So much has happened in a year … It has now been more than a year since the outbreak of the corona virus and unfortunately it has had an unprecedented impact on all of our personal lives. And, while we have not yet gotten rid of the virus, vaccine rollouts are providing a light in the end of the tunnel hopes of returning to life as we knew it before the pandemic. I had my first vaccination last week here in Singapore and can’t wait to travel again and see my colleagues and suppliers in the rest of the world again!
Who would have thought a year ago that we would now be in a phase of strong growth with the high-tech industry? What corona has taught us is that technology is absolutely necessary to communicate effectively and keep us connected. All that working from home and the IT required has given an extra boost to the semiconductor industry and its supply chains. In addition, growth in AI, 5G and autonomous vehicles is driving the semiconductor industry into a growth cycle that is expected to last for at least the next three years. All in all, a great opportunity for the Dutch high-tech supply industry to grow together! And that requires cooperation and collaboration in the chain. It requires the timely sharing of the correct information, via IT systems and personally. Only in this way can we tackle problems such as component scarcity and increasing technological complexity.
The open and direct Dutch are good at working together, in joining forces. Being vulnerable, asking for help from competitor suppliers if you don’t get it right yourself is a strength. Leveraging this strength – of the Dutch high-tech ecosystem – can successfully reach out to the rest of the world. The Sino Dutch High-Tech Innovation Port that the Dutch high-tech industry wants to set up in Suzhou, in which various system suppliers work together in their typically Dutch way on the solution for the customer, is a great first step in this.
Theo Kneepkens, guest editor-in-chief of this special and senior vice president of Global Operations at KLA in Singapore.