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Conference Announcement

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Materials come of age
S2K Conference shows new approaches for growth in niche sectors of microelectronics. By Mike Smyth, Chairman of S2K Events & Ingrid Prince, Business Manager JEMI UK.
A new spirit of innovation supported by a network of local, regional and national governments in Europe is assisting in forging forward the rapid commercialisation of many technologies, which have been incubating in the minds and laboratories of academics for many years. One example is the use of new substrates; materials such as plastics, which have started to come of age and the electronics of the future may not depend on rigid, fragile structures such as IIIV’s materials and semiconductors. The future of high performance mobile computing will very likely rely on materials, which are flexible, more recyclable and environmentally friendly than current devices. These devices will be incorporated into clothing, body implantable applications and other imaginative devices. Other examples include the transition of technologies used in semiconductor manufacturing to develop new devices, which combine MEMS with electronics to provide point of use data generation, analysis and feedback for devices for medical applications for example. It seems likely that Europe will have little involvement in the latest debate, which is developing over the adoption of 450mm, even before this latest node it seems that the centre of large scale microelectronics production had firmly shifted to the Far East to countries such as Taiwan and China. So it could be easy to assume that the great expertise, which has been accumulated in Europe in the area of microelectronics has been largely diverted into other sectors of business. However this is not the case, industry professionals are using the movement of large scale, low cost production as a great opportunity to create and grow high value, innovative niche market areas. This is being achieved through academia, industry and government collaborating effectively to create competitive advantage, and this will be the theme of this years’ popular S2K 2008 conference, which will be held in Cardiff on the 8th & 9th May. S2K 2008 is now in its 9th year and each year it has focussed on providing the delegates with the opportunity to experience and assess the major trends influencing the micro, nano and associated industries in Europe. Supported by many of the major industry players including JEMI UK, SEMI and others, this year’s event will focus on some of the up and coming sectors which will drive and support consumer demand in the future. The organisers of the event have carefully upgraded the structure of S2K to maximise the opportunities for experts in the area of plastic electronics, nanotechnology, semiconductors and MEMS to share ideas and promote inter disciplinary communication and create a rich environment to foster future ideas. In contrast to other events, in this area S2K will create an informal but structured environment for discussion and debate between industry professionals. The main conference will be prefaced by workshops focussing on innovation management and developments in the plastics electronics arena.
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