Richard Bruton TD, Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, today joined MIDAS Ireland to announce its annual conference for 2014, which will explore the theme: “Microelectronics Sector: We need to educate to innovate.” The conference is taking on Tuesday, 25th November 2014 in RCPI, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

The conference will be addressed by Dr Marcel Pelgrom who is a consulting professor at Stanford University and a visiting scientist at Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland. In his keynote, he will give an international perspective on the relationship between industry and academia in the context of the microelectronics sector.

Minister Bruton welcomed the announcement of the conference, which he said would place a focus on ensuring that Ireland continues to be a world centre for microelectronic research by preserving the pipeline of innovation that originates from Irish educational institutions.

Microelectronics is a major employer in Ireland with 8,000 working in the sector. It is also a major driver of research and development and works closely with academia to ensure that the latest discoveries can be utilised in new products without delay. This conference will look at ways we can protect and improve the engine of education from which industry-ready innovation emerges, and thus make a real impact on job-creation and economic growth.”

A series of other well-known figures in the sector including Noel Murphy, Quark Engineering Manager, Intel; Professor Tom Brazil, Head of UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering; Linda Doyle, Associate Professor, TCD and Director, Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain-Driven Research; and Dr Mary-Liz Trant, Head of Skills and Enterprise Engagement, HEA will also participate in the conference programme.

John Blake, Chairman, MIDAS Ireland, who will open the conference, today said he was looking forward to a frank debate on the importance of education in driving continued innovation in industry through microelectronics.

The success of the microelectronics sector to date has been helped by the existence of academic institutions generating top quality research with an application in industry. To ensure that this remains the case for the future, through the conference we will look at the education system and the essential role it plays in creating the engineers, scientists and researchers we rely on to develop that research and to push new developments forward. Third level education is vitally important, as is the base in the STEM subjects generated in the primary and secondary school years, and this conference will help us set priorities for the future.”

To coincide with the conference MIDAS Ireland in partnership with Enterprise Ireland will be hosting an evening event in The Dawson Lounge on Dawson Street in Dublin from 5pm – 7pm. This side bar event is being organised to generate further debate around the sector in a more intimate environment. Speakers at this event will include Donnacha O’Riordan, Director of Services Strategy at S3 Group; Daire McNamara, Co-founder and Director at Emdalo Technologies and Anding Zhu, Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin. Topics discussed will range from the area of embedded software to exploring the growth of microelectronics in China and how this relates to Ireland.

The MIDAS Annual Conference 2014, ‘Microelectronics Sector: We need to educate to innovate,’ will take place on Tuesday, 25th November 2014 in Corrigan Hall, RCPI, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. More information is available on the conference and the evening event planned in partnership with Enterprise Ireland at www.midasireland.ie. The conference is this year supported through sponsorship by IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Analog Devices.