Connecting Ecosystems – an Open Approach to Collaboration in Europe
By Peter Connock, director, PENTA
European industry and society are now largely based in the Digital Economy, meaning that micro- and nano-electronics underpin almost everything we do. For Europe to prosper in this environment, it must have the capability to support the Electronics Value Chain that is required to supply rapidly changing consumer and industrial needs. The goal is to build on our strengths and, if possible, catalyse new European leaders operating at the forefront of technological innovation.
SEMI Europe is a key “ecosystem” within the European Digital Economy – representing and supporting its members through multiple activities. An example of how this works is SEMI’s partnership with PENTA, a new EUREKA cluster supporting the development of micro- and nanoelectronics enabled systems and applications in Europe.
Working together, SEMI and PENTA are seeking to take advantage of the enormous depth of talent and that exists across its borders. Much of this capability originates from SMEs or research institutions, distributed throughout Europe. The difficult challenge is to find a way to access these organisations, and encourage them to come together in programmes that will supply the electronics value chain. Fortunately, many of these, mostly small, organisations are linked to local, national or European “ecosystems” – like SEMI. These ecosystems come in various forms, SEMI Europe being one, but all have the characteristic of representing their membership and championing their capabilities.
PENTA, a new EUREKA cluster supporting the development of micro- and nanoelectronics enabled systems and applications, is seeking to catalyse activity by working with ecosystems across Europe. Launched in December 2015, PENTA is built on the core principles underpinning all EUREKA programmes, but has adopted a totally new approach in how it supports the Electronic Components & Systems (ECS) industry.
Managed by the Association AENEAS, driven by industry and working with National Public Authorities across Europe, PENTA complements other support programmes, offering consortia a new tool to help ensure Europe develops viable Supply Chains in key areas of the Digital Economy. However, it cannot work on its own, and it is only through the efforts of organisations like SEMI with “local” knowledge that it will truly connect with a full complement of potential participants.
To assist this process tools have been provided to support collaboration and consortium development. The AENEAS Project Launchpad provides an online system supporting a process of continuous brokerage to form the consortia of the future. This is a totally open tool, available to anyone, and consortia, once formed, are actively encouraged to search for the best possible package of support that they can take advantage of. This might be through PENTA, or indeed any other local, national or European programme.
Without working together, we will never truly take full advantage of the incredible capability that exists in Europe. Ecosystems such as SEMI Europe, working together and catalysed by initiatives like PENTA can help to make the difference and create Europe’s future technology leaders.
April 5, 2016