Industry welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on key enabling technologies

Date

06 Oct 2009

Sections

Competition
Trade & Society

Press release

Industry welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on key enabling technologies – ‘Industry is ready to play its role’ but concrete measures are needed to restore European competitiveness now.

European Commission confirms: Microelectronics and semiconductors are “indispensable” for Europe’s future.

Brussels, September 30, 2009 – European chip makers and their suppliers welcomed today’s Commission Communication on key enabling technologies. For the first time, the
Commission has recognized that micro- and nanoelectronics are of “systemic relevance” for Europe’s society and economy. The Commission goes on by stating that semiconductors are one of the areas that require the “right framework conditions and support instruments” in order to further strengthen European capabilities in R&D and their subsequent commercialization. Besides micro- and nanoelectronics, the Commission has identified
nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology and photonics among the “most strategically relevant” technologies that will drive the development of new industries over the next 5 to 10 years.

Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies and ESIA President affirmed “… what we are looking for is a strategic European approach to industrial innovation policy flanked by very concrete measures. These are measures which accelerate semiconductor solutions for societal needs such as energy efficiency and combating global warming, automotive electronics or ageing societies. In this way Europe can restore its competitiveness in
semiconductors and aim at a more equal playing field with the rest of the world.

But we are not there yet! What we see with this Communication is a step in the right direction We now appeal to EU Member States, the new MEPs and the incoming
Commissioners to join forces to capture the momentum and ensure a rapid transition from strategic intent to implementation.”

SEMI Europe President Heinz Kundert stated: “It is vital for semiconductor equipment and materials companies that effective policy measures are put in place urgently to allow for a relevant semiconductor supply chain, from R&D to manufacturing, to remain in Europe so that our members can continue to provide innovative solutions that enable smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. The EU needs to ensure that the “right framework conditions and support instruments” are in place also for manufacturing.

Strong European semiconductor capabilities are a pre-requisite for European innovation and competitiveness.”

In recent publications, ESIA and SEMI have stressed the need for concrete solutions within the pillars of lead markets, R&D, manufacturing and education in Europe so that
semiconductors can continue to play their role as a key enabler for the European economy.

Semiconductors provide the knowledge and technologies that generate some 10% of European GDP. They are key in providing the innovation and added value to products
ranging from car braking systems to mobile phones. The same applies to their role in supporting EU initiatives such as the Lisbon strategy or energy efficiency objectives.
Both Peter Bauer and Heinz Kundert stressed “The quicker the proposed high level expert’s group finalizes its work, and Europe puts in place the necessary measures for key
enabling technologies, the better equipped Europe will be to face the future, also addressing the risks of relocation of knowledge-based activities to non-European economies. Industry is ready to play its role!”

ABOUT EECA-ESIA: The Mission of the European Semiconductor Industry Association(EECA-ESIA) is to represent, promote and defend the vital interests of the European-based
semiconductor industry and ensure its competitiveness in the global market. The semiconductor industry provides the key enabling technologies at the forefront of the
development of the Information Society This sector supports around 115,000 jobs directly and up to 500,000 induced jobs in Europe, in a market valued at around EUR 26bn in 2008.

Website: www.eeca.eu
EECA–ESIA CONTACT
'Diamant' Building. Boulevard A. Reyers 80, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
Martin Spät, ESIA Director, secretariat.gen@eeca.be or mspaet@eeca.be
Tel: +32 2 7068600

ABOUT SEMI: SEMI is a non-for-profit global industry association representing 2000 companies that supply equipment, materials and services for the manufacturing of
semiconductors, photovoltaic, MEMS, displays and related technologies. SEMI supports 200 member companies in Europe, including a few world champions (ASML, Soitec, Siltronic...) but mostly SMEs representing 90% of its membership. SEMI members produce 9 billion EUR in Europe and employ directly 105.000 people, 500.000 indirect jobs.

Website:
www.semi.org/europe
SEMI CONTACT
SEMI Europe
40 Avenue des Arts, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Carlos Lee, tel: + 32 473 300433, clee@semi.org