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42 The PCB Magazine • December 2015 by Barry Matties I-cOnnect007 The European Institute of Printed Circuits (EIPC) might be based in Europe, but it very much helps its members on a global scale. Chairman Alun Morgan and Executive Direc- tor Kirsten Smit-Westenberg sat down with me at productronica recently, and explained how companies around the world have benefited from joining the EIPC. We also discussed cur- rent industry trends in Europe and the upcom- ing EIPC conferences and workshops being de- signed around them. Barry Matties: Why don't you start with a little bit about the EIPC and what it does? Kirsten Smit-Westenberg: What we try to do at the EIPC is bring together the European coun- tries by organizing networking events. We orga- nize a winter and a summer conference every year, and we specialize in workshops that we do 12–16 times a year. Events and workshops are our main focus and our strong points. Matties: How many members do you currently have? Smit-Westenberg: We have 108 currently. We're very proud to say we've gained 16 new mem- bers this year. We've lost five, unfortunately, but we're very happy to have gained the new members, who are mostly European, but two are North American. Matties: Great to hear. Alun, what is your role as chairman of the EIPC? Alun Morgan: Well, I am the functional head of the organization, so it's very much a hands-on role. My job is to lead the organization. Kirsten is doing all the day-by-day work—all the real work, I have to say—and my job is to steer it and actually be responsible for what we do. What we try to do really is provide value to our members. Matties: What sort of value do you provide your members when they join the association? Smit-Westenberg: We try to find out what it is that they are looking for. Is it visibility? Are they looking to get connected to the European industry? Do they need to be informed about the European Union? We can get them involved in European- funded projects and provide them market in- formation. We can sell IPC standards to them, or get them connected to IEC standards, UL connections, etc. It depends on what they're looking for. I think our strongest point is to get EIPC: Furthering the Reach of Electronics Industries in Europe FeATure inTerview

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