Chalmers Center for High-Speed Technology - CHACH: Final Report 1995-2006
Chalmers Center for High-Speed Technology (CHACH) was a Competence Center in high-speed electronics and photonics between Chalmers University of Technology, industrial partners and Swedish Governmental Agencies (Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK) 1995-2000, Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) 2000-2005). CHACH was run 1995.04.01 - 2006.12.31 in six consecutive Stages, each one from 6 to 36 months in duration. For each Stage, a Consortium Agreement was signed between the partners defining the management, legal structure and a joint research program.
CHACH's original mission was to conduct research for the long-term competitiveness of its partners. The research program encompassed fiberoptic communication, optoelectronics, high-frequency circuit design, emerging microwave devices, microwave power (devices), and electro-magnetic modeling. The mission was later changed to: "To bring academic advances in microwave-based components faster to industrial development and system prototyping by taking full advantage of the common infrastructure established by Chalmers and its industrial partners through CHACH."
14 enterprises (six small- or medium-sized) and one industrial research institute joined as company members in CHACH. 173 persons (18 women) participated in research projects, steering boards and administration. Of these, 66 persons (8 women) were from Chalmers. Around 50% of the engaged researchers from industry partners was from Ericsson companies. In total, 239 MSEK (75 MSEK cash) was invested in the center by the partners in CHACH.
The total academic output from CHACH was 174 journal papers and 290 conference contributions (37 invited). 22 Ph.D.s and 30 licentiates were examined at Chalmers. Eight of the Ph.D.s were later employed in industry.
Eight success stories of industrial testing and transfer of results have been identified of which three had a commercial impact at company partners. It is expected that at least two to three of the other success stories will become commercially viable in coming years. A total of 47 patents were registered, almost all owned by Ericson. The number of spin off companies was three plus one in an advanced planning stage. Other CHACH research which turned out to have a long way to market has been transferred to verification projects or EU framework programs.
CHACH was part of a large research environment at Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2) at Chalmers. CHACH has during almost twelve years developed from a traditional center of excellence within engineering science to a Competence Center where company partners, academia and society benefit from impact. International evaluations by NUTEK/VINNOVA, an international advisory board, and support from university management have constituted essential factors in developing CHACH. Key issues have been to strongly increase industrial involvement including cash contributions from company partners, to profile the research program after industrial long-term needs, to clarify CHACH projects and results in relation to other activities at university, to settle the agreement and in particular solve IPR issues, and to clarify the added value of CHACH in relation to other research at Chalmers. This strategy helped Chalmers to transform CHACH into the second generation Competence Center, GigaHertz Centre, which was launched by Chalmers and industrial partners in January 2007 and is expected to operate at least until December 2016 within VINNOVA's VINN Excellence Program.
center of excellence