National Science Foundation
Partnership Catalyzes SOP-based Industry
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System-on-a-Package (SOP) is a new approach to electronic systems integration that will revolutionize the microelectronics industry. Its emergence requires a new generation of engineers skilled in SOP concepts and technology. The Packaging Research Center and its industrial partners are jointly producing these engineers and moving them into industry.

Credit: Packaging Research Center
Permission Granted
State: Georgia

The Georgia Tech Packaging Research Center (PRC), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC), completed its 10-year term as an ERC in late 2005. A recent study conducted by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) determined that between 1994 and 2004, PRC produced a direct economic benefit (new jobs, licensing fees, and royalties, etc.) to the economy of the state of Georgia of nearly $192 million. When indirect benefits are factored in, SRI estimates that the total quantifiable contribution of PRC to the Georgia economy over the 10 years was $351 million.

Over the 10 years, PRC and its industry partners jointly designed and implemented a strategy to cooperatively develop the center’s new System-on-a-Package (SOP) technologies, educate the next generation of packaging engineers, and transfer both technologies and graduates to industry to strengthen its competitiveness. This partnership resulted in hundreds of industrial internships and well over 300 PRC graduates hired by the center’s industrial partners. Industrial practitioners routinely gave lectures in the classroom and participated on thesis committees. PRC hosted over 60 visiting industry engineers on campus, documented numerous examples of technology transfer, and disclosed nearly 200 inventions. PRC also impacted local economic development by creating spin-off companies, attracting spin-in companies, and assisting local start-up companies in incubating nascent technologies.

By developing a portfolio of critical SOP technologies, graduating over 500 skilled SOP engineers, and facilitating the creation of new companies in its field, PRC has enabled an SOP-based industry to emerge in the United States.

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