Section 2

Europe/North America Net Technical Assessment: Summary Chart

As part of the process of compiling findings on the state of MEMS/microsystems research and commercialization in Europe, the MCC Strategic Technology Tour team developed a high-level net technical assessment of the relative positions of Europe and North America in selected subdomains of the MEMS and microsystems field. The results of this exercise are presented below in Table 2.1. The elements of this net technical assessment are presented from the European perspective; that is to say, “strong” means Europe’s position is stronger than that of North America, and “weak” means that the North American side is the stronger. The one-word evaluation represents current position; the arrow indicates a directional trend over time. Thus “strong ” means “strong and getting stronger,” while “equal ” means that Europe and North America are approximately on a par in the specified technology subdomain, and the relative positions are holding steady.

This analysis, and the table reflecting the assessment results, should be treated with caution, and as an element of a broader picture. The net technical assessment represents the subjective conclusions of a small team of researchers and research managers from MCC member firms. While experts in the MEMS/MST field, team members had only two weeks to visit with and consider the state of MEMS and microsystems in Europe. A different team, conducting a different series of site visits and meeting with different research groups, might reach very different conclusions.

Table 2.1.
Europe/North America Net Technical Assessment: Summary Chart
MEMS/MST Technology Subdomain

MCC STT Team View

Standard MEMS: pressure sensors, accelerometers etc ...

Equal

RF MEMS

Equal

?

Micromolding (including LIGA)

Strong

DNA analysis and microfluidics

Equal

Optical MEMS

Weak

?

Gyroscopes

Equal

Manufacturing technologies

Strong

CAD and simulation tools

Weak

Modeling (Engineering) simulation

Weak

?

(Source: MCC).

Published: January 2000; WTEC Hyper-Librarian