Microsystems-based products are a key value-adding element for many sectors of industry - and the predicted nanotechnology future will also be largely delivered by microtechnologies. While the late 20th century has seen a silicon-based microelectronics revolution, the 21st century looks forward to the adoption of micro- and nano-manufacturing technologies as the demand for function and length scale integrations increases continuously on the way to bridging the nano- and the macro-worlds.

The existing imbalance between the ease with which batch-fabricated microcomponents and microsystems can be produced in silicon compared to the difficulties and costs associated with their manufacture in other materials hinders the introduction of new microsystems-based products into the market. Although there may be commercial advantages to leveraging the present suite of IC-based processes and materials, they will not be able to meet the demands of emerging products for 3D and high aspect ratio structures, enhanced-force microactuation, improved environmental resistance, high precision, and unification and standardisation. To broaden the range of microsystems-based products and simultaneously multiply their capabilities requires the integration of new materials and precision engineering technologies for their processing with IC-based, batch-fabrication processes. These are major challenges in developing new products that at the same time represent promising research and development areas for innovation and value creation.

The main goal of this Conference is to provide a forum for experts from industry and academia to share the results of their in-depth investigations and engage in interdisciplinary discussions about the creation of manufacturing capabilities for: