The Austrian research center for electronic based systems, Silicon Austria Labs, has appointed Aya Cohen as Head of SAL MicroFab to build up the cleanroom infrastructure. Aya Cohen is a specialist in process engineering with over a decade of experience from both industry and academy, as an engineer and as a manager. Aya has worked in a leading semiconductor manufacturing company in Israel for seven years, before she took on the management of a semiconductor fabrication research facility in Israel’s technical university, where she has been employed for five years.

The SAL MicroFab consists of 1,400 m² cleanroom space, making it a key hub for research and development activities in Austria. Designed to accommodate 200 mm wafers, the facility is capable of processing up to 25 wafers in a single batch. The primary objectives of the SAL MicroFab include facilitating fast prototyping, small series production, and the seamless transfer of processes to an industrial scale.

“In addition to SAL's overall goal to actively support industry between basic research and application-oriented research, we want to use the SAL MicroFab to build long-term bridges between R&D prototypes, small series, and the transition to large-scale production in industry. With Aya’s extensive experience in both industry and academia and her international perspective, she will play a pivotal role in building up the SAL MicroFab and strengthening our commitment to advancing innovative technologies”, says Christina Hirschl, CEO of SAL. 

“I believe the SAL MicroFab will become a leading member of the European semiconductor world. SAL’s mission ‘From Idea to Innovation’ sets the path for the SAL MicroFab, steering us towards sophisticated fabrication, in order to enable state-of-the-art research and to bridge the gap for higher TRLs. Excellence in this field will be achieved by setting a clear vision and working top down to achieve it, building up on the knowledge of our experienced and motivated colleagues, and by close cooperation with our partners”, says Aya Cohen, Head of SAL MicroFab.

Link to Factsheet: SAL MicroFab


Silicon Austria Labs GmbH (SAL) was founded in 2018 as a top non-university research center in the field of electronic based systems. At its locations in Graz, Villach and Linz, research is conducted on key technologies in the fields of Microsystems, Sensor Systems, Power Electronics, Intelligent Wireless Systems and Embedded Systems. SAL brings together key players from industry and science and thus valuable expertise and know-how, and conducts cooperative, application-oriented research along the value chain. The aim is to accelerate the value creation process from idea to innovation – with excellent research and economic benefits. Owners are the Republic (50.1%), the Provinces of Styria and Carinthia (10% each), the Province of Upper Austria (4.95%) and the Association for the Electric and Electronics Industry (24.95%).


Silicon Austria Labs GmbH

Isabella Preuer, BA BA MA
Head of Communications & PR 
+43 664 832 97 73