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Electronics Production | February 15, 2005

Creativity and innovation to remain in Europe

"The migration to Asia will go on," predicted Franz Richter, chairman of SEMI. Experts at The Industry Strategy Symposium gathered to discuss the future of the European chip industry.
Several experts from the european semiconductor industry was brought together at the symposium. All agreed at one point: Moving of the production abroad will go on, especially to the Asia. "We can't compete against the low wages in the Far East," said Reinhard Ploss, head of Infineon's Automotive, Industrial and Multimarket division.

Asia is also expected to catch up with the R&D in Europe. Asia will not be satisfied with just beeing the low cost production region. "China's competition for our research and development activities is growing," said Ploss. "In the long run, China won't be satisfied with the role of a cheap production partner," added Peter Podesser, CEO of the Austrian semiconductor equipment company EV Group.

One of Europes advantages is the basic research. And the innovation is still good but when it comes to realization, Europe could be a lot better. "We have good ideas, but it is difficult to realize them in the form of successful products," said Infineon's Ploss. "There is no innovation problem in Europe, there is only a problem with the realization", added Doug Dunn, former CEO of the Dutch semiconductor equipment company ASML.

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