SMC 2014 Speaker - David Bem, The Dow Chemical Company - Abstract

Dr. David Bem 
Vice President, Advanced Materials Division
Dow Chemical   

Horses for Courses : Fitting the Product Development Model to the Mission
Since its inception, the microelectronics industry has evolved so rapidly, and successful new technologies have proliferated so quickly, that it’s effectively impossible or unaffordable for multinational companies to be specialists in all potential areas for growth. Specialty material development investments for global suppliers of materials and technologies to the semiconductor industry (and the derivative industries that have emerged over the past twenty years) can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. While that level of funding enables a diverse range of research and engineering initiatives, it isn’t sufficient to overcome all materials science challenges, subsequent applications development and go-to-market hurdles by internally inspired innovations alone. This forces choice and, as with any strategy to optimize allocation of finite resources, involves decisions on what not to pursue. Conversely, success usually depends in large part on what form any chosen investments should take. Depending on the nature of the ‘gaps’ in a given product development 
initiative and the timing of market demand, a range of options might be considered : licensing, funded external research, collaborative development with supply chain partners, consortia or customers, commercial partnerships and joint ventures. This talk will present some insights on the way such choices are made at Dow Chemical, and discuss various collaboration models that have been pursued in building our Electronics Materials business.