Silicon Saxony sees tech industry on the upswing in 2020

"The high-tech location Silicon Saxony is developing excellently", says Heinz Martin Esser, member of the board of the Silicon Saxony e.V. industry network and managing director of the medium-sized automation and robotics expert Fabmatics at the opening of the Annual General Meeting 2019 on the evening of 26 November in the International Congress Center Dresden. "The results for the year 2019 are very satisfactory. The cluster is growing both qualitatively and quantitatively. In concrete terms, we are now delighted to have more than 350 members," adds Frank Bösenberg, Managing Director of Silicon Saxony Management GmbH. A particular driver is the software industry with a 32 percent increase in sales. In total, the ICT sector in Saxony, with around 64,000 employees, generates annual sales of around 15.1 billion euros. At the same time, the high-tech association sees a need for action, which will occupy the industry in the coming months.



Artificial intelligence remains number 1 innovation topic in Silicon Saxony
With the decision of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in February 2019 to establish the new Fraunhofer Center for Cognitive Production Systems in conjunction with a new AI Center with the TU Dresden, Saxony is further expanding its impetus role in Germany in the area of research and development for applications related to the key technology of artificial intelligence. "Artificial intelligence was undoubtedly a focus in 2019 and will continue to gain in importance in the years to come," says Prof. Dr. Frank Schönefeld, Member of the Board of Management of Silicon Saxony and Member of the Board of Management of T-Systems Multimedia Solutions GmbH. The Smart Systems Hub - Enabling IoT, a joint venture of the three partners Silicon Saxony, 5G Lab Germany and the high-tech runway, is currently preparing its first hub:disrupt. On 28 November 2019, hosted by the Smart Systems Hub partner Infineon Technologies Dresden, hub:disrupt will bring together decision-makers from industry, business, science and politics and show them where artificial intelligence applications in the areas of Industry 4.0, Energy, Infrastructure and Health are already real today. At the same time, hub:disrupt will present the "AI4Germany" initiative exclusively for Saxon companies and interested parties. The national AI platform is an umbrella initiative that promotes active exchange and cooperation between business and society. AI4Germany is driven by the four leading AI locations in Germany, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Munich and Hamburg. "We are delighted that the first hub:disrupt is taking place at Infineon Dresden," says Raik Brettschneider, board member of Silicon Saxony and managing director of Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH & Co. KG. "By establishing our own competence center in Dresden, we are investing in artificial intelligence over the next few years. To the extent that the share of software applications directly on 'silicon' has progressed rapidly in recent years, it is only logical that AI applications will become an integral function on modern semiconductors in the future. And Infineon is a driver of this development," says Raik Brettschneider.

50 years of computer science education at the Technical University Dresden 
In addition, the software companies of Silicon Saxony can look back on a successful festive week "50 Years of Computer Science Education" at the TU Dresden. The highlight of the week was the 14th Silicon Saxony Day. Silicon Saxony e.V. joined forces with the Cluster IT Mitteldeutschland e.V., the Netzwerk Südwestsachsen e.V., the IT Bündnis Chemnitz and with the support of the industry association BITKOM e.V. to present the software position paper "Softwareland Sachsen - Digitalisierung nutzen, Zukunft gestalten". Saxony's digital associations emphasize the great importance of the software industry as a driver of digitization and make concrete demands for its promotion and further development. The urgently needed measures to ensure that the Saxon digital economy can continue to grow at an above-average rate were presented to the state government and serve as a template for concrete activities to be implemented by the newly elected state government from 2020. In concrete terms, this also includes the development of an IT campus in Lusatia, Saxony, driven forward by Uwe Assmann, Professor of Software Engineering at TU Dresden. The so-called "Zuse-Campus" is to become a software training ground for national and international students. The ambitious, long-term infrastructure project should enrich the growing software location Saxony as a new player and give new impulses for software research, development and implementation in business models. Prof. Assmann presented the current planning status at the annual general meeting.

METIS project starts
"The software position paper will be followed by a hardware position paper. We are currently working on it. Because despite all the joy about the very positive development of the software industry in Saxony, we must not forget the hardware sector. A large part of the added value of the Saxon high-tech companies comes from innovations with a very concrete reference to hardware," says Frank Bösenberg. We are also coordinating our efforts with the "CeTI - Centre for Tactile Internet" excellence cluster. Led by Prof. Dr. Frank H. P. Fitzek, who actively supports the work of the industry association as a scientific advisor, CeTI is intended to promote efficient cooperation between man and machine. A future application is the co-working of man and machine with mutual learning. Silicon Saxony has also been involved in the "METIS" project since November 2019. METIS is an initiative of the European microelectronics industry to harmonise training standards. The project therefore makes an important contribution to securing the skilled labour base in Saxony as well.

Finally, Silicon Saxony presented the new annual magazine "NEXT" during the annual general meeting. The top topic of the current magazine is "Digital Twins". In addition to the topic special, NEXT provides an entertaining overview of the most important minds, projects, initiatives and the new members of the past year. Interested parties can download the annual report from the Silicon Saxony website.

About the SILICON SAXONY e. V.
With more than 350 members, Silicon Saxony e. V. is the largest high-tech network in Saxony and one of the largest microelectronics and IT clusters in Germany and Europe. Since its foundation in 2000, Silicon Saxony has been a self-financed association linking manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, universities, research institutes, public institutions as well as industry-relevant start-ups in Saxony and beyond. The overriding goals of the network work are, among other things, the expansion and strengthening of Europe's leading microelectronics location as well as pushing forward the local software industry.

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Pictures: Silicon Saxony / Sven Claus