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Posted: July 20, 2010
German Micro- And Nanotechnology Industry Sees Economic Trend Reversed
(Nanowerk News) After the years of the economic crisis, 2008 and 2009, the
microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials
industries in Germany are now confirming a reversal of the
economic trend. More than half of the companies say that
business in the first half of 2010 fared better than expected.
The companies are positive about the second half of the year
and look forward to the year 2011. More than 100 company
representatives have expressed their current mood in a
survey conducted by the IVAM Microtechnology Network.
Level of 2008 partly regained
After one and a half years that were flawed by lost revenue,
drops in orders and production, expectations for 2010 were
quite restrained at the beginning of the year. Now quite a few
managers have expressed their surprise at how well
business has run in the first half of 2010. Individual
companies have reported that sales have risen up to 15
percent. In some micro- and nanotechnology companies, sales and incoming orders have regained or even exceed the
level of the first half of 2008.
"Former customers are now returning of their own accord", a
company representative comments on his experience. The
demand for equipment for the semiconductor industry is
particularly strong at present. Especially producers who bring
new devices on the market now benefit from that demand.
According to the survey, business operations in the first half
of 2010 ran better than expected for just over half of the
companies (52 percent), just as expected for a third (33
percent) and worse than expected for 15 percent. When
asked to review individual business areas and compare them
to the first half of 2009, the respondents said that incoming
orders have developed particularly well: 62.9 percent of the
companies have improved in this area. Production and sales
has also improved for more than half of respondents.
Corporate financing is still a weak point: more than half of the
companies (58.8 percent) have been able to keep the
financing level stable, but the situation got even worse for
Foreign demand will continue to grow
Some companies are foreseeing "a very positive
development" in the second half of 2010. For this period, 53
percent are expecting a stable business situation and 40
percent are anticipating further improvement. Specifically, the
companies have reported an increase in foreign demand –
particularly in Asia export opportunities are being expected to
The genuine revival is being supposed to happen in 2011: 59
percent of the respondents are anticipating an improvement
of their business, only 7 percent fear that things might run
worse for them than in 2010.
In spite of the general positive mood, some respondents
remain reserved: some developments, they say, are hard to
predict and there is still room for surprises. Risks that might
delay the economic recovery include cash-outs and unsolved
political issues that might lower the purchasing power and
slow down the sales of products.
For the odd company the economic recovery came just too
late to save it from insolvency. But for other companies the
crisis has even opened new market opportunities: some
technologies that help customers save costs sold particularly
well during the crisis.
The IVAM survey was conducted in July 2010 and addressed
to 1125 mostly small and medium-sized enterprises dealing
with microtechnology, nanotechnology, or advanced
materials in Germany. The answers of 115 managing
directors or project managers haven been evaluated.
IVAM is an international association of companies and institutes in the
fields of microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials. At
present about 300 companies, institutes and partners from all over the
world are IVAM members.
IVAM Research, the Economic Research Division of the IVAM
Microtechnology Network, collects and evaluates economic data in the
fields of microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials