Gunter Krasser, Infineon Technologies: “In 2024 we will grow our R&D footprint in Romania”
“This year, Infineon has made some big decisions in terms of extending its future semiconductor production capacities. Infineon is in a clear growth path also in terms of R&D capacity and has a very positive opinion about Romania being a very good place to further grow R&D for developing semiconductors.
We had one extension here in Romania, with opening an R&D center in Iasi, on top of our main hub in Bucharest. And we are still thinking about some other options that we may have here in Romania to also expand regionally,” Gunter Krasser, Managing Director Infineon Technologies Romania said during Automotive 2023 Forum organized by Automotive Today and The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“We also made a very strong long-term commitment for Bucharest, with a new main office building to be built in the city. To be successful, you need to have stability for what you already have, and you need to have ability to grow. You need to retain your own people, because without them you are not able to do high-tech. The knowledge is not in the safe of the company, but in the people’s heads so you must keep them in the company.
The Government also needs to create a stable environment for the companies and for the employees, to keep the top experts in Romania and not to let them leave the country. Besides stability, we need to create growth, and growth means access to talent. This growth comes from the universities, and engagement with universities is essential to ensure that you have future growth potential.
For the future of Romania, as a place where high-tech companies can flourish, the competitiveness of the universities becomes more and more essential. With growing costs in Romania, standardized activities will become more and more under pressure also from a worldwide perspective. When you go to high-tech, you differentiate completely, and this comes from deep knowledge, deep specialization, and better preparation at the universities.
The universities are still suffering on the scale of their academic staff, not on the big capabilities. We have great and remarkable examples of valuable cooperation with universities, with universities teams where they do some feasibility studies, some pre-research for us on specific topics which will later than integrate either into our development methodologies or into our products.
We have a couple of programs with some universities where we try to help them not only grow future employees for us, but also grow future academic staff, to broaden their base. The base funding of the universities is not where it should be if Romania wants to stay competitive on the upper end. We believe that Romanians can be there at the upper end. I don’t see any reason why chips can’t be developed here in Romania, as they are developed in Italy, Austria, Germany, France, or any countries. The capabilities are here, we have a lot of positives examples where we delivered great products in the last years, developed by our Romanian engineers, and we have a lot of products currently in the pipeline.
The base funding of universities is a critical topic for the future which seriously needs to be addressed. It’s important that the universities can retain good people, and not everybody ends up in the industry. It’s a short-term win for us, but we all lose in the long term.
In 2024 we will grow our R&D footprint in Romania, for sure. We will tap into opportunities in the region. We will strengthen our leading position as largest semiconductor company in Romania with the capacity to develop full chips locally especially for automotive applications.”
Full recording of the conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P1kYtDifKc