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Preparing For The Future

Semicon Europa lands in Munich once again in April. Changes in the industry has seen the traditional trade show lose its relevance to the European community and the European SEMI team have responded to the concerns raised by their members. David Ridsdale spoke to Walter Roessger, President of European SEMI about the changes implemented for this year’s show and why they were implemented.
The traditional trade show is a place for customers and clients to show the latest products and processes and to develop the relationships that result in sales for one company and solutions for the other. This basic idea has served the microelectronics industry very well for twenty years. This is no longer the case as the European IC community has grown and developed into a sophisticated supplier and manufacturer to the global market. Eighty percent of Europe's activities are exported so the need to remain a high profile player is key to survival unless there is a reverse trend and new manufacturing opportunities return to Europe.

Walter Roessger joined SEMI Europe in 1993 as Director of technology and industry relations. In 1995 he succeeded Paul Davis as President of SEMI Europe. Roessger has a long history as a European advocate representing IBM in then newly created consortium JESSI from 1989 until 1993. Roessger maintains an enthusiasm for the semiconductor industry that is hard to match. He has long talked of the need for European SEMI to develop for the needs of European companies. SEMI has been accused of an American focus in the past and Roessger is keen to highlight the changes occurring to the show and the trade organisation.


“European members need a different type of service,' states Roessger. “ SEMI has to reshape its spectrum of services for its members. Information platforms are the key issue.”

In response to these concerns the European SEMI team have taken great strides to ensure the SEMI event in Europe remains relevant. Roessger points out that trade shows are the economic generator for SEMI and that basic income generating outcome may have taken precedence. As the market is maturing so is the industry body and this year's Europa will see a greater emphasis on networking and information sharing rather than a traditional presentation platform.

“The trend is towards a leaner presentation in an effort to reduce costs,” explains Roessger. “To remain inclusive for all our members we need to develop a range of participation options based on each company's needs and capacities.”

Roessger is excited regarding the upcoming show and is hoping the changes will be recognised and well received. He sees there are differences between Europe and the rest of the world and the requirements are therefore different. I asked him the biggest differences between Europe and the American approach to industry.

“That is easy,” said Roessger. “Europeans tend to describe challenges and problems they are facing whereas Americans tend to present solutions.”

Roessger is hoping the Semicon Europa show becomes the platform to discover the solutions to the challenges they discover together.

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