Executive viewpoints: 2018 outlook

Materials science creativity is paving the road to innovation

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 12.25.06 PMDr. Terry Brewer, president and CEO, Brewer Science

Brute-force methods for achieving incremental growth will continue to be the focus of our industry in 2018. Growth in China through government investment and fab construction will ensure this fact. But, the leadership our industry must rely on is its people, its organizations and their combined individual and collective creativity to deliver new material designs that will solve our current circuit density challenges. These materials will then transcend these obstacles— opening doorways to new science and technology integrations.

The current market drivers of simplicity, balance and accessibility will continue to take the front stage as technology becomes increasingly seamless with human existence. Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore and Albert Einstein have shown us that solutions must be elegant to be sustained. To this point, companies and individuals that put their focus on deep science and material design will bring about technologies that drive sustainable economic growth. A brief glance at the stone, bronze, iron, steel, plastics and silicon ages show how this is true. By the end of 2018, we will already know what this new material age might be.

To foster economic, environmental and societal sustainability, our industry will be more present in encouraging people to embrace deep science through the support of STEM education programs. No longer will education and industry be separate, nor will we see the traditional technology transfer push of post-secondary institutions as the leading driver of innovation. Industry has recognized the need for new creativity, and 2018 will see visible evidence of industry nurturing even more creativity within their own organizations as well as our youth; both inside and outside the classroom. STEM education will be supported in the classroom, but also not be confined by it.

2018 will once again see growth in our industry. Incre- mentally more transistors, incrementally smaller features, incrementally increased investment. Many of the methods used will be familiar to us, such as mergers and acquisitions, and investments from Asian governments. But, the real story in 2018 will be realized by at most two or three years from now when we reflect on the new, creative materials design threads being sewn into the fabric of our industry and ultimately woven into our daily lives. The future will validate that the material design leaders of 2018 will pave the road for the sustainable economic growth of tomorrow.


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