The future of the ECS sector: ECS Brokerage event in review

The Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) Brokerage event took place on February 20 and 21, in Brussels, with the participation of 518 participants. During two days, the community had an opportunity to learn about the Chips JU Calls, the ECS SRIA, forge connections, and uncover potential partnerships within the dynamic ECS community.
The event started with a session by Lucila Sioli, Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry at the European Commission. The presentation shared insights into the goals of the Chips for Europe Initiative and the current state of the activities under its umbrella. Chips JU will be responsible for implementing a part of this Initiative and the first calls, for the establishment of pilot lines are currently open and will close on February 29. Then, Jari Kinaret (Chips JU Executive Director) and Anton Chichkov (Programme Officer at Chips JU) delved into the intricacies of the Chips JU calls not directly associated with the Chips for Europe Initiative.
The morning session unfolded further with a presentation by Patrick Cogez about the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) 2024. This dynamic digital document, crafted by Industry Associations, outlines research topics to be investigated over the next 15 years across the entire ECS value chain. The session concluded with Caroline Bedran (Director General, AENEAS), Elizabeth Steimetz (Director, EPoSS), and Paolo Azzoni (Secretary General, INSIDE) underscoring the pivotal role of industry associations in fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within the ECS community and their contribution to the Chips JU programme.
Before the lunch break, 16 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) took centre stage to present their pitches. This segment highlighted the diverse fields of expertise within each of these companies and worked as a platform for potential collaborators to get to know other companies and their work.
The afternoon session was dedicated to the dynamic exchange of project ideas, available via the ECS Collaboration Tool, and face-to-face consortia-building meetings.
Day two featured Yves Gigase (Chips JU Head of Programmes) offering a comprehensive overview of Chips JU calls related to the Chips for Europe Initiative, and upcoming activities for the year. The subsequent Brokerage event focused on continued face-to-face consortium-building meetings,  highlighting the event's commitment to fostering lasting collaborations.