Karen’s blog from MEMS Executive Congress 2010

As I make my way back back to Pittsburgh (where there’s rumored to be snow on the ground) from the desert of Scottsdale, I am trying to think of a simple way to describe MEMS Executive Congress this year. I think “WOW” is the best summarizing word. Not only was I wowed by the keynotes and panels, I was also wowed (and really humbled) by the outpouring of support for MIG and our sixth annual MEMS Executive Congress.

For those of you who joined me at the Intercontinental Montelucia for the Congress, you heard me announce that we had our BEST attendance (over 180), our BEST press coverage (nearly 20 members of the press and analyst community) and we sold out of all our sponsorship spots. But I am most proud of not the quantity of this year’s event, but the quality – it was (in my humble opinion) the BEST quality Congress we’ve done. Not only were the panels of high caliber (and high content), the audience was top notch- truly representative of the international decision makers in the MEMS industry.

I won’t describe the entire Congress’ keynotes and panels for you in this blog. However, I can direct you to the summary presentation I gave at the close of the Congress which is available for download on the MIG website. I’d also like to share with you some of my favorite moments from the Congress and I encourage you to share your thoughts and comments here (below this blog) as well. We’ve also linked a few of the interviews and testimonials with attendees of the Congress, including:


Bryan Hoadley of Movea


Jeff Perkins of Yole Development


Francoise von Trapp of 3D InCites


Okay – I gotta share with you my sheer delight with the amazing keynote by Rich Duncombe of HP which I glibly called “MEMS frickin’ everywhere.” But seriously folks, he totally rocked the house with his inspiring presentation on HP’s plans to provide sensing solutions as a SERVICE, eliminating the barrier for those who need the information. Wicked cool, as my friends in Boston say.

I was also equally impressed with the Congress’ first female keynote speaker, Dr. Vida Ildereme of Intel. Vida eloquently shared with the audience Intel’s plans for smart sensing opportunities in embedded markets. She described intelligent sensing and context-aware services; that she sees as a big field, offering a huge financial opportunity.

The panels were equally interesting and engaging. The Congress’ MEMS Market Panel kicked off the Congress on the afternoon of November 3. We flipped the session from the “back end” to the “front end” and gauging the response I received from attendees, everyone agreed that the format worked better. By putting the MEMS market analysts at the beginning of the event, and by allowing each panelist ten minutes to present their perspective on the MEMS market (past, current and future), we set the stage up for the future keynotes and panel discussions.

Panel #2 focused on Clean Energy Enabled by MEMS and the panelists did a nice job of covering the immense breadth of issues related to energy harvesting, creating, conservation, management and storage. And as I pointed out in my closing, working with utilities can be a bitch – so I take my hat off to those who bravely enter (AND STAY) in this exciting field.

The third panel focused on my favorite topic: using MEMS to improve our quality of life. And as the panelists pointed out, that doesn’t mean that QoL MEMS will only be for the elderly and disabled, MEMS is poised to improve the world’s quality and standard of living. I am especially excited to see the vision of a personalized iPhone that will take care of you and be your “friend” for life.

The final and fourth panel was focused on Mobile Consumer MEMS – as you can imagine, it’s hard to have a business conference on MEMS and not talk about consumer electronics. This year, there were many take-away messages. But the overall message was that there is a huge value prop in software and MEMS. The panelists encouraged the audience to take advantage of MEMS commoditization – good advice.

I’d like to take one last opportunity to thank the amazing people who helped make the Congress a successful event – from MIG’s Governing Council, the Congress Steering Committee – to the moderators, panelists (and their staff/support). I also want to thank the Congress’ numerous sponsors, including our platinum sponsor, EV Group; gold sponsors SPTS and Tegal; and our silver sponsors Freescale and Suss. And lastly, thank you to the MIG staff – namely Monica Takacs, Kacey Wherley and Maria Vetrano (of Vetrano Communications).


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