Posted: August 7, 2009

Japan rebuilds for the upturn - Exhibition Micromachine/MEMS in Tokyo sets signals for Green MEMS

(Nanowerk News) Japan puts on the brakes – this was also sensed at the 20th Exhibition MicroMachine/MEMS July 29th to 31st in Tokyo.
The organizers talked about 30 percent less exhibitors, and the companies being on site had often reduced their exhibition areas. 358 exhibitors and 14,075 visitors came in 2008, while 252 exhibitors and 12,247 visitors joined the event this year. Thus, the visitors were still very interested; and the exhibitors on site also said they were satisfied. Japanese company representatives were allowed to travel; and the decreased amount of visitors was not noticed in the smaller hall. IVAM Microtechnology Network was represented at a joint pavilion and organized, together with the Waseda University and the Micromachine Center, the second “Japanese-German Micro/Nano Business Forum”, which was well-visited with 150 participants.
All in all, topics dealing with cost savings or subjects like “Green MEMS” were popular in Tokyo. Next to the IVAM forum further forums took place at the exhibition, for example the 15thInternational Micromachine/Nanotech Symposium – MEMS World. Applications for energy-saving and cost-efficient production were at focus here, too. For example wireless sensor networks in harsh environments and “energy scavenging” (energy harvesting) for these networks were topics at the meeting. The fusion of microsystems technology with bio- and nanotechnology to hetero-functional, integrated devices is in focus of Japanese companies and institutes– as for instance life science applications, which connect a MEMS device with a nano bio sensor to a sensor for cancer cells. Next to the life science topics, large-scale microstructures for flat screens, solar applications and printed electronics were discussed subjects.
Experts on site still see Japan as an important market for microsystems technology, even though worries arise that the Japanese economy put on the brakes too roughly, so that the production might not rebuild for the upturn in time. But money for innovations and investments is still at hand. Some fair attendees saw a cause for optimism in the closeness to China. “Japan will be back”, an exhibitor stated.
Source: IVAM
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