Home » Singapore’s Silicon Box plans €3.2B chip factory in Northern Italy

Singapore’s Silicon Box plans €3.2B chip factory in Northern Italy

The project in Novara, which is set to begin operations in 2028, will create 1,600 direct jobs and significantly boost the microelectronics sector in Italy. This initiative aligns with the country’s national strategy to attract high-tech investments and follows other significant developments in the industry

Novara chip factory. Singapore-based semiconductor company Silicon Box recently announced plans to invest €3.2 billion in building a microchip factory in Novara, a city in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan. This investment aims to enhance Italy’s technological progress greatly.

  • The agreement was signed this morning at the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy by Minister Adolfo Urso, President of Piedmont Region Alberto Cirio, Mayor of Novara Alessandro Canelli, and executives from Silicon Box.
  • The new facility, which is projected to begin operations in 2028, is expected to generate 1,600 direct jobs.

The Italian chip boom. This investment represents Silicon Box’s first chip production plant in Europe. It is part of a broader trend of significant investments in Italy’s microelectronics sector, which has surpassed €9 billion since the beginning of the year. 

  • This development aligns with Italy’s national strategy for microelectronics, which aims to attract significant productive investments, strengthen advanced industrial research, and build international alliances for joint projects.
  • Minister Urso emphasised that this project follows other notable investments, including STMicroelectronics’ €5 billion investment in Catania and Aixtron’s developments in Piedmont. 
  • “We are witnessing a domino effect for chip investments in Italy,” Urso stated. The region’s robust infrastructure and know-how in high-tech industries were critical factors in locating the plant in Novara.

Strengthening ties. The investment coincides with a recent visit to Italy by Singapore’s President, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who discussed strengthening economic and scientific relations with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

  • During these discussions, the leaders explored opportunities for increased investment and cooperation in sectors like artificial intelligence and renewable energy, emphasising the importance of collaborative efforts in the evolving global landscape.
  • This visit marked Shanmugaratnam’s first official trip to a European nation since taking office.

High-tech partnership. Italy and Singapore have a history of cooperation in high-tech sectors. In 2023, the Executive Programme for Scientific and Technological Cooperation saw joint food technology and artificial intelligence projects.

  • Additionally, STMicroelectronics, a Franco-Italian company, has been a key player in Singapore’s electronics sector since the 1970s, further solidifying the technological bond between the two nations. 

Semiconductor surge. The investment in Novara is expected to enhance Italy’s position as a significant player in the global semiconductor industry.

  • “Italy has the potential to be one of the most important production hubs for new technology in Europe,” Urso concluded.
  • This strategic partnership underscores the deepening economic and technological ties between Italy and Singapore, paving the way for future collaborations in the high-tech sector.

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