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Friday, May 21, 2010

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world's largest pre-college science fair competition. Each year, more than 6 million young scientists from around the world vie to attend and 1,500 are selected as finalists to share ideas, showcase cutting edge ideas and compete for over USD 4 million in awards and scholarships. To judge the projects, more than 1,000 science, engineering, and industry professionals volunteer at the Intel ISEF.

On May 14, 2010, Amy Cindy Chyao won first prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair when she was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award and a $75,000 college scholarship. More than 500 Intel ISEF competitors received scholarships and prizes for their innovative research.

Check out their website and prepared to be inspired.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Something for Everyone at SEMICON West

Six years ago, SEMICON West was an exposition with a few keynote speeches. There were some SEMI International Standards meetings, a president’s reception and many non-affiliated, off-site meetings by vendors, magazines and other organizations, but few technical or business programs designed to attract specific constituencies.

Today, there’s about 200 hours of business and technical programs formally held in conjunction with SEMICON West. These include free, on-floor TechXPOT sessions, paid technical conferences, and several programs by partnership organizations that SEMI actively supports and promotes. Some of these new programs address exhibitor demands for more on-floor show traffic, or more technical buyer attendees, but the overarching motivation is to serve specific industry segments with meaningful and practical environments in which to collaborate. Some of these collaborations are focused on selling, some are for learning, and some are to facilitate agreements between industry players.

As show organizers, our goal is first to identify specific constituencies that share common information needs, interests or issues. This isn’t as simple or straightforward as it sounds. Companies, titles, subjects and issues overlap. Perspectives on subjects like 22nm and 3DIC include materials and equipment suppliers, buyers and process developers, engineering specifiers and purchasing/supply chain managers. The deeper and more in-depth you get on a topic the narrower the audience; the broader the coverage of a topic, the less technical. At West, our goal is not to compete with narrow technical conferences, but bring key buyer/seller/specifier communities together in a practical way.

How we do this can be seen is in the programs and how they align to important market segments. Here’s the plan so far:

Advanced wafer processing
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/Semiconductor/index.htm

Packaging
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/Packaging/index.htm

Test
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/Test/index.htm

3DIC
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/3DIC/index.htm

MEMS
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/MEMS/index.htm

LED
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/LEDs/index.htm

Printed/Flexible Electronics
http://www.semiconwest.org/Segments/PFE/index.htm

Have we missed anything? What would you recommend? I'd love to hear your ideas.

SEMI Sales and Marketing Council

SEMI Sales and Marketing Council (SSMC) from SEMI on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Printed Electronics in Europe

I had an interesting speaking opportunity this week at the Printed Electronics Summit in San Jose where I gave an overview of the European landscape for organic and large area printed electronics (with the volcano constricting travel, I got the European slot).

What I knew, but what I was surprised to see so pronounced, was the scale of European excitement and support for printed electronics. The comparison with the US is not complimentary.

Today, Europe enjoys the world’s largest and most well developed collection of companies, research institutions and government programs engaged in printed and organic electronics. The ecosystem is well organized, well connected and well positioned to prosper from current trends or any breakthrough applications that may develop.

First, the R&D infrastructure in Europe is active, comparitively well funded and well established. Three Fraunhofer institutes, The UK’s The Knowledge Network, Belgium’s IMEC, France’s CEA/Liten to name a few all have active research programs in organic and printed. VTT, the Research Centre of Finland is very active in this area. It has a division called Printocent to create business in Printed Intelligence applications with a program budget is in excess of 10MEUR.

InnovationLab is an application-oriented research and transfer platform of business and science in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan region of Germany. It was jointly founded by the six globally active companies BASF, Heidelberger (the largest printing press manufacturer), Merck (leader in organic chemicals), Roche Diagnostics, SAP, and the universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim.

There many other R&D institutions and players in printed and large area organic electronics—in Portugal, Poland, Greece, and many other locations. I’m sure there is university research in the US, but not as this scale and not with this level of organization.

Europe’s printed electronics community is also extremely well organized. The Organic Electronics Association (OE-A) is a working group within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). Members range from R&D institutes, component and material suppliers to producers and end-users. It is currently comprised of about a 120 companies from Europe—with a few from North America, Asia and Australia. They have produced roadmaps and provide industry advocacy and promotion.

The Plastic Electronics Foundation, based in Brussels, is a not-for-profit organization whose main objective is to promote the technology of printable, organic based flexible electronics into marketable applications and products worldwide. They have been key contributors to the development of a Strategic Research Agenda for Europe as well as a key player in EU funding projects.

Concerning current government support and programs, FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run to 2013. In printed electronics, research funding is concentrated in organic electronics, under the name, The Quadriga Project, though it has about 20 other projects not affiliated with Quadriga. The 4 projects that form Quadriga are OPERA, Polynet, Polymap and Prodi. The main and common objectives of all four collaborative projects are to foster the position of Europe as a leader in research, and to strengthen the position of Europe as a main hub in this area.

And finally, in addition to R&D infrastructure and government support, Europe also understands the power of regional clusters. Regional areas in Oulu, Finland; Basil, Switzerland; Dresden, Germany, Cambridge, UK; and the German states of Hesse and Baden-W├╝rttemberg has funded organizations and activities that actively seek to nurture the development of printed and large area electronics within a close municipal region.

Whether this widespread European network of activities can compensate for the presence of large integrated companies in Asia (Panasonic, LG, etc.)and US (GE) remains to be seen. Also, Europe also does not enjoy the advantages of an active venture capital market like the United States.

But it does look like a rational, purposeful and coordinated policy to position Europe as a leader in an emerging technology industry. In the US, unfortunately there is no rational and coordinated policy to support existing and future high technology industries.

Friday, May 07, 2010

In Loving Tribute To Jean LeMoin

I usually don't repost things I recieve, but this was an important notice from the MCA Team that deserves all the honor and respect I can give.

Jean LeMoin
1956 - 2010

Dear Colleagues and Friends,


It is with great regret that we announce the loss of MCA's founder and president Jean LeMoin, who passed away suddenly on May 3, 2010. A true trailblazer in the communications field, Jean founded MCA in 1983 as a one-woman shop and grew it into a highly respected boutique agency specializing in the global semiconductor, flat-panel display and microelectronics industries.

Jean launched MCA with an initial focus on semiconductor equipment and materials - one of the first agencies to do so - drawing on her marketing communications experience in the industry to build her client base. Over nearly three decades, Jean and MCA have influenced the industry outlook on many important subjects, launching game-changing technologies and creating new opportunities for outreach and dialogue. In 1994, VLSI Research Inc named her to its Chip Industry Hall of Fame for "pioneering the concept that a PR agency is a mechanism for managing a company's image across a broad front… creating an image that is cohesive with the media, customers, and the financial community." This vision remains a hallmark of MCA's approach.

A believer in giving back to the community, Jean sat on the boards of several industry associations, as well as such non-profits as Ronald McDonald House, the Support Network for Battered Women and Rubicon - organizations to which she also donated agency time in order to help reach those in need.

Those of us who knew and worked with Jean will remember many things about her - her keen mind and technology savvy, her love of the arts and good books, her affinity for Oprah and chocolate, her humorous stories about her exploits with best friend and life partner Kevin McCoy, how she always drank Diet Coke from a wine glass and never put croutons on her salad… Jean was a unique and fascinating personality, and the mark she has left on the communications profession, and our lives, is indelible.

To honor her memory, the Jean LeMoin Women in PR Scholarship has been created to enable a deserving student seeking a career in public relations or communications to pursue her dream. As a respected mentor to young PR professionals throughout her career, Jean's wish was for this effort to continue on. If you are interested in making a donation, please send your contribution, payable to The Jean LeMoin Women in PR Scholarship Fund, to MCA, 2119 Landings Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043.