Thursday, May 31, 2012:
USA: MEMS Industry Group (MIG) engaged technology leaders attending its annual technical conference for members, Member to Member (M2M) Forum, on the most pressing challenges affecting the micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) industry.
Held May 8-10, 2012 in Pittsburgh, M2M Forum began with a tour of Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) microsystems labs, offering a rare opportunity to engage with engineers at one of the world’s top R&D institutions. Through interactive working group sessions, presentations and panels, M2M attendees discussed critical issues influencing new MEMS product development, to advance the commercialization of MEMS through a fertile information exchange.
"MEMS Industry Group is focused on building the business of MEMS, and that includes exploring technical challenges, product innovation, commercial successes and emerging trends," said Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group. "Our ability to cover so much ground in just two days of M2M Forum—from the CMU labs’ tour and Qualcomm CDMA Technologies’ Len Sheynblat’s call for sensor-integration standardization to heated discussions around product-development strategies—validates MIG’s position as a neutral organization that fosters the exchange of ideas, for the betterment of the MEMS industry as a whole."
Highlights of M2M Forum
* Site visit to CMU's microsystems labs with demonstrations on microfluidics, micro/nanofabrication, MEMS testing in controlled environments, soft robotics, multi-scale manufacturing, electrical characterization, and more. The event concluded with a poster session featuring current research of CMU professors and graduate students.
* Evening Keynote Speaker Mary Ann Maher, CEO, SoftMEMS, LLC, addressed 'Co-design Strategies for MEMS-based Products.' As winner of the MIG Technology Advisory Committee's first white-paper competition, Maher addressed the intersection of co-design and standards.
* General Session Keynote Speaker Len Sheynblat, VP of technology, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, exhorted attendees to work toward standardization in 'Sensor Systems Integration Challenges.'
In 'Successful MEMS Commercialization: Lessons Learned,' panelists Matt Apanius, director, SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems; Stefan Finkbeiner, PhD, CEO, Akustica; Anne M. Schneiderman, PhD, partner, Harris Beach LLP; and Ivo Stivoric, co-founder and CTO, BodyMedia, discussed their views on successful and not-so-successful examples of MEMS-based applications.
* MEMS Technology Development Working Group Co-moderators Valerie Marty, MEMS Integration, HP, and Jason Tauscher, manager, MEMS Subsystem, MicroVision, led the conversation on development process and its relationship to the product life cycle of MEMS.
* New Product Development Working Group Co-moderators Mike Mignardi, PhD, manager, MEMS Component Development, Texas Instruments, and Jim Knutti, PhD, president/CEO, Acuity, Inc., examined market-pull VS technology-push success factors affecting commercialization of MEMS products.
* Site visit to ACUTRONIC, a developer of precision motion simulators used for the testing and calibration of inertial sensors, Inertial Navigation Systems, stabilized electro-optical systems and Electronic Stability Control systems.
"If we are to continue to grow MEMS at the current pace, we must come together now to address the challenges affecting us collectively," added Lightman. "As a neutral forum for discussion, M2M provides the platform that uniquely fulfills this need."