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Silicon Saxony triggers digital world of tomorrow

On 3 July 2014, the 9th Silicon Saxony Day will have experts from economy and science join across subjects to exchange experience with regard to state-of-the-art technology and sector trends under the motto "Microelectronics enables a digital world". Industry representatives will focus on specific issues from the fields of research, equipment and chip production, process and software development.

Information and communication technologies as a decisive innovation driver

Coping with current social challenges as urbanization, Energiewende or health care are increasingly linked to digital innovations. The internet and digital technologies create the basis for new applications e.g. enabling a smarter traffic control, virtual power plants or a fully automated industrial production. Information and communication technologies are a decisive innovation driver. At the same time, they mean an essential initiator for economic growth and employment. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of the value creation in Germany is generated in the "conventional" economic sectors by those growth drivers triggered by the internet and the progressing interconnectedness of hard and software. According to the Saxon innovation report 2013, more than half of the German industrial production and more than 80 per cent of the export is strongly dependent on the use of up-to-date hard and software.

High-tech network Silicon Saxony operates across sectors

The enterprises in the Saxon industry network Silicon Saxony represent the central contact for those user industries, whose business fields are increasingly influenced by digitalization and novel technologies. As head of Silicon Saxony, Heinz Martin Esser states: "Silicon Saxony comprises all pivotal components of a modern ICT. High-performance hardware meets smart software. Companies and research institutes are advancing future technologies across sectors, regardless of present limitations. As an industry association we would hence like to be considered an interdisciplinary high-tech network and an essential interface for the user industries."

Customized microelectronics for the production of tomorrow
Manufacturing tailor-made products under the conditions of a flexible series production requires smart automation technologies. The consistent linkage of the individual system components for an integral optimum production poses the largest challenge hereby. As Heinz Martin Esser, head of Silicon Saxony and CEO of the Dresden based automation specialist Roth & Rau – Ortner GmbH emphasizes: "We are in need of smart machines organizing themselves.“Intelligence starts within the sensor already and continues with the linkage within one machine, between machines of a factory, with the commercial departments and more." In the semi-conductor production in particular, there is a high demand for Smart-Fab solutions as with the wafer handling. Silicon Saxony bundles strong expertise of automation and production specialists in the Fab Automation Cluster (DFAC) and the Gesellschaft für Wissens- und Technologietransfer of TU Dresden mbH (GWT).

Linking medical knowledge and ICT in C3-Saxony
ICT have long been standard use in modern medicine. Doctors use state-of-the-art analysers and high-resolution imaging techniques to better comprehend processes and functions of the human body. Researchers and developers of Silicon Saxony e.V. and of the Saxon network for biotechnology and Life Science biosaxony e.V. are advancing technologies and applications enabling completely novel forms of therapy and application. Neuronal implants, tiny artificial hardware, are e.g. coupled with the nervous system to take over body functions that substantially improve the patients' quality of life. They let deaf people hear or help epileptics coping with their daily lives. With the help of the cross-cluster project "C3-Saxony", the cooperation of both the key technologies micro and naoelectronics and biotechnology is to be progressed. The Saxon Ministry of Economy as the lead partner, Silicon Saxony e.V., biosaxony e.V. as well as the Technical University Dresden, chair of Knowledge Architecture and EEN Enterprise Europe network (via Agil GmbH). As André Hofmann, CEO of biosaxony points out: "The cross-linkage of two entrepreneurial networks from the field of the key enabling technologies provides new future prospects for Saxony as a business location. By linking ICT and biotechnologies in C3-Saxony, novel products and value creation chains are called into life right at the interface of microelectronics and Life Science, especially in the fields of medical engineering and personalized medicine."

Experts are advancing cross-sector issues from optics and the semi-conductor business

The Silicon Saxony division Applications is networking with partners from the Thuringian optical industry right at the interface of optical industry and semi-conductor electronics. In close cooperation with the CoOPTICS GmbH, members of the innovation forum CoSi-4 are doing research on novel photon-based structuring techniques, organic optoelectronics, optical sensors and MOEMS as well as light-based methods for quality assurance. The interdisciplinary cooperation of the Dresden and Jena-based researchers is targeted at identifying and analyzing the cross-sector issues of both technological fields and to generate innovative concepts. At present, several project groups are working on implementing these initial approaches in real projects. Hence, optical technologies may be applied e.g. in the field of cyber-physical systems now. Optoelectronics enables the transmission of data and energy by means of light. It thus forms the basis for the development of interference and tap-proof communication and paves the way for securing smart structures against cyber attacks.

Division "Energy Systems" is Saxony's switchboard for smart energy

Climatic changes, scarce resources and rising energy demands are posing bis challenges for us. Energiewende is a German buzzword at present. An affordable and reliable energy supply forms an essential basis for industry and economy. The way, energy is generated, stored and distributed, and also saved, will undergo a change. Hereby, micro and nanoelectronics are enabler technologies of this shifting process. It is now about realizing innovative solutions for sustainable energy technologies and their transfer to enable new products and services in order to ensure permanent growth and a successful economic advancement. As a switchboard, the Silicon Saxony division "Energy Systems" bundles the competence and experience of enterprises and research institutes at the business location in order to realize joint technical developments. Trends as the decentralized energy supply, Smart Grid, Smart Metering and Smart City are posing special challenges here.

Flickr-Stream 9. Silicon Saxony Day

Pictures: Sven Claus