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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2023 A Featured IPC Report by Alison James IPC EUROPE Introduction Electronics systems are at the heart of almost all modern technology. e performance and functionality of these systems have increased at breathtaking speed, chiefly as a result of advancements in semiconductor technology. Semiconductors do not function in isolation. ey gain functionality through electronic interconnection with other components on printed circuit boards (PCBs). ese electron- ics systems feature prominently in key sectors like defence, aerospace, space, automotive, medical, and high-performance computing, but electronics are vital to every industry and are central to a variety of EU priorities, includ- ing the twin digital and green transitions and Europe's technological sovereignty. ere is near universal agreement on the importance of the European electronics manu- facturing base among companies that manufac- ture and purchase electronics. A survey fielded in July 2023 by IPC and partners across mar- ket sectors indicates more than 95% of com- panies believe a robust European electronics ecosystem, including PCB and EMS indus- tries, is critical to regional security, industrial resiliency, and economic competitiveness. Yet, a clear majority also believes the EU lacks key PCB (88%) and EMS (61%) capabilities. Survey respondents signalled a strong inter- Towards a Silicon to Systems Industrial Strategy

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