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94 I-CONNECT007 I REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2021 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE by Chris Mitchell, I-CONNECT007 IPC APEX EXPO 2021, which went all vir- tual this year, exemplified how the electron- ics industry has responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic: with resiliency, agility, and an unwavering commitment to build elec- tronics better. APEX EXPO featured great content and robust discussions on topics of critical importance to the global electronics industry. From my vantage point leading IPC's gov- ernment relations programs, here are my top five takeaways from this year's event. 1. Factory of the Future Grabs the Spotlight What a difference a year makes! At last year's APEX EXPO, Matt Kelly had just assumed his new role as IPC's chief technologist. A year later, he is implementing IPC's bold, new Factory of the Future initiative, which he developed in concert with IPC mem- bers, and which will help guide the indus- try through the next industrial revolution. Presentations by Matt, IndustryWeek's Travis Hessman, and others reinforced the promise of the factory of the future (F2), but also the challenging, incremental progress necessary to achieve this vision. While Matt is focused on helping the indus- try leverage F2 solutions to address various business challenges, the IPC government rela- tions team is making the factory of the future the centerpiece of our industry's advocacy. Policymakers around the world are deliberat- ing on new industrial policies to strengthen their economic competitiveness. F2 offers a path to stronger manufacturing, and gov- ernments have an opportunity to implement policies that accelerate that migration. IPC is already carrying this message to the Biden administration and the European Commis- sion, encouraging them to better support our industry's R&D and capital expenditures. Top Five Takeaways from IPC APEX EXPO 2021

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