Interview: Giorgio Anania, CEO, Aledia
Categorie(s) : Industry, Innovation & Society, Interviews, MINATEC, News
Published : 5 October 2020
Our investment in this plant is a calculated risk
What spurred Aledia to build its new plant in Champagnier?*
We wanted to be 100% ready to manufacture when our product hits the market in early 2022. Our micro-LED technology offers some very substantial benefits for augmented reality and smartphone and computer displays. But we are also competing with companies like Facebook and Apple. So, we can’t afford to wait for our first orders to come in to build our manufacturing facility. It is a calculated risk.
So, what is the outlook?
Each of the markets we are addressing is worth hundreds of millions of euros. We also have the backing of some major partners. Intel acquired a stake in Aledia in 2018. Our other investors include a global smartphone leader and a GAFAM. Therefore, it is safe to say that the risks have been mitigated. Another factor is that the 52,000 sq. m facility, which includes 18,000 sq. m of cleanrooms, will be built in three phases as our sales ramp up.
Was your plan always to build the plant in Grenoble?
No. Initially we were looking for cleanrooms that were already built. Grenoble’s tech ecosystem really got behind the project to find a local solution to meet our needs for a plant that could be up and running within our timeframe, that would allow us to limit our capital expenditures and spread them out over time, and that would give us access to a qualified local workforce. The added bonus is that the new plant will be just ten minutes from our R&D center in Echirolles and very close to CEA-Leti and our joint lab, which is ongoing.
*A total of €38 million will be invested in the plant. It will ultimately employ 500 people.