Infineon leads European project to boost electronics industry sustainability


Infineon Technologies AG has taken over as head  and coordinator of the broad-scope European research project EECONE  (European ECOsystem for greeN Electronics), intended to make electronics in Europe more sustainable. The objective is to investigate the corresponding technologies along the entire value chain, from design, manufacture and use all  the way to recycling. EECONE is one of the Key Digital Technologies research  projects supported by the European Union as a Joint Undertaking. 49 partners are  participating in the project, which has a volume of approximately 35 million euros total costs. The project is being funded by the European Union and the national governments of the participating companies with around 20 million euros. 

“Electronics are fundamental to improving the sustainability of many applications.  But this is not sufficient, electronics themselves have to become greener,” says  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.” 

EECONE is aligned with the 6R concept (Reduce, Reliability, Repair, Reuse,  Refurbish, Recycle); the amount of materials required by electronics is to be  reduced, electronics are to be made more reliable, easier to fix and use again, and easier to recondition and to recycle. The project will investigate a total of ten application examples from the widest possible variety of fields in terms of  developing green electronics. The applications are from the areas Automotive,  Consumer Electronics, Health, Information and Communication Technologies, Aviation and Agriculture. Focus points are for example reducing the amount of  material used by making circuit boards thinner or smaller, or improving sustainability by introducing materials which are easier to separate during  recycling. Facilitating the replacement of not only circuit boards but also of  semiconductors is to make it easier to repair devices. The technologies involved  could also make it possible to reuse and recycle electronic components. The  project will in addition develop technologies which for example generate and store their own power in IoT devices. New, ecologically friendly materials are to make it  easier to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Artificial Intelligence will be used to prolong the service lives of electronic equipment, while tools for more sustainable electronic design, including comprehensive impact assessments for the use of  electronics, are to be developed as well. EECONE also covers the use, dissemination and standardization of electronics and will train specialists in  handling electronic refuse.  

The EECONE research project has a planned duration of three years. It will  establish decisive foundations for the sustainable development, manufacturing and use of electronics in Europe. The on-site inaugural event of the project will be held in Toulouse on 20 and 21 September 2023. 

The 49 EECONE Research Project Partners

Partner Country
4Mod Technology FR
Acorde Technologies Sag ES
Agencia Estatal Consejo superior de Investigaciones cientificas ES
Aniah SAS FR
Arcelik A.S. TR
Atea Sverige AG SE
Autria Technologie & Systemtechnik AT
Centre national de la Recherche scientifique FR
Charokopeio Panepstimio EL
Commissariat a l’Energie atomique et aux Energies alternatives FR
Dassault Systemes FR
Design and Reuse FR
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. DE
Get electronique FR
Infineon Technologies AG DE
Institut mikroelektronickych Aplikaci SRO CZ
Institut polytechnique de Grenoble FR
Interactive fully electrical Vehicles SRL IT
Interuniversitair Microelectronica Centrum BE
Leonardo – Societa per Azioni IT
Luna Geber Engineering SRL IT
Melsen Tech A/S DK
Nerosubianco SRL IT
Orbotech Ltd. IL
Ozyegin Universitesi TR

Premo, S.L. ES
Research Institutes of Sweden AB SE
Robert Bosch GmbH DE
Siec Badawcza Lukasiewecz – Instytut Mikroelektronik i Fotoniki PL
Silicon Austria Labs GmbH AT
Smartsol SIA LV
Soitec SA FR
STMicroelectronics SAS FR
Synano BV NL
Technicka Univerzita v Liberci CZ
Technische Hochschule Deggendorf DE
Tecnologias Servicios telematicos y Sistemas SA ES
Teknologisk Institut DK
Tetradis FR
Thales dis France SAS FR
Università degli Studi di Perugia IT
Université catholique de Louvain BE
Université Grenoble Alpes FR
Ustav teorie informace a Automatzizace AV CR VVI CZ
Vitesco Technologies France FR
Weeecycling FR
Associated Partners Country
Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique SA – Recherche et  Developpement CH
Swiss Vault Systems GmbH CH