22 August 2023 · 2 min read
Building on SEMI’s experience for a stronger European Semiconductor sector
Welcome back to our "Chips for Europe" series of conversations with semiconductor and engineering specialists. In this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Cristopher Frieling, SEMI Europe's Director of Advocacy and Public Policy.
SEMI brings together semiconductor stakeholders in North America, Europe, Asia, and Southeast Asia. Its main objective is to provide its members with valuable information, opportunities, and marketing channels that effectively promote company brands, products, and services to potential buyers and partners worldwide. Through its activities of networking, advocacy and matchmaking, SEMI enables members to collaborate, innovate and drive the future of electronics.
SEMI Europe's purpose also includes supporting the development of skills within the European semiconductor industry by enhancing the full ecosystem surrounding microelectronics capabilities, connecting industrial players with academia, providers, and other stakeholders. SEMI, for example, coordinates European projects like Microelectronics Training, Industry, and Skills (METIS) and the recently launched European Chips Skills Academy, with the goal of encouraging collaboration between the microelectronics industry and important education, training, and certification providers.
“Internally we talked about METIS 2.0, but I believe It really goes beyond METIS. Indeed, METIS was only about courses, which was a great start but we are now trying to build on methods and build a truly functional European online learning platform for the sector. We want to develop a stable “governance” about this and other activities, such as providing scholarships, internship programs, exchange programs and so on...”
It is not a secret that the semiconductor industry is one of the most critical technologies and there is international competition over it. However, Mr. Frieling strongly believes that there is absolutely space for cooperation, especially when talking about training or attracting talent.
“Companies are already doing something on their own but it is not enough. More efforts to really boost talents and skills in this market is strongly needed”.
According to Mr. Frieling, working in this profession holds a significant purpose as it offers a valuable opportunity to directly contribute to global, geopolitical, and technological concerns. He highlighted three main reasons why pursuing knowledge and working in the semiconductor industry can be both attractive and engaging:
- It can actively contribute to tackling climate change thanks to its links to green innovation.
- It can help to address geopolitical challenges because it’s a sector critical and crucial to Europe's sustainability business.
- It is a dynamic and impactful sector with a high demand for smart, capable professionals.
“If you like innovation, if you like tech, this is a wonderful sector to be in, as you’ll be exposed to new and revolutionary technology all the time.”