Karen’s blog from MEMS Executive Congress: Part 2

I last left you hanging, waiting to hear more about the heated conversations between the panelists and the audience – and I have to tell you, it really started heating up in the audience during the energy panel. Ooo baby it was jumping.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013MEMS in energy can mean a lot of things – and our panelists diverse perspectives discussed a great deal, but the majority of the audience wanted to focus on the topic of MEMS in energy harvesting. Though not necessarily experts in this field, thankfully our panelists were up to the challenge. Our moderator was Bert Gyselinckx, General Manager, Holst Centre, imec; Wim C. Sinke, Program Development Manager, Solar Energy, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands; Eric Yeatman, Professor of Microengineering, Deputy Head of Department, Imperial College London; and Harry Zervos, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx. I actually should probably add Rob Andosca of MicroGen Systems as a fifth panelist as he was eager to ask and answer any question from the audience with his BOLT energy harvester in hand.

I loved the diversity of perspective on this panel –Wim for example does not have an entirely MEMS-centric background. His expertise is in solar and photovoltaic energy and he spoke of how multiple technologies will work together to make reliable and sustainable energy system, as well as the importance of portfolio management – combining different energies in an active way to make it work. We in MEMS could learn a lot from guys like Wim (I hope everyone picked up his business card; I know I did).

The panel also spoke about wireless sensor networks and Harry gave a great overview of the three technologies that are converging: 1. Microgenerators and energy storage (vibration, solar, heat, tree resin, etc.); 2. Ultra low-power electronics (currently being developed) – helping power sensors; and 3. Transmission protocols that don’t need a lot of power to send data. Eric followed up with the poignant view that until things become truly wireless, you can’t really have wireless sensor networks. And once they are wireless how will they be powered – by energy harvesting or battery? This opened the floodgates and I, with microphone in hand had to jog all over the audience to capture the comments and follow-up questions from the audience.

Let me be diplomatic and say that there is no clear consensus out there on MEMS energy harvesting. And out came the very clever quotes including some of my favorites including this one from Wim: “Don’t look at MEMS as the energy harvesters, MEMS are the enablers to help realize energy savings.” And this one from someone (maybe you’ll remember and leave a comment here)  “I’m happy to hear everyone in MEMS talking about energy, but I can assure you that not everyone in energy is talking about MEMS…yet.” And Bert’s: “MEMS will probably not be main source of energy replacing nuclear power plants soon; but MEMS will enable increased intelligence in energy applications.” As great as these sound bytes were, the show stealer came when Rob Andosca stood up and talked about how cows are being used for energy harvesting and gave us the best quote: “You power the Moo-mometer with MEMS because cows get dirty.” Tech-Eye reporter Tamlin Magee loved that one too and plans to write a story on – perhaps cow-power is the next big thing!

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013The last panel of the day before the closing keynote was MEMS in medical with a focus on aging moderated by Frank Bartels, Founder (Bartels Mikrotechnik), President (IVAM). Panelists were:  Heribert Baldus, Principal Scientist – Personal Health Solutions, Philips Research; Jérémie Bouchaud, Senior Principal Analyst, MEMS and Sensors, IHS iSuppli; Kimmo Saarela, CEO, TreLab Oy; and Axel Sigmund, National Contact Point MTI/DW and Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH. This was another diverse panel with varying views on how to address the medical and healthcare issues of the world’s aging population.

 When asked how MEMS is enabling a better quality of life with regard to prevention, monitoring, management, replacement and rehab I think Kimmo summed it up best when he said that with MEMS we can put so many things into a small form factor, which entices people to use our products. MEMS sensors allow us to collect raw data from so many sources. Data analysis is the key benefit and is their “value add” to the customer. But the key thing here is that power consumption and size really matter. Heribert added that MEMS is enabling an aging population to detect issues in their daily lives and manage their lives. I like to say it gives them their dignity back – and that is no trivial thing.

Jérémie spoke of some of the mass markets already present for MEMS in aging including sleep apnea disorders and oxygen therapy. There are also mass markets for MEMS medical applications that are in the hospital (not yet in the home) including disposable blood pressure monitors as well as dialysis and drug infusion applications. This kicked off a discussion about an aging population living at home which is becoming more of a critical issue in Europe, and a main focus of what Axel is addressing at VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik.

At the close, the panelists were asked what they saw as the future of medical – Heribert said he’d like to see more sensor integration, more intelligence and far less power. Jérémie said he sees a future for gas sensors analyzing the breath (and will not require FDA approval). Axel sees non-invasive diabetes monitoring as having the biggest impact; while Kimmo echoed Heribert and sees a future of more integrated solutions where biometric sensors will give more data and aid early detection and intervention. Frank agreed with Jérémie that gas sensors will be next once the pump issue is solved and that the time for microfluidics is near.

This final panel set things up perfectly for our closing keynote, Renzo dal Molin, Advanced Research Director, Cardiac Rhythm Management business unit, SORIN GROUP. Renzo gave the presentation “Vision for Implanted Medical Devices Healthcare Solutions and Technical Challenges,” which outlined the opportunity for implantable medical devices. He described in detail how

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013

the next generation of medical devices will come from miniaturization of devices, reduction of power consumption, and wireless capability and yes, even spoke of energy harvesting (you can guess whose ears perked at that statement). Renzo then highlighted how the BioMEMS market is expected to grow from $1.9 B in 2012 to $6.6 B in 2018 thanks to the inclusion of accelerometers in pacemakers and homecare monitors; MEMS sensors for glucose meter connected to smartphones; MEMS microphones for hearing aids as well as MEMS insulin pumps.

The audience was excited to discuss where Renzo saw the future of BioMEMS going, and where he felt the industry should focus moving forward. Renzo agreed that in the near future (once regulatory hurdles were overcome) patients will be able to monitor their implantable devices on their mobile devices. And he felt the next big thing will be biomarkers, as well as MEMS-enabled devices that could give an ECG will be revolutionary to the medical field.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2013And with that it was time to break and enjoy a fantastic evening at the Heineken Experience. We took some photographs throughout the day but by far my favorites are the ones we took at the brewery – you should definitely check them out. I would like to close this mega-long blog by thanking everyone who made this second-year MEMS Executive Congress Europe a great success from my fabulous MIG Team, to the MIG Governing Council, to the Congress EU Steering Committee, to the AMAZING sponsors (especially those top tier ones who are sponsoring all year long – we love you), the keynotes, the speakers, the attendees (especially the press who attended and those who have posted great stories – hooray!), our fantastic conference organizers at PMMI, and our sister conference folks at Smart Systems Integration. THANK YOU ALL.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe

By Karen Lightman, Managing Director, MEMS Industry Group

“MEMS is only limited by the imagination” was the title of the opening keynote presented by ST’s Carmelo Papa at MEMS Executive Congress Europe and in many ways this phrase perfectly summarizes the conference itself. All of the speakers on our four panels  – industrial, biomedical/Quality of Life (QoL), automotive and consumer – as well as our keynotes – all conveyed that frontier feeling that MEMS can truly change the world. Sure we have some challenges to overcome (biggest being packaging), but the potential of having MEMS (frickin’) everywhere is a very tangible reality, if any of the predictions of MEMS Executive Congress Europe come true.

Thankfully the numerous press who attended the Congress Europe have already done an impressive job of highlighting the panelists’ and keynotes’ more technical points – please refer to our Congress press coverage for the growing list of stories.  So instead of retelling you who said what regarding what ISO qualification, I’ll use this blog to give you the more colorful side of the Congress (shocking disclosure, I know).  And speaking of color, MIG’s Monica Takacs did a great job of capturing the Congress in pictures and we’ve posted them on our Flickr site; you will want to check it out.

I am going to share with you my favorite quotes, saving my favorite for last. I’ll start with the one by our opening keynote, Carmelo Papa. When Carmelo was talking “off the ST script” his adorable Italian personality was a lot of fun. Like when he said that he couldn’t reveal ST’s biggest customer “even under torture,” but he’d give us some hints: “it is green, and delicious to eat.” What a great way to describe Apple.  I also liked how he described MEMS as the “mouse for portable devices” as it enables a new realm of gesture.

My next favorite quote was from VTI’s Hannu Laatikainen who I called a “Finnish Haiku Poet” when he said that we needed to “treat the car more like a human that can see, feel, hear, smell and taste.” Great stuff.  I absolutely enjoyed hearing every single word coming out of the mouth of Dr. Berger of Clinatec and it wasn’t just because I am a sucker for a French accent. I loved his description of connecting technology with medicine and his passion for patient health, safety and welfare.  He urged that there must be more money for clinical trials of technology for medical treatment to prove efficacy (not just money for consumer-inspired sport applications masking as healthcare products). I couldn’t agree more.

I laughed when Stefan Finkbeiner introduced himself and stated that his company, Akustica/Bosch, hailed from Pittsburgh, the “MEMS center of the US.” Stefan then modified the statement by saying that Pittsburgh is the “MEMS capital of Pennsylvania” and “definitely the MEMS capital of Western PA.” My hometown is a lot of things, but not yet the MEMS capital of the US.

But my absolute favorite quote from MEMS Executive Congress Europe was from Continental’s Bernhard Schmid. When someone from the audience asked the panelists if visual sensors will replace MEMS on automotive, Bernhard responded with a rhetorical question: “Have the eyes cannibalized the ears? No. Both senses/sensors are needed for smart automotive.” I guess he was inspired by Hannu’s earlier comment about the car’s senses being more human. I wouldn’t have expected such eloquence from a bunch of automotive engineering executives.  But like the Congress in general, these guys impressed and surprised me.

MEMS Executive Congress Europe was a fantastic success. I was expecting 100 attendees; we had 155. I thought we had a handful of sponsors; we had over 30. I look forward to building the content for this year’s upcoming MEMS Executive Congress US in Scottsdale (November 7-8) and yes, next year’s event somewhere in Europe and possibly in Asia. By design, MEMS Executive Congress is a unique professional forum where executives from companies designing and manufacturing MEMS technology sit side-by-side with their end-user customers in panel discussions and networking events to exchange ideas and information about the use of MEMS in commercial applications. And clearly, with our success in Europe, MIG is meeting a need in the market. Good thing it’s also lots of fun.

The Changing Landscape of MEMS Foundry Models: Understanding In-house, Fab-lite and Fabless

MEMS Executive Congress 2011

November 2-3, 2011
Monterey Plaza Resort & Spa
An annual executive forum promoting the commercialization of MEMS

“One size fits all” just does not apply in MEMS manufacturing. Heterogeneous models—in-house, fab-lite and fabless—offer flexible approaches to the varied requirements of MEMS fabrication, empowering companies to make the choices that will keep them competitive.

At the seventh annual MEMS Executive Congress , our panel of global MEMS fabrication business leaders will boldly explore the diverse approaches to manufacturing MEMS. Where are we today, how did we get here, and where are we going? What is driving this new era of fab-lite and fabless manufacturing and why do some companies make the choice to keep their fab in-house? And, how do variables such as current processes, price and time-to-market pressures, and the need for flexibility affect a foundry’s strategy?

Representing very different perspectives on the manufacturing spectrum, our panelists will offer candid opinions on how to come out a winner in this increasingly competitive and revenue-generating market.

Please join us Thursday, November 3, 2011, 10:00-10:45 a.m., for the panel, MEMS Foundry Models—In-House, Fab-Lite, Fabless.

Featured Speakers

Moderator: Nancy Fares, President & CEO, Micralyne

Panelists:

Register today for MEMS Executive Congress

As a business rather than a technical conference, MEMS Executive Congress provides a unique forum for MEMS solution providers and OEM integrators to exchange ideas and information during panel discussions and networking events. This truly unique two-day event is the year’s must-attend conference for the entire MEMS supply chain.

If you have not registered yet, you can do so via the link below:

Register Now

Meet your new business partner at MEMS Executive Congress!

November 2-3, 2011 | Monterey, California | Monterey Plaza Resort and Spa

In addition to all the great content, MEMS Executive Congress also provides attendees plenty of networking time throughout the event that enables interaction among peers in a fun and casual environment.

Wednesday Evening, November 2 – Dinner in the Open Sea Wing at the Monterey Aquarium.

Sea Turtle Monterey Bay AquariumSit by the largest window in North America and enjoy a fish-eye view of the sharks, tunas and sea turtles while chatting about that day’s panel of MEMS market analysts and their forecasts.  Take a stroll and drift away with the jellies as you sample delicacies and finger foods.

Thursday Evening, November 3 – Dinner at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

Dinner will be served at the host hotel, located on Cannery Row, the historic site of now-defunct sardine canning factories made famous by John Steinbeck. You’ll view the beautiful Monterey Bay while dining and exchanging conversation about the future of the MEMS industry.After dinner, we’ll continue with libations at the lobby bar. Drinks are sponsored by Coventor. Networking

Friday Morning, November 4– Golf Outing Sponsored by Lam Research

Networking The networking opportunities don’t have to end on Thursday. Join us for a golf outing at Pacific Groves Golf Links. Situated on the tip of the scenic Monterey Peninsula just 2.5 miles away from the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa, this historic 18-hole golf course overlooks Point Pinos and the Pacific Ocean and features both parkland and links-style nines.

Register today at www.memscongress.com

In its seventh year, MEMS Executive Congress is the executive conference that connects the MEMS supply chain with MEMS end-users. Through keynotes, panel discussions, and numerous networking opportunities, MEMS Executive Congress creates an intimate forum for decision-makers to grow the global MEMS market.

MEMS Executive Congress Sponsorships are Hot!

Thanks to overwhelming demand for MEMS Executive Congress sponsorships, MIG is pleased to announce a new Bronze category of sponsorship for the November 2011 event in Monterey, CA.  Included with the Bronze sponsorship is one complimentary pass to MEMS Executive Congress, inclusion of your company in pre and post event press releases and marketing materials, signage, event web site and program. For complete details and benefits, please visit the MEMS Executive Congress web site.  There is a special discount for MIG members and returning sponsors from Congress 2010.

We have several press releases, advisories and marketing activities planned for the next few weeks, so you are strongly encouraged to contact MIG if you are interested in the Bronze sponsorship or any of the other remaining sponsorship spots. You’ll get more “bang for your buck” if you sign up now, rather than sign up just before the Congress. And yes, to answer your question, we have sold the Restroom Sponsor!

In its seventh year, MEMS Executive Congress is the executive conference that connects the MEMS supply chain with MEMS end-users. Through keynotes, panel discussions, and numerous networking opportunities, MEMS Executive Congress creates an intimate forum for decision-makers to grow the global MEMS market. For complete information, please visit www.memscongress.com.

Explore “MEMS Sensor Fusion/Sensor Networks”

November 2-3, 2011
Monterey Plaza Resort & Spa
An annual executive forum promoting the commercialization of MEMS

As engineers combine MEMS devices with integrated circuits to create feature-rich heterogeneous environments, embedded systems have become more complex. Now smartphones may include accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, silicon microphones, RF MEMS, and even micro-displays, to produce a “full package” of intelligence for end-user applications. These new systems require “sensor fusion,” which intelligently combines data, software and processing from different sensors (including MEMS). And while consumer products and automotive systems top the list for high-volume MEMS consumption, biomedical/healthcare, industrial and energy increasingly use MEMS technology as well.

The panel will discuss the critical issues affecting MEMS systems integration such as: What is the future of “MEMS sensor fusion”—integrating MEMS with ICs and software in the same application (and even the same package) while meeting or exceeding cost, power and performance requirements? How are MEMS sensors producing more intelligent, and pervasive, wireless networks? How might technologies such as Hewlett-Packard’s “Central Nervous System of the Earth” (CeNSE) change our information infrastructure—and what is its potential impact on society?

Featured Speakers

Moderator: Michael Jamiolkowski, President & CEO, Coventor

Panelists:

Please join us Thursday, November 3, 2011, 1:45-2:30 p.m., for the panel, MEMS Sensor Fusion/Sensor Networks, at the seventh annual MEMS Executive Congress.

Register today for MEMS Executive Congress

As a business rather than a technical conference, MEMS Executive Congress provides a unique forum for MEMS solution providers and OEM integrators to exchange ideas and information during panel discussions and networking events. This truly unique two-day event is the year’s must-attend conference for the entire MEMS supply chain.

If you have not registered yet, you can do so via the link below:

Register Now

For more information, please visit www.memscongress.com.