Innovation ecosystem

Maximizing our collective impact

Innovation is our lifeblood, the engine that drives our business.

A strong innovation ecosystem is crucial. To drive the fast pace of innovation in our value chain, our technology is developed together with the help of our partners and collaborative knowledge network. 

To fulfill our leadership role and reinforce our innovation footprint for future generations, we also give back to the industry by supporting and sharing our expertise with high-tech startups.

The need for innovation

As the markets of artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity, augmented reality, and the internet of things expand, consumers across the world are using ever-more powerful and sophisticated devices that are increasingly interconnected.

These developments drive demand for microchips, which in turn drive demand for the chipmaking systems that produce smaller, faster, cheaper, more powerful and energy-efficient microchips. We can only meet this demand by consistently and continuously advancing our technology.


Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of our business. To stay ahead, we invest heavily in R&D. Every day, more than 14,000 of the brightest minds in R&D take on the exciting challenge to innovate the most advanced lithography systems in the world. We co-develop expertise within a wide network of technology partners, such as universities and research institutions. This approach allows us to accelerate innovation and provides us with access to a large leading-edge knowledge base across a wide range of technologies.

To maintain our pace of innovation we need to develop the right knowledge and share it quickly and efficiently. Faster access to knowledge spurs faster development, allowing problems to be solved as quickly as possible. We have several programs in place to continually build and maintain a solid technical and functional knowledge base across the company.

An example of this is our partnership with Carl Zeiss AG which we’ve had for over three decades. This partnership runs according to the principle of ‘two companies, one business’ working together to drive operational excellence. To accelerate innovation in High NA technology, we hold an interest in and support Carl Zeiss SMT.

We’re also working with universities and research institutions including imec in Belgium, the technical universities in Twente, Delft and Eindhoven and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) in the Netherlands.

A.3.2. Ecosystem partners 2021

We develop our technology in close collaboration with partners inside and outside our company in an innovation ecosystem based on trust. We share both risk and reward and work hard at developing long-term relationships with our partners, listening to each other and pushing each other to continuously innovate. This approach allows us to accelerate innovation and provides access to a large leading-edge knowledge base across a wide range of technologies.

Collaboration for invention

Supporting startups and scaleups

We believe an inclusive and sustainable innovation ecosystem can unleash dynamic and competitive technologies that provide new solutions to society’s challenges.

To nurture innovation by new generations of technological talents, we share our expertise with entrepreneurs and startups. We make use of our experts’ in-depth competencies and knowledge to support startups and scaleups during their pivotal first few years.

By fostering entrepreneurship, we aim to help these young enterprises excel and grow. What we share is based on what we are good at, like building complex manufacturing systems. Sharing our expertise is also a way to strengthen our regional high-tech ecosystem.

ASML as a venture-builder

Through the Eindhoven Startup Alliance, we have supported startups and scaleups in their various stages over the years in collaboration with other tech-minded peers from our region. Together with startup accelerator HighTechXL, we aim to support startups along their journey. By providing them access to our ecosystem and sharing our knowledge, together with the Make Next Platform, we help them grow into a sustainable company.

Partnering in research

Together with a group of European companies and research institutes, we run collaborative subsidy projects aimed at advancing integrated circuit technology for the next node through the 'More Moore' program. Right now, we are leading the three-year PIn3S research pilot project into 3 nm semiconductor technology. The European Union is contributing up to €30 million of the total cost of €141.6 million for this project, as part of its objective to strengthen the European high-tech industry.

The PIn3S project will form the basis for innovations yet to come, enabling solutions that address societal challenges in communication, mobility, healthcare, security, energy, and safety and security.

Research Meet bij TU/e High Tech Systems Center met Arie den Boef, Senior Fellow ASML

Strategic advisory

We operate in an international industry with a global value chain where there are strong incentives to compete and drive innovation. We engage in policy to represent our interests towards governments in support of our strategic objectives.

2023 performance


R&D investments


R&D spend as % growth

(from 2019 base year)


Contribution to EU research projects


Value startups and scaleups in-kind support

See our latest annual report for full details of targets and performance data

Find out more about our sustainability strategy