Silicon Saxony handed over the „Dresden Position“ to the German Minister for Economics Roesler

  • Image: Frank Grätz / Silicon Saxony

The “Dresden Position” contains four key aspects and was handed over to the German Minister for Economics Philipp Roesler by Helmut Warnecke on behalf of the German high-tech cluster Silicon Saxony in Dresden on September 10, 2013. The industry association demands one thing of the German government: a strong commitment to German microelectronics to sustainably strengthen the whole German industry. Especially energy-efficient information and communications technology is a vital part of European microelectronics that will still be successful in the future.

“German microelectronics is leading in the global automotive, security, energy efficiency and industry electronics. That is a huge locational advantage for the whole German industry, especially for enabling the breakthrough of Industry 4.0 and new products and processes for the international market”, says Helmut Warnecke, board member of the industry association Silicon Saxony e.V. “Now it is time to take further action. Only then this advantage will positively and directly impact the German equipment industry.”

Microelectronics is the key enabling technology for reaching the goals of Industry 4.0. That is because secure, powerful and energy-efficient semiconductor products are both brain and muscles of intelligent systems. At the same time they are the key for the constant improvement and renewal of processes and products. That is why the importance of semiconductors as material for the modern industry production is going to increase further. If there are fair competitive and general conditions, the needed intelligent components can be developed and produced in the German technology cluster Silicon Saxony in the region between Dresden, Freiberg and Chemnitz in the future as well.

The importance of microelectronics as a key technology is accepted worldwide. For years, emerging national economies have been providing enormous funds for increasing the microelectronics development and production capacities. With the recent initiative from Brussels, to double the European semiconductor production by 2020, the EU Commission is strongly committing itself to the importance of Key Enabling Technologies. The strategic goal: to secure the future of European industrial development and production, thus contributing to solve the mega trends like smart cities, energy efficiency and cyber-security.

The German Minister for Economics Roesler stated that both the state and the industry have to join forces in the field of Key Enabling Technologies in order for Germany to remain an attractive industry site. “In Germany we have an outstanding research infrastructure. Entrepreneurs are sustainably supported in the pre-competitive field. But we still have to create more open space for entrepreneurial initiative in order to use the research infrastructure more productivly and intensively”, said the Minister. He also emphasised the importance of cooperation between research and industry: “Close and trans-industry networks are the crucial difference. It is them that enable the fast transfer of research results to the market. Germany is excellent in many fields and Silicon Saxony is one good example of that. We need to follow this path.”

Host Rutger Wijburg, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Globalfoundries Dresden, also pointed out the strengths of the region: “The high-quality education, a good infrastructure, legal certainty and a remarkable number of players in research and development create an ecosystem of international top quality.” With focus on the European spending on research and development Wijburg emphasised that this needs to be focussed on pilot lines and subsequent industrial volume production: “Increasing the chip production to 20 per cent will only work out if there are significant investments in sustainably increasing capacities.” Globalfoundries is Europe’s leading semiconductor mass manufacturer.

“Those who want to be globally competitive in the future need to focus on intelligent and smart technology. We must not lose our leading role in this field and the influence on shaping the mega trends”, said the Saxon State Secretary for Economics, Hartmut Fiedler. “That is why we want to make the microelectronics site Saxony a European centre of excellence for ‘More than Moore’, the combination of microcomputers, sensors and actuators on a chip. The system expertise coming with it is essential for the industry, for example with regards to security technology, automotive and engineering. This sustainably creates and secures jobs, also in middle-sized enterprises in Saxony.”