From the May Issue


IAMC Insider

Continue the professional development that just took place at the IAMC Spring Forum in Biloxi by exploring with IAMC Chair Karen Shchuka the steps needed to achieve the next level of professional value enhancement, and learning some strategic and practical lessons companies share about emerging from the pandemic.

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Even before last week’s progress on the European Chips Act, Infineon Technologies in February announced it was starting construction of a new 1,000-job plant in Dresden, Germany, for analog/mixed-signal technologies and power semiconductors.

Rendering courtesy of Infineon

Companies waiting to see what Europe does in response to the United States’ CHIPS Act got their update last week when a political agreement was reached between the European Parliament and EU member states on the European Chips Act, first proposed in February 2022. “Through the European Chips Act, the European Union aims to reach its target to double its current global market share to 20% in 2030,” a release stated. The first pillar — the Chips for Europe Initiative — will be supported by €6.2 billion of public funds, €3.3 billion will come from the EU budget agreed to last week for the period until 2027. This support will come in addition to €2.6 billion in public funding already foreseen for semiconductor technologies, the European Commission stated.




How Kentucky Became the Work Truck Capital of America

A $700 million investment by Ford in Louisville is helping to launch a truck in a league of its own.

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Hitachi High-Tech Corp. last week announced that it will construct a new production facility in the Kasado area of Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, “with a view to increasing production capacity of etching systems for its semiconductor manufacturing equipment business, with production scheduled to begin in FY2025. The new facility will double production capacity through digitalized and automated production lines, in order to cater to the ever-increasing demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment,” the company said. “The facility will also be carbon-neutral, in line with Hitachi High-Tech's goal to achieve carbon neutrality at all of its business sites (factories and offices) by FY2027, in aims of realizing a decarbonized society. Hitachi High-Tech will create new value and solve customer issues by shortening development times, reducing costs and increasing productivity, in order to contribute to sustainable industrial development supporting a digital society.”

Source: Conway Projects Report

South Africa

Officially opened last May, phase one of this project at the company’s site in Isando, Johannesburg, Gauteng, involved construction of a new office complex and warehouse. Planning for phase 2 of the project — a new lubricants plant — is underway and would involve an investment amount twice that of phase 1. Other recent grease plant investments from the company have come in the Chicago-area community of Harvey, Illinois; Australia; Wujiang, China; Sweden; and in Kaiserslautern and Mannheim in Germany, as well as at an expanded Asian HQ and R&D hub in Shanghai. The 90-year-old Fuchs Group, founded in Mannheim, in 1931, today encompasses 58 companies and more than 5,700 employees worldwide.

Source: Conway Projects Report





Commitment to Renewables Sparks Colorado’s Clean Energy Industry

In a state where renewables already represent 18% of net power generation, corporate, state and federal leaders are all on board to reduce emissions and expand clean energy opportunities.

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Photo of Starship before last week’s launch courtesy of SpaceX

SpaceX launched its Starship last week in Texas and it burst into flames not long thereafter, inspiring the company’s official introduction into the lexicon of the now-infamous euphemism “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” Yet SpaceX HQ employees cheered wildly and positive messages emanated from all corners of the globe to which the rocket’s debris returned. One of those messages came from Florida, in language that seemed to exude support and rivalry all at once:

“Today’s Starship launch underscores the importance of an ecosystem that enables and supports fundamental change in how we do things,” said outgoing Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello, “and we are building that system in Florida to allow innovators to imagine, build, launch, recover, and even refurbish and relaunch — all from the Sunshine State. We look forward to a bright future for SpaceX with Starship, doing exactly that — building, processing, launching, and recovering, refurbishing and re-launching right here from Florida’s Spaceport System.”

Space Florida on April 11 announced the search had begun for a new president and CEO as DiBello plans to retire on June 30. A portal to upload a resume, cover letter and references is now available at www.spaceflorida.gov/transition. The agency says its activities have had a $5.9 billion economic impact on the state since 2007 and, beginning in 2023, it projects to have a $1.1 billion annual economic impact. — Adam Bruns