • Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Ustav teorie informace a Automatzizace AV CR VVI
  • Vitesco Technologies France
  • Weeecycling

EECONE’s associated partners are Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique SA, Recherche et Developpement (CH), and Swiss Vault Systems GmbH (CH).

6R Alignment

The EECONE research project, according to an Infineon press release, is aligned with the “Reduce, Reliability, Repair, Reuse, Refurbish, and Recycle” (6R) concept that aims for the number of materials required by electronics to be reduced and for electronics to be made more reliable, easier to fix, easier to recondition, and easier to recycle.

Within the scope of European electronics, the project looks to examine the widest possible variety of fields and will investigate a total of ten application examples covering areas such as automotive, consumer electronics, health, information and communication technologies, aviation, and agriculture.

Optimising materials and more

Over the course of three years, the EECONE project will cover areas such as optimising the use of materials and, for example, reducing the amount of material used by producing thinner or smaller circuit boards, or improving sustainability by introducing materials that are easier to separate during the recycling process.

In addition, EECONE will look at developing technologies that generate and store their own power within IoT devices, ecologically friendly materials, artificial intelligence (AI) to prolong the service lives of electronic equipment, and more sustainable electronic design.

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