Update: European policy and advocacy trends

Dear members and business partners, I would like to share with you some of the most important issues in European policy and Advocacy, including a focus on automotive, innovation, electronics ecosystems, and more. Hope you enjoy it.

Research and innovation: discussions on the 9th Framework Program (FP9) accelerate

As Horizon 2020 will come to an end in three years, research and industry stakeholders in Europe are accelerating the debate on how the FP9 should be structured.  SEMI Europe emphasizes that FP9 should contribute to making Europe a center of excellence for electronics, due to its pivotal role in several applications including IoT, wearables, autonomous transportation and AI. The electronics industry in Europe sees Horizon 2020 as a major success. With its three pillars approach – excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges – Horizon 2020 has strengthened the link between technology centers and the industry and put together SMEs and big companies at cross-border level under common goals. SEMI Europe strongly believes that FP9 should be built on the accomplishments of Horizon 2020. This includes increasing the overall EU budget for research and innovation, keeping the three-pillar approach and strengthening industrial leadership. SEMI Europe does not favor merging the industrial leadership and societal challenges pillars, as societal challenges can be best addressed by innovative and sustainable solutions delivered by the industry. FP9 should also underpin the consortium approach, rather than single-beneficiary schemes, that creates cross-border partnership and pan-European value for the industry.

Event: DG Connect organizes the European Forum for Electronics Components and Systems

The European Forum for Electronics Components and Systems (EFECS), previously organized as the European Nanoelectronics Forum, is scheduled for 5-7 December 2017 in Brussels. EFECS 2017 will be jointly organized by the European Commission DG Connect, various industry associations and the ECSEL JU under the theme of “Our Digital Future.” The event will focus on understanding common challenges and developing the required roadmaps addressing key themes. SEMI Europe will actively participate in this event and share its input with stakeholders, shaping the debate on the future of electronics industry.

Trade: EU and Japan reach an agreement at political level

Following the EU – Japan Summit in Brussels on 6 July, leaders of both sides reached a political agreement for free trade and investment. By the end of this year, the agreement will provide a legally binding framework for cooperation between the EU and Japan. The agreement is expected to abolish tariffs for certain product categories including automotive after a transition period.

A new study on the electronics ecosystem by the European Commission

 SEMI Europe welcomes the call for a new study by the European Commission on the electronics ecosystem: overview, developments and Europe's position in the world. SEMI Europe is very positive that the Commission recognizes the increasing role that the electronics industry plays in emerging technologies such as autonomous transportation. The study will aim at providing an up-to-date overview of the micro- and nano-electronics components and systems (MNE) together with latest data on industrial activity along the value chain. It will also benchmark the industry data obtained on European industrial activity with major regions (i.e., the U.S., Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China). SEMI Europe will make sure that its input is taken into account in the making of the study, and that EU policy recommendations and programs are designed addressing the priorities of the electronics industry.  

Workforce development: new Knowledge and Innovation Centers (KICs) will be established  

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced that two new KICs will be established in Europe in 2018. Added-value manufacturing and smart urban mobility are chosen as strategic themes, providing the European electronics industry with great opportunities for workforce development. KICs gather world-class partners for workforce development, aiming to integrate education, entrepreneurship, research and development. SEMI Europe believes that the two strategic themes give tremendous opportunities for the electronics workforce in Europe to be trained on latest technologies including industrial connectivity and autonomous mobility. SEMI Europe is ready to cooperate with stakeholders for the establishment of KICs, underpinning the electronics sector’s workforce development.


EU industrial policy is on the rise

Over the last months, 130 EU industry associations, including SEMI Europe, joined forces and demanded a new industrial policy in Europe. The Joint-Declaration signed by industry leaders reminds policymakers about the key role that the manufacturing industry plays for Europe. The signatories alert the EU that between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8 percent to 15.3 percent.  The Declaration underlines that it is vital for the Commission to act and help European manufacturers remain globally competitive. To this end, the industry calls on the Commission to adopt and implement an Action Plan to tackle the challenges the industrial sectors are facing. SEMI Europe reminds EU policy-makers that the European electronics industry is ready to step up the cooperation to define and implement an ambitious and coordinated industrial strategy that will safeguard the competitiveness of European manufacturers.

Automotive industry: GEAR 2030 initiative

The GEAR 2030 High Level Group, launched by the Commission and composed of key stakeholders from the automotive industry, accelerates its work on connected and autonomous vehicles. GEAR 2030 debates the main challenges for the automotive industry in the next 15 years and will make recommendations to reinforce the competitiveness of the European automotive value chain. It will consider a roadmap for the smooth rollout of autonomous vehicles. The group will analyze the key trends affecting the automotive industry in the future and create roadmaps that set objectives and clearly define responsibilities of different stakeholders. SEMI Europe is ready to offer its support to GEAR 2030 Group, as the electronics industry plays the main role for the uptake of autonomous mobility in Europe.

SEMI Europe appoints Emir Demircan for advocacy and public policy

Emir Demircan joins SEMI Europe as senior manager, Advocacy and Public Policy. He will be part of the SEMI Europe team located in Brussels, reporting to me (Laith Altimime). Emir will support the team as the voice of SEMI in Brussels, develop and deliver advocacy strategies, maintain a steady policy dialogue with EU institutions and stakeholders to promote the interests of SEMI members and create a positive policy and regulatory framework for the industry in Europe. In addition, Emir will support SEMI working groups and special interest groups (SIGs) and be the contact for the European Advisory Board.

Wishing you all a great summertime and hope to see you soon at one of our SEMI Europe events.

Laith Altimime
President, SEMI Europe