Chips for Europe: A landmark gathering
The Chips for Europe event, held in Brussels, marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the European semiconductor industry. This two-day event brought together a diverse array of key players from across the continent, featuring insightful discussions, networking opportunities, and an exhibition of cutting-edge projects.
The format of the event, very dynamic and interactive, facilitated exchanges of ideas, strategies, and visions aimed at strengthening Europe's position in the global semiconductor landscape. The opening day started with Jari Kinaret, Executive Director of the Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU), delivering an insightful welcome speech that captured the event's ambitions and targets. This was followed by a keynote address from Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, whose visionary perspective on the Chips Act and digital Europe resonated deeply with the audience.
Embracing the voice of stakeholders
The first day was characterized by a blend of high-level discussions and networking opportunities. A series of introductory speeches and panel discussions featuring CEOs, CTOs, and other high-level public authorities illuminated the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in chip technologies and in the overall electronic components and systems sector.
Nikolai Setzer, CEO of Continental AG, and Jaime Martorell, Special Commissioner for Microelectronics and Semiconductors in Spain, delivered keynote speeches on “EU strategic autonomy and economic security”. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring Thomas Skordas, Deputy Director-General of DG CNECT, European Commission, Pierre Barnabé, CEO of Soitec; Roger Dassen, CFO of ASML; Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec; Frédérique Le Grévès, President of STMicroelectronics France and EVP of Europe & France Public Affairs; Cinzia Silvestri, CEO of Bi/ond; and Joost van Kuijk, CEO/CMO of Adimec.
Another highlight was the session on “Maintaining and boosting European technology leadership”, introduced by Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, and Jo Brouns, Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy, and Agriculture. The panel discussion included prominent figures like Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General of DG RTD, European Commission; Sigrid Johannisse, European Semiconductor Board Member from the Netherlands; Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec GmbH; Maurice Geraets, Executive Director of NXP Semiconductors Netherlands B.V.; Sébastien Dauvé, CEO of CEA-Leti; and Eva Maydell, Member of the European Parliament.
The "Walk of Fame" exhibition, a centerpiece of the event, opened with a guided tour during the networking lunch. This exhibition showcased 30 significant funded projects, demonstrating the innovative spirit and collaborative efforts driving the European semiconductor sector.
The Chips for Europe Initiative
Day two shifted focus to the Chips for Europe Initiative, revealing its multifaceted nature through detailed presentations and discussions. Lucilla Sioli, Director for "Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry" at DG CNECT, European Commission, commenced the day with an introduction, spotlighting the intersection of AI and semiconductor technology.
The audience, always at the centre, had the opportunity to get into topics like advanced pilot lines, competence centers, and cutting-edge quantum chips. Notable contributions came from Jari Kinaret, Executive Director and Yves Gigase, Head of Programmes at Chips JU, Arian Zwegers, Deputy Head of Unit at DG CNECT and Anton Chichkov, Chips JU’s Programme Officer. They collectively outlined the structure, objectives, and future outlook of the newly launched Joint Undertaking.
The segment on the Chips Design Platform, presented by Matthew Xuereb and Marco Ceccarelli from DG CNECT, highlighted the EU's efforts to lower barriers for companies in chip design and promote collaborative innovations.
In the afternoon, the event dove into the Chips JU R&I programme, exploring future challenges and directions. Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni, Chair of the Chips JU Private Members Board, introduced this segment. The following panel discussion, featuring Lucilla Sioli, Michael Paulweber, Senior Adviser at AVL List GmbH, Régis Hamelin, CTO at Blumorpho, Francis Balestra, CNRS Research Director at IMEP-LAHC, and other industry leaders, provided a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The event concluded with presentations on ECS SRIA 2024 and upcoming Chips JU calls, led by Patrick Cogez, Technical Director at AENEAS, and Yves Gigase.
This gathering was more than a conference; it served not just as a platform for discussing future strategies and innovations but also as a networking hub, enabling the forging of new connections and the strengthening of existing ones. The event concluded on a high note, leaving the participants inspired and more informed about the European Union's vision and strategy for the semiconductor industry.
In summary, the Chips for Europe event was a success, marking a pivotal moment for the chips industry in Europe. It showcased the commitment to innovation, strategic autonomy, and economic security in the digital era, laying a solid foundation for future advancements and collaborations.
Presentations and photo library