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November 30, 2021

SEMICON Europa: Collaboration Across the Value Chain Key to Tackling Sustainability, Talent, Other Critical Chip Industry Challenges

The Executive Forum at SEMICON Europa in Munich on November 16 was a welcome opportunity to demonstrate the strategic importance of our vital industry.

Executives across the entire electronics and applications value chain rightly pointed out the contribution that the semiconductor supply chain made to supporting the efforts to control COVID-19, which sparked explosive demand for semiconductors and led to the chip shortage and supply chain disruptions. The pandemic has heightened the urgency to establish the manufacturing capacity needed to support the global recovery and onward rapid growth of the semiconductor industry, which is projected to exceed $1.2 trillion in revenue by 2030.

Semiconductors are the heartbeat of the way we work and live, and their vital importance is now recognized by governments worldwide including European Commission officials, as well as by the wider population.

SEMICON Europa logoSo far, so good. However the rapid industry growth brings opportunities and challenges. If we continue on the path we are now on, there will simply not be enough energy in the world to feed our data appetite in the so-called 5th wave of digital expansion. Many speakers at SEMICON Europa referred to the importance of sustainability and diverse skills, and many companies have put in place comprehensive programmes that will enable industry growth and lead toward net zero carbon emissions. The semiconductor industry is central to efforts to control climate change. Collaboration and cooperation across the European microelectronics ecosystem are essential.

Europe is a world leader, and many stunning advances in technology have resulted from many collaborative projects, large and small, over the years. Many of the executives at SEMICON Europa stressed that these efforts must continue, and indeed be expanded, across the entire electronics and applications value chain. However, the focus remains on ever more capable technologies to match the needs of the digital age: data management, communications, computing capability and improving important application areas such as healthcare.

SEMICON Europa Speakers

(Clockwise) Laith Altimime, president of SEMI Europe; Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec; and Lars Reger, Executive VP and CTO of NXP Semiconductors present at SEMICON Europa 2021. 


But where are the programmes to drastically reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, eliminating the use of scarce resources and acting as a catalyst to keep 1.5 alive? SEMI is doing its part by establishing a sustainability initiative. To help the industry building the talent pipeline crucial to its future growth, SEMI has also developed workforce diversity programs. Both initiatives are bringing together leaders from across the semiconductor supply chain to address these critical challenges. These changes require major disruptions. Time and again, our industry has demonstrated that it can overcome tremendous challenge.

Of course, many chip companies are already devoting significant time and effort to help meet the moment, and projects are underway across our industry focused on these great causes. Yet, we can’t rely on individual efforts to fix these global problems. Our industry, with so much capability and history of rapid innovation, needs to take the lead in changing the way we meet these industrial and social imperatives.

Contact to learn more about the SEMI Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability initiative and help the semiconductor industry take action today.

Learn more about SEMI Diversity and Workforce Development initiatives.

Peter Connock is Chair of SEMI Europe Industry Strategy Symposium Committee and Chairman of memsstar Limited.

Serena Brischetto is senior manager of Marketing and Digital Engagement at SEMI Europe.