European Semiconductor Industry at Risk

European Semiconductor Industry at Risk

SEMI Organizes European Commission Visit to IMEC Facilities

By Heinz Kundert, SEMI Europe President

The European share of semiconductor manufacturing capacity dropped 25% from 2005 to 2007. Today, 75% of global investments in semiconductor manufacturing occur in Asia and the U.S.

Europe is at a crisis point. The question: How do we make an impression on the policy experts who play a pivotal role in the decision making that will make or break Europe’s ability to compete in the world market?

At a strategic meeting on 27 March at the IMEC facility in Belgium, European semiconductor executives called for strong and urgent action by the European Union and national governments so that Europe can remain competitive in the semiconductor industry. Forty representatives from the European Commission visited the nanoelectronics research center IMEC. The initiative, organized by SEMI Europe and supported by ESIA, was also attended by representatives from related industry associations and national governments from France, Netherlands and the UK. IMEC is one of the top-three European independent research centres in nanoelectronics and ranks among the best worldwide.

The purpose of the visit was to emphasize the critical importance of the semiconductor industry to Europe. Electronic devices are the driving force for innovation in Europe's key industries such as telecom, automotive, aerospace, machine tools, defense, medical and more. Semiconductor leading-edge technology addresses important issues such as climate change, energy conservation, renewable energy, security and healthcare.

Kundert stressing the importance of the semiconductor industry

A cleanroom visit at IMEC

Busload of concerned European Commission representatives

The visit reinforced to the policy experts that the European semiconductor industry must remain a cornerstone of Europe’s competitiveness and innovation. If semiconductor manufacturing leaves Europe, it will jeopardize the entire semiconductor ecosystem.

Strong actions from the EU, national governments and public authorities, together with the industry are urgently needed to restore a global level playing field. Join us as we lobby and fight to ensure a competitive semiconductor industry ecosystem in Europe. For more information please contact me at and visit

April 2, 2009.