Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Micro- and nanotechnology companies to raise staff numbers again

28.02.2011
Skills shortage particularly concerns German companies

The latest economic data survey of the IVAM Microtechnology Network confirms how well the microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industry in Europe has recovered from the economic and financial crisis.

The companies want to hire more employees again, their sales have risen strongly, they are aiming for new overseas markets and looking out on the new business year with confidence. However, skills shortage and a persistent difficulty to raise capital may eventually restrict the industry’s growth.

According to the survey conducted in January 2011, 60% of the mostly small and medium-sized companies intend to hire new staff during the year 2011. This means that the positive post-crisis trend, which has made itself felt in 2010 already and which can be observed in other industries as well, will continue in 2011. While in 2009 only 26% of companies reported an increase in the number of employees, no less than 44% have hired new staff in 2010.

Turnover jumps – export remains stable
Almost half of the companies (47%) increased their turnover by more than 10% as compared to the previous year. The positive trend in sales is to continue in 2011, according to industry forecasts, though not quite as strongly as it did in 2010.

The industry’s export quota has remained more or less stable in 2010 compared to the previous year. A quarter of the companies have gained more than 75% of their turnover from exports. Half of the export transactions take place within Europe. Germany continues to be the most important export market for the companies in other European countries, followed by the U.S. and China. German high-tech companies export mainly to the United States, China and Switzerland.

Prospects on 2011 are fine
Good prospects for the new fiscal year: nearly two-thirds of the European micro- and nanotechnology companies expect that their business will continue to improve during 2011. Especially orders, production and sales figures are supposed to rise explicitly. But the companies also want to surpass last year’s export and investment figures.
Industry addresses skills shortage by itself
It seems that the shortage of skilled workers has not made itself fully felt in the microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials industry, yet. Almost 40% of the companies in Europe say that the skills shortage is no pressing issue for them now, nor do they expect to be affected by the shortage during the next five years. In general, the companies in Germany are more sensitive to the issue of skills shortage than those in most European neighbour countries. In Germany, 64% of companies expect that they will be affected by the shortage by 2015. Those companies who feel the skills shortage are particularly short of specialists with academic and technical skills for product development and R&D.

For the time being, it is up to the companies to find appropriate solutions, as any measures discussed by political bodies – like facilitating migration, raising the retirement age, expanding child care or enhancing the quality in education – will not be effective in the short term. A little more than 60% of the affected companies have already taken measures to counteract the skills shortage. These measures include increasing the number of training and graduate positions, conducting appraisals or satisfaction surveys, or granting specific and individual on-the-job training attuned to the needs of the company.

Funding gaps remain
Although the financial crisis has been officially declared to be overcome, it remains difficult for the European high-tech companies to get sufficient financial means to invest in their own business and new developments and ultimately to boost the economic growth. Financing has become more difficult in the past two years for about 40% of companies. Bank loans, in particular, are hard to come by, as many banks have increased the barriers to lending and are taking longer to process requests. But funding opportunities have gone down in the last two years, too. Again, the companies complain about higher obstacles for application and the fact that programs were terminated.

However, it seems that the funding gaps do not curtail the possibilities and willingness of companies to invest in new developments too much. The R&D investments have gone up in nearly 40% of companies in 2010. In 2011, 43% of companies want to spend more on R&D than in the previous year.

Mona Okroy | idw
Further information:
http://www.ivam.de

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>