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44 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2024 In Europe, we've had a great dialogue with the European Commission, and we're going to keep building on that. (Read the related story from Alison James, below.) Currently, we're working with the EMS and PCB sectors to finalize a major report on these issues that's going to come out within a few weeks. We are launching a renewed advocacy campaign in Europe, with strong support from many lead-ing companies. Let me end on this somewhat provocative note. e government's focus on R&D is as well-placed as it is misplaced. R&D is impor- tant for sure; we need to invest in innovation. But R&D can't be a reason to avoid the tougher issues that challenge the industry today. Gov- ernment needs to get focused on the here and now and to invest in helping the indus- try migrate to the factory of the future because that is the path toward long-term financial sus- tainability and market relevance. SMT007 Chris Mitchell is IPC's VP of global government affairs, and an I-Connect007 columnist. To read past columns, click here. by Alison James In the European Union, as in the United States, today's geopolitical realities are shaping a new approach to the region's industrial strategy. The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as ten- sions in East Asia and actions being taken in other regions to support key industries, are heightening Europe's focus on measures to close productivity and innovation gaps, especially where they raise security concerns. This is a critical moment for the European Union, with elections to the European Parliament and a new five-year mandate for the European Commis- sion coming up in June. In that context, increas- ing attention is being given to "de-risking" strate- gic industries and their supply chains with a goal of ensuring that Europe has access to everything it needs for its security, its future competitiveness, and its digital and green transitions. IPC has long made the case that electronics man- ufacturing lies at the heart of Europe's future, and a holistic approach is needed to reinforce the resil- iency of its electronics manufacturing industry. The European Chips Act was an important first step, but many vulnerabilities remain. As part of a stake- holder dialogue last year with the European Com- mission, an IPC-curated report highlighted the key capacity and capability gaps in Europe's printed cir- cuit board (PCB) and electronics assembly sectors, and called for new measures to support their com- petitiveness, resiliency, and growth. In June, IPC will publish a new study on the next steps needed to reinforce the electronics value chain "from silicon-to-systems." Also, IPC and lead- ing European electronics manufacturers will launch a fresh advocacy campaign on these issues. Improving Europe's resiliency and competitiveness requires a multifaceted, long-term approach, and that is exactly what IPC and its members advocate. Alison James is senior director of IPC European government relations. New IPC Europe Report, Advocacy Campaign

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