MIDAS is the Microelectronics Industry Design ASsociation in Ireland, and was established in 1999. It is an industry-led organisation that defines and develops the future direction for the microelectronics industry in Ireland. MIDAS also includes the universities that teach electronic engineering graduates and are active in microelectronics research, as well as the state agencies, IDA (the Industrial Development Authority) which supports Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland and EI (Enterprise Ireland) which supports the growth of the Irish Indigenous sector.
MIDAS’s core focus is on the design of integrated circuits which are the key technology driver components in electronic systems today and the point at which most innovation takes place. As the underlying semiconductor technology evolves and achieves increased performance, new and exciting applications for the integrated circuit come along, so innovation through new products is an ongoing cycle.
There are approximately 60 companies in our sector in Ireland. We estimate annual exports to be €6bn, with 8,000 high value jobs, 1,500 of these directly involved with design or product development. There is an equal split between multi-national and indigenous companies, many of the latter are recent start-ups, although the jobs and exports numbers are dominated by the multi-nationals. The start-ups are primarily focused on IC design and some of these are acquired by multi-nationals over time, which acts as another catalyst for FDI.