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Just arrived back from a royal trip – now in the starting blocks for semiconductor conference

Photo of people crossing a bridge in summer daylight.
This year’s RTM focused on new technologies, such as AI and quantum technology, but also cybersecurity and processes such as digital and green transition. Photo: IVA / Erik Cronberg

These are busy days for Lars-Erik Wernersson. After participating in the 2024 Royal Technology Mission (RTM) to the Netherlands in a delegation led by HM The King and IVA’s Chair Marcus Wallenberg, he headed right into the inauguration of the Vinnova Competence Centre Advanced Chip Technology (ACT). Next stop is the Compound Semiconductor Week (CSW) – the premier conference in the field of science, technology, and applications of compound semiconductors.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) recently had a delegation of leading representatives from academia, business and the public sector in Sweden visiting the Netherlands.

You recently participated, as the only representative of Lund University, in one of IVAs technology trips, a so-called Royal Technology Mission (RTM) – would you like to tell us a little about the purpose of it and how you came to go?

‘We had the opportunity to study current technology transitions in the Netherlands, including AI, quantum, 6G, but also semiconductors with visits to NXP, ASML, and VDL. Semiconductors are a topical area focusing on the green transition and security concerns, but also AI, energy transition, quantum technology, and digital infrastructure. The RTM was a great opportunity to learn about the strategy in the Netherlands and be inspired for the ongoing discussion around Sweden’s needs and opportunities”, says Lars-Erik Wernersson.

What part of the trip made the biggest impression on you?

“We have had the opportunity to visit several innovation environments and gained good insight with comprehensive presentations. I am struck by the fact that they all combine cutting-edge research, undergraduate education, innovation, and business activities within the same structure and the same building. The architecture is part of these creative environments. In Lund, we have a great opportunity to create a similar innovation environment at Brunnshög, and the key will be to incorporate companies and their innovation into the environment and operations.”

What was the most important thing you will take away from the trip?

“That Sweden is an attractive partner on the European playing field. The combination of academia and industry is an effective door opener internationally. At the same time, we are seeing major technological shifts and Sweden will need to work and focus to strategically position ourselves for the future.”

How does it work to travel around so many people, including a king and several professors and directors-general – what happens to the logistics and dynamics? Is there a ‘school trip’ feeling to it, did anyone get lost in the herding of the cats?

“The trip provided great opportunities to talk and discuss with many people. We all contribute expertise in different ways and our roles complement each other. Lund University is a top 100 university – and that is a good basis for discussions.”

Did you also get to do anything fun – and if so, what?

“We visited the Mauritshuis and had the opportunity to see several works by Vermeer and Rembrandt.”

What happens next – CSW?

“Next week, we inaugurate Compound Semiconductor Week 2024, the premier conference in the field of science, technology, and applications of compound semiconductors. There will be 200 scientific presentations, and plenary lectures from IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre) and Stanford on heterogeneous integration and power electronics.” 

The conference is arranged in Lund on 3–6 June, and a delegation of 50 from Japan and 15 from South Korea are participating. Annika Annerby Jansson, Chairman of the Board Region Skåne, and Annika Olsson, the Dean of LTH, are giving opening speeches.

“Also, we will award 4 prizes to outstanding researchers in the field based on international nomination and reviewed by an international committee,” says Lars-Erik Wernersson.

Compound Semiconductor Week 2024

Photo of people standing on the stairs to a house.

Selection of the delegation’s programme items

  • Delft University of Technology, one of the world’s ten highest-ranked technical universities
  • House of Quantum Delta NL, a national quantum technology ecosystem
  • Leiden Bio Science Park ranks top 5 in Europe and top 10 in the world
  • Wageningen University and Research Foundation conducts research in foodtech, bio-based production, natural sciences, and its impact on people’s quality of life
  • The Port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and currently employs around 250,000 people
  • VDL Enabling Technologies Group develops and produces a wide range of industrial products
  • ASML Semiconductors, a global semiconductor company that supplies semiconductor manufacturers with components
  • NXP Semiconductors, a global semiconductor company that develops and manufactures a variety of components for industrial semiconductors
  • Philips is a technology company focused on healthcare products