The Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic) is investing US$2.4 million (Dh8.8m) in a research centre in Abu Dhabi as it seeks to monetise academic studies in the semiconductor sector.
The centre has already started operations in the capital's Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and is part of a "twin labs" project through a partnership with the Technische Universitat Dresden in Germany.
The university is receiving $2.4m from the government of Saxony to establish a similar research centre within Germany. The aim is to have all parties benefiting from research findings on how to make semiconductors more energy efficient. The tiny devices are increasingly being used to operate smartphones, tablets and other electronic gadgets.
But specific details about which parties would ultimately control patents or intellectual property are still being worked out.
"It takes years to create a robust research environment similar to the ones you see in advanced economies across the world," said Sami Issa, the executive director who leads Atic's technology ecosystem unit.
"This is a step, of many steps, Atic has taken over the past three years," he added.
Since 2010, Atic has announced $17.2m in research and development investments, focused primarily on improving semiconductors.
The business was consolidated last year into Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company that is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government.
Atic's interest in research conducted at the faculty and by students at Masdar will centre on chip stacking, which layers microchips on top of each other to boost efficiency while powering different features in consumer electronics.
But Mr Issa said Atic may broaden its scope in the future.
"At the moment, we're focused on semiconductors probably for the foreseeable future," he said. "But Atic is mandated to invest in advanced technologies, which doesn't stop at semiconductors - the future is broader."
Atic also said it still intended to build a semiconductor fabrication facility in Abu Dhabi, which it said had previously been delayed due to softening demand for semiconductors and macro-economic conditions.