After several years of absence, the currently planned semiconductor investments in Europe (INTEL, TSMC, MEMC, Wolfspeed, Bosch, Infineon, …) were a welcome reason to visit San Francisco again and take part in SEMICON WEST.

The trade fair itself was a successful event across the board: good mood among the exhibitors, many qualified visitors, good discussions, especially with companies that are not (yet) directly involved in European business but are thinking about expanding and reinforcing their position here -directly or indirectly.

It is important to realize that investments alone are not enough! While it is very nice that the European CHIPS Act has been passed and that the above companies want to invest massively in the construction and expansion of their fabs, one question remains unanswered:

Where should the professionals who operate the systems in the fabs and who are responsible for service and support at the suppliers come from?

In Germany alone – depending on how you look at it – there is a lack of between 70,000 and 120,000 STEM-professionals, and there is no sign of a trend reversal!

Those companies are in a good position if they take care of the difficulties in filling upcoming, critical positions in good time and get professionals on board who can give them comprehensive advice and support.