VDE Präsident Dr. Armin Schnettler

VDE President Dr. Armin Schnettler is concerned about the next generation of electrical engineers.

| Christian Thiel / VDE
2022-11-08 press release

ZVEI and VDE: Strengthen and expand the semiconductor industry in Germany and Europe

  • Provide EU Chips Act with further funding and consider all chip technologies and structural sizes. 
  • Create a globally competitive investment environment.
  • Ensure technological sovereignty for Europe and attract more young people to microelectronics.
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(Berlin, 08.11.2022) The VDE and the ZVEI are working hard to ensure that Germany and Europe increase their capacities for the production of microelectronics chips, as the two associations explained today at the MICROELECTRONICS FOR FUTURE 2022 Summit in Berlin. The EU Chips Act, which the EU Commission presented at the end of 2021, plays a special role in this.

"The EU Chips Act is of great importance because the microelectronics industry plays an essential role in Germany and Europe because it supplies the user industries downstream in the supply chain," said ZVEI President Dr. Gunther Kegel. However, according to Kegel, additional funds must be made available for the EU Chips Act projects. "We can only survive in international competition if we implement important European industrial projects with high commitment," Kegel emphasized in this context. The goal must be to substantially expand research, development and production through an active location policy and industrialization promotion. This also includes interpreting the concept of the EU Chips Act broadly so as not to ignore the needs of Europe's key industries. "It is necessary that the Chips Act takes into account all technologies and structural sizes of chips," said Kegel. 

Over 19,000 new electrical engineers are needed each year

With well over 50% of Europe's microelectronics production, Germany plays a leading role and must face up to its responsibility. VDE President Dr Armin Schnettler: "The demand for microelectronics will continue to increase due to megatrends of electrification, digitalization and energy transition." Locational disadvantages in the area of settlement and operating costs,

competition law and taxation must be reduced. At the same time, a funding system must be established that makes and implements decisions quickly at regional, national and European level, Schnettler adds: "Europe needs non-discriminatory and crisis-proof access to global microelectronics solutions in order to remain technologically sovereign."

There is also a special focus on the topic of young talents. The VDE estimates that more than 19,000 new electrical engineers are needed every year. Schnettler points out that instead, the number of first-year students fell by a good four per cent last year: "We have to do a better job of communicating to the young generation that careers in electrical engineering and information technology have a lot to offer. These are not only secure, well-paid jobs with a future. We are actively involved in ensuring that this world remains a world worth living in."