"Smart Specialization: How to make it work for the Key Enabling Technologies at the example of Microelectronics" - a conference organised by DG Connect and the Austrian Federation of Industries in Villach (Austria), on 27th and 28th of May.
Key Enabling Experience in Villach

What a perfect week – an exciting conference in Villach on the role of regions in the implementation of the European Electronics Strategy and then a few days of well received holidays, to charge the batteries for the final mile on the implementation plan for the electronics roadmap.

The conference has paved the way to the creation of a strong European Industrial base in microelectronics through interregional cooperation. All the key players from Industry, research and the several regions Carinthia, Rhone-Alpes, Saxony… were there to contribute to, and explore the possibilities to support microelectronics through smart specialisation and smart co-operation. To summarise:

There was a profitable and high quality attendance. Smart specialisation is changing the way regions think and act.

I was pleased with the importance given to clusters, and in particular to the Silicon Europe 'super-cluster' which illustrates the power to connect these across borders received the appropriate recognition. The meeting of minds of actors in the clusters and decision makers in the regions is very valuable.

The stimulation of existing and new clusters involving all players -including SMEs- is at the very core of where we are going in smart specialisation strategies. Clusters are and will continue to be an essential component the future for many regions!

I am also impressed to see so much support for the Key Enabling Technologies and micro- and nanoelectronics in particular. After the discussions, I am even more convinced that to go in the direction of integrating electronic components and the systems is a smart and necessary move.

We have made a positive start and from this it is clear that there is a lot of hard but rewarding work to come. I have the feeling -although we still have a long way to go- that we can reach the ambitions we have set for ourselves in the Roadmap for micro-electronics, through the smart specialisation approach, with the toolbox that has been put together. The instruments in the toolbox like HORIZON 2020 and ECSEL, Important Project of Common European Interest and the financial instruments including the use of ERDF will play an important part to reach those ambitions in an efficient and effective way.


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