Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European Micro- and Nanotechnology Industry Rules off 2009 and Moves on

28.01.2010
Economic survey of the IVAM Microtechnology Network confirms losses in turnover, lower export shares and funding gaps. Diversification and new products are now in demand.

The impact of the ongoing economic crisis on the microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industries is expected to be less noticeable in 2010 than in the previous business year. The expectations for 2010 prove that the industry has not lost its optimism. In the second half of 2009, "excellent business" has been reported by individual companies. Due to an increasing demand from the semiconductor sector, some companies have directly changed over from short-time work to weekend shifts.

Drops in turnover, orders and production, and funding gaps reported

In total, the European microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials companies achieved a turnover of just under 44 billion Euros in 2009. According to the industry, sales in 2009 clearly went down, much more so than in the previous year, 2008. More than one quarter (27%) of the companies reported a turnover decreasing more than 10% - only one tenth of the companies (10%) had expected cutbacks on such a big scale for 2009. The percentage of companies that were able to report a turnover increasing more than 10%, however, has fallen from 30% in 2008 to only just 12% in 2009.

Other areas, next to the annual turnover, in which business significantly decreased during 2009, are the numbers of orders and the production volumes. More than three quarters (76%) of the companies report a decrease in orders for the year 2009, 63% cut back their production. Still, more than half of the companies (54%) have been able to keep staff numbers steady. Especially in Germany, it seems that the possibility to work short time has helped to avoid too many redundancies. In total, the European microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industry employed 310,000 people at the end of 2009.

During 2009, financing remained stable for 46% of the companies. But it is a striking fact that none of the responding companies has reported an improvement in its funding situation in 2009. The current restrictive approach to lending is gradually becoming a life-threatening problem for many high-tech companies. If the situation on financial markets, the willingness of banks to lend and the willingness of the companies to invest in research and development do not improve again soon, the industry may be facing a massive growth problem.

Industry responds with diversification, customer acquisition and downsizing

Diversification is the most common reaction of the European micro, nano and materials companies to the economic crisis, in addition to intensified customer acquisition efforts. Almost half of the companies (49%) have expanded their business, 82% of them by developing new products, 55% by entering new markets. The measures the companies take as a response to the economic crisis betray a growing resignation: in 2009, the companies have more often taken restrictive measures than in the year before, for example, reduced labour costs (39% in 2009, 35% in 2009) or saved on R&D investments (30% in 2009, 14% in 2008). Other business areas subject to stronger saving in 2009 were marketing and the access of new regional markets.

German companies support automotive industry

Among the target markets of the German micro, nano and materials companies, the automotive industry has replaced the medical technology industry as the most popular market for the first time in years. Slightly more than half of the German companies (51%) supplied the automotive industry in 2009, whereas in the rest of Europe it were only 44%. It is likely that the car scrapping scheme has caused a short term boost to the benefit of the car producers and their supplying industries. How the markets are going to develop after the scheme has expired in the course of 2010 remains to be seen.

Mona Okroy | idw
Further information:
http://www.ivam-research.de/en/index.php?content=studien_details&id=15
http://www.ivam-research.de/en/index.php?content=statistik

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>