STMicroelectronics continues to demonstrate the strength of innovation by fostering innovation and R&D for sustainable growth – said Alessandro Cremonesi  

STMicroelectonics is standing out as a beacon with its ingenuity and innovation in this ever-evolving industry of electronics and micro-engineering. Alessandro Cremonesi, the Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation officer at STMicroelectronics, coordinates and progresses the company forward with their cutting edge advancements in the semiconductor technology.

STMicroelectronics has attained the position as a Top 100 Global Innovators for the sixth time, with their commitments at encouraging new talents and building strategic global partnership.

Here, in this exclusive interview with the executive vice president, Cremonesi shares some of the valuable insights and approaches, and important contributions by the innovative offers and the team that’s shaping the STMicroelectronics growth and innovation in the semiconductor industry.

Electronics Media – Can you elaborate on STMicroelectronics’ approach to innovation and how it has contributed to being recognized as a Top 100 Global Innovator for the sixth time?

Alessandro Cremonesi – Innovation is a positive combination of different processes, both internal and external to the company. Over 9,500 employees work in R&D and design at ST. This includes more than 800 technical staff members who are recognized for their advanced expertise. This community drives our most advanced innovations, enabling us to develop new technologies and helping to foster R&D partnerships with prestigious universities and partners worldwide.

Electronics Media – How does STMicroelectronics leverage its global network of academic and private partners to drive sustainable growth and innovation across various technology domains?

Alessandro Cremonesi – Recognizing the importance of partnerships in the innovation process, we build strategic alliances, engage in bilateral research cooperation with universities and industrial partners, and participate in standardization bodies. Overall, we participated in 195 active R&D partnerships in 2023. We also participate in open ecosystems like Arduino, ARM Mbed, IOTA, and Linux and foster open innovation through activities with online communities and hackathons, hosting startups on our sites, through startup accelerators, and our growing network of internal innovation labs and proof-of-concept centers. Our open innovation activities have several initiatives specially designed to engage with startups through the ST for Startups program including accelerator programs, proof of concept centers and incubator programs. We also participate in leading third-party startup programs that foster innovation areas where ST is focused, such as Motor Valley and Startup Autobahn within the Plug and Play ecosystem, and through incubators programs, working with a global network of expert partners, such as Software République, Silicon Catalyst and e-novia.

Electronics Media – Could you provide insights into the specific areas of technology where STMicroelectronics is considered a leading semiconductor technology innovator, such as smart power technologies, edge AI solutions, and MEMS sensors?

Alessandro Cremonesi – Today, the results of the technology investments made by ST in the past allow the Company to focus on creating the market disruptions they make possible. These include key technologies and applications, such as Edge AI, intelligent sensors, FD-SOI, Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride, where ST is well positioned.

Electronics Media – What role does STMicroelectronics’ Innovation Office play in identifying emerging market trends and aligning them with internal technology expertise to stay ahead of the competition?

Alessandro Cremonesi – Innovation at ST is led by the Innovation Office which provides a framework for accelerating innovation processes and searching for disruptive technologies and applications. Its mission is to create both internal and external innovation opportunities by connecting emerging market and technology trends with our internal technology expertise and by facilitating knowledge sharing between both ST employees and external innovators, including networking activities with startups, academia, and R&D leaders.

Electronics Media – How does STMicroelectronics balance experimentation and risk with discipline and reward in its innovation strategy, especially in the dynamic landscape of semiconductor technology?

Alessandro Cremonesi – The semiconductor industry operates in a highly dynamic and competitive environment where innovation is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. Balancing experimentation and risk with discipline and reward is a complex task that involves several strategies and practices. ST invests significantly in R&D to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. In 2023 we spent $2.1 billion on R&D representing 12.2% of net revenues. Our open innovation approach involving collaborations with universities, research institutions, and other companies can help share the risks and costs associated with innovation, often leading to breakthroughs that might not have been possible in isolation. In our R&D efforts we balance improvements to existing products with disruptive innovation that seeks to create entirely new markets or disrupt existing ones. This dual approach allows for steady progress while also pursuing game-changing technologies.

Electronics Media – Can you explain the methodology used by Clarivate to identify and rank organizations in the Top 100 Global Innovators list, and how STMicroelectronics met the criteria for inclusion?

Alessandro Cremonesi – To build the Top 100 Global Innovators 2024 report, the Clarivate Center for IP and Innovation Research™ uses a methodology that involves a comprehensive comparative analysis of global invention data to assess the strength of every patented idea, using measure directly tied to their innovative power. It recognizes organizations that consistently demonstrate above-the-bar innovation performance. ST filed 681 new patents in 2023, what is important is the nature of these patents, the quality of ideas, their potency, and their effect.

Electronics Media -In what ways does STMicroelectronics plan to continue its commitment to innovation in the future, and what are the key areas of focus for R&D investment and collaboration?

Alessandro Cremonesi – First, we continuously benchmark our innovation capability and the level of our competences with the support of a panel of experts in academia called the ST Technology Council that periodically review our major R&D programs visa-vis the state of the art in various technical fields. We have many complementary initiatives to foster the right culture and improve our ability to develop internal innovation. These actions range from developing technical leaders through our Technical Fellows program which identifies new talents and leaders to fuel ST’s innovation capability, to supporting local innovation lab initiatives, such as the fab labs and hubs that connect our technical employees within local innovation ecosystems. We promote innovation at every level of the company through our annual Tech Week, as well as the ST Annual Recognition (STAR) ceremony, a company awards which recognizes High Potential Inventions, Patents, and Technical Papers. All these actions, and more, contribute to establishing ST as a recognized innovation leader among customer and industry groups.

The focus of our innovation and the evolution of technology is centered on the long-term trends shaping industry and society and supporting the transition to a more sustainable world. There trends are smart mobility, power and energy management, cloud-connected autonomous things and Edge AI.

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