A new National Microelectronics Institute, based in Heriot-Watt University's research park, will use information technology to deliver industrial training to semiconductor manufacturing companies across the United Kingdom.
The NMI has been created by nine semiconductor manufacturers working with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Scottish and Welsh Offices, and the Government Office for the North-east.
Heriot-Watt, in Edinburgh, will be the hub of a network linking all the semiconductor producers. The university will coordinate training and development programmes for the manufacturers.
Alistair MacFarlane, Heriot-Watt's principal, said he believed the university had been chosen because of its leading edge work in using information technology.
"The concept of a virtual institute, where traditional bricks and mortar centres are replaced by information technology networks, has tremendous potential for every aspect of education and training," he said.