Appendix 2

MCC Strategic Technology Tours: Program Objectives and Overview

The MCC Strategic Technology Tour (STT) program is coordinated by MCC Global Technology Services. As an R&D consortium operating in microelectronics and software, the core business activity at MCC is the organization and conduct of multi-firm R&D projects. To complement this R&D work, MCC Global Technology Services works to infuse the MCC R&D program with an international awareness, as well as to inform our North American member companies of key developments in R&D and emerging technology markets in Europe and Asia. In this context, we use the Strategic Technology Tour as a mechanism to bring the expertise of managers and technical staff in our member companies to bear in the process of exploring and analyzing global developments in information technology.

Structure of the MCC Strategic Technology Tour Program

MCC Global Technology Services initiated the Strategic Technology Tour program in late 1993. STTs are structured as multi-firm data gathering and analytical benchmarking activities during which small groups of researchers and technical managers from North American member companies in the MCC consortium conduct an intensive series of site visits to leading R&D organizations in Europe or Asia.

To compose a Strategic Technology Tour team, MCC Global Technology Services recruits a group of 5-10 researchers, technical managers, and strategic planners from MCC member firms who share a compelling interest in the target technology. Global Technology Services then arranges a 7-10 day series of site visits with private-sector firms, national laboratories, and sometimes universities that are conducting leading-edge work in the target domain in Europe or Asia.

The general purposes of an MCC Strategic Technology Tour are:

  1. To develop an overall picture of R&D activity in the target technology domain in the region visited;
  2. To secure a detailed understanding of the capabilities and activities of the host organizations visited, through a set of mutual presentations and discussion;
  3. To establish human contacts within the host organizations, which may lead to continuing dialog, as well as to joint R&D or business activities;
  4. To discuss with other team members the significance of STT findings, to generate a formal report of findings, and to explore possibilities for follow-on research work.

The Strategic Technology Tour has a clear emphasis on identifying the state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice overseas in the target technology domain; however, we find that considerable value emerges from the focused opportunity that team members have to discuss technical issues and opportunities within the team itself.

MCC Global Technology Services currently organizes two-to-three Strategic Technology Tours per year, with the target technology domains identified in consultation with MCC member firms and MCC management.

Strategic Technology Tours: Assessment Topics

Over the last five years, MCC Global Technology Services has led eleven of these Strategic Technology Tours on a diverse set of topics to Europe, Japan, East Asia, and India. The topics covered and regions visited have been:

The two STTs on Software Engineering and Software Process Improvement were conducted in partnership with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University. The Strategic Technology Tour described in this report, on MEMS and Microsystems in Europe, was conducted with co-funding from and the active assistance of WTEC (World Technology Evaluation Center), through its CISAR (Community-Initiated State of the Art Reviews) Program.

For further information about the MCC Strategic Technology Tour program, contact Howard Curtis (Tel. 512-338-3792; Fax 512-338-3898; E-mail: curtis@mcc.com). Information about upcoming tours may be found on the MCC Web site (http://www.mcc.com), under Global Technology Services. Information on WTEC can be found at: http://itri.loyola.edu.

MEMS and Microsystems in Europe

This report presents an overview of findings from the MCC Strategic Technology Tour to Europe in MEMS and Microsystems. The STT assessment team initially formed in December 1998, with representatives from Eastman Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell, HRL, Nortel Networks, and Texas Instruments, as well as MCC (for a full list of team members, see Appendix 1 of this report). The core set of site visits in Europe was conducted March 21 to 31, 1999, and included organizations in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands (see the text of this report for details). Preliminary findings were presented at two workshops organized in conjunction with WTEC, which took place in Washington, DC, June 17 and 18, 1999.


Published: January 2000; WTEC Hyper-Librarian