The forum is intended to launch a coordinated initiative that will stimulate innovation and manufacturing research for the electronics industry. The objective is to create a research and development vision that will help focus limited R&D resources in order to ensure development of the innovative technologies required to maintain the growth of the electronics industry over the next decade.
"America's dominance in science and innovation is slipping, and this should be a serious concern for every American, not just the scientists and researchers. It has serious implications for our economy and our national security. Too much is at stake for us to lose our competitive advantage," says Wolf. "I applaud this effort by the electronics manufacturing sector to bring together so many of its key leaders to tackle this issue and work toward a solution. This meeting can help set the stage for the National Conference in December."
Wolf helped develop the idea for the National Conference on Science, Innovation and Manufacturing, scheduled for December 6 in Washington, D.C. This conference is being convened to develop a blueprint for American science and innovation. It will look at what the federal government can do in the areas of R&D, education and workforce development to ensure U.S. leadership.
"We see the National Conference as addressing how we can stimulate innovation. The thrust of our forum is on building a vision and prioritizing what innovation would be the most beneficial to the growth of the electronics industry," explains Bob Pfahl, vice president of iNEMI and organizer of the Innovation Leadership Forum.
Other organizations that support the electronics industry are also taking an active role to understand the current innovation landscape and to propose solutions.
EIA's 2004 report, "The Technology Industry at an Innovation Crossroads," (http://www.eia.org/new_policy/innovation.phtml) looks at the future of the U.S. high-tech innovation economy and provides a "policy playbook" for a comprehensive plan that will enable the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge in innovation.
"This is an area that EIA is very concerned about. Innovation in the technology sector was the cornerstone of this country's economic growth during the last half of the 20th century, but there is increasing concern about our ability to continue to maintain our edge against rising global competition," says Dave McCurdy, president of EIA. "The best hope for the U.S. is to foster and expand our most prized intellectual asset: innovation. Worldwide trade is a foundation for the nation and the economy, and what propels that trade is innovation. This forum is an important step toward setting priorities and developing a game plan for the electronics sector."
"The majority of our industry's high value added, high wage work is performed in the U.S., but our competitors are investing heavily to try to overtake us in the semiconductor arena," says George Scalise, president, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Almost every metric you look at - from the decline in basic research expenditures in the U.S. to the favorable tax climate overseas - indicates that the United States' leadership will be challenged. The bottom line is that to remain innovation and technology leaders, we must choose to compete."
Leaders from industry, government and academia will use the day-and-a-half forum to discuss innovation challenges, technology roadmaps for emerging sectors, product development and manufacturing strategies, educational issues, R&D priorities, recommendations and potential funding mechanisms.
A broad cross-section of electronics and emerging industries are expected to participate in this forum. Keynote speaker Brian Halla, chairman and CEO of National Semiconductor and chairman of the SIA board of directors, will discuss innovation vision and the challenges facing the U.S. high-tech industry. Other confirmed speakers include Dave Wohleen, vice chairman, Delphi Electronics; Curtis Tearte, general manager of IBM's Systems and Technology Group; Justin Ratter, Intel senior fellow and director of Intel's Corporate Technology Group; Mary Good, CEO of ASTRA and former Under Secretary of Commerce; Linda Katehi, dean of engineering, Purdue University; Mike Roco, chair of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, NSF; Uma Chowdhry, vice president, Central Research and Development, DuPont; and Marc Madou, Chancellor's Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine.
Forum organizers are targeting business leaders, innovators and research decision-makers, such as technology executives of major electronics OEMs, chief executives and technologists of emerging high-tech firms and government labs, policymakers in key government agencies, venture capital leaders, and university-based researchers. Also targeted are product/market/business strategists, especially in emerging markets (medical devices, sensors, RFID and SiP) and key future markets (biotechnology, nanotechnology, MEMs, alternative and renewable energy).
Attendance is by invitation and space is limited. The registration fee is $295 for non-members (free for iNEMI members). For more details about the forum, visit http://www.inemi.org/cms/calendar/iNEMI_innovation_forum.html. Anyone interested in attending should contact Bob Pfahl (+1 703-834-2083 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
EIA is the leading advocate in Washington, DC, for the U.S. high-tech industry; its nearly 1,300 members include the full spectrum of U.S. manufacturers. The Alliance is a partnership of electronic and high-tech associations and companies whose mission is promoting the market development and competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech industry through domestic and international policy efforts. For further information, visit http://www.eia.org or http://www.eiae.org.
ABOUT THE SIA
The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977 and SIA member companies comprise nearly 90% of the U.S. semiconductor industry. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 225,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at http://www.sia-online.org.
The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's mission is to assure leadership of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. Based in Herndon, Va., the industry-led consortium is made up of approximately 70 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities. iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies. The consortium also works with government, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives. For additional information about iNEMI, visit http://www.inemi.org.