Electric irons that automatically switch off when left standing, chips that partially return sight to the visually impaired, motors with a diameter of less than 20 mm, and coloured solar cells that give facades a more attractive appearance—all these useful and fascinating technologies, and others like them, originated from micro- and nanotechnology. This year’s most important forum for that industry, MiNaT 2008, will take place October 7–9 in Stuttgart, Germany.
The MiNaT trade fair for precision engineering, ultraprecision, micro-, and nanotechnologies appears at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre for the second time. But this year, for the first time, MiNaT visitors will benefit from the simultaneous occurrence of Semicon Europa, also taking place at the Stuttgart fairgrounds. Holders of a MiNaT ticket will have the opportunity to visit the international annual exhibition for semiconductor products, materials, and services without additional cost.
The area of micro- and nanotechnology has developed rapidly. The continual transfer of the latest research results to industry is very important to MiNaT’s supporter, VDMA Microtechnologies.
In order to promote dialogue between science and industry, VDMA and Landesmesse Baden-Württemberg have launched MiNaT Hotspots, which premieres in 2008. More than 60 specialized talks will bring together representatives from business and research. This forum will allow for research results from established companies or innovative start-ups to be implemented quickly and successfully in market-ready products.
Lothar Kugler, chairman of the MiNaT trade fair advisory Board, emphasizes the importance of cooperation between industry and research. “Only in this way,” he states, “can Germany keep its top international position in the area of micro- and nanotechnology.”
Sharing this philosophy is Peter Josef Jeuk, managing director of the Association of Microsystems Technology Baden-Württemberg (MST BW), which is planning a large joint stand at MiNaT featuring many of the 50-plus member companies. “We in MST BW are very reliant on the research bodies,” Jeuk explains. He describes MiNaT as a platform to encourage increased cooperation for all those involved in micro- and nanotechnology.
“In 2008, MiNaT will further expand its position as a central platform for industry and science through the comprehensive accompanying programme, as well as Semicon Europa taking place in parallel,” says Lothar Kugler. “It is important that many suppliers from the machine, component, material, and work-tool areas exhibit in order to convey to visitors as complete and current a picture of micro- and nanoprocessing as possible.”
Kugler concludes emphatically: “It all depends on the mixture!”