The European Microwave Association (EuMA) is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1998 in Belgium with the aim of promoting microwave technology in Europe and worldwide, circulating information among European microwave scientists and engineers and attaining full recognition of microwaves by the European Union.
EuMW: A Prime Initiative
Undoubtedly, the Association’s most important initiative is European Microwave Week (EuMW), Europe's premier microwave, RF, wireless and radar event. Created in 1998 (Amsterdam) around the European Microwave Conference (EuMC) — the prestigious European conference on microwave technology dating back to 1969 — with the inclusion of three additional conferences on related subjects: the European Microwave Integrated Circuit Conference (EuMIC), the European Conference on Wireless Technologies (EuWiT, formerly ECWT), and the European Radar Conference (EuRAD), 17 technical workshops, in addition to the European Microwave Exhibition, which is the largest trade show dedicated to RF and microwaves in Europe, EuMW has been the most successful initiative undertaken by the EuMA. The event also involves the cooperation of the IEEE MTT Society (co-sponsor of EuWiT) and of the GAAS® Association (co-sponsor of EuMIC).
This year, of special interest is the European Radio and Microwave Interest Group (EuRaMIG) Workshop planned for Friday 31 October. EuRaMIG is a recently launched European network of companies, institutes and universities sharing common visions and objectives in RF/microwave technology (www.http://www.chalmers.se/ghz/EN/eu-mw-interest-group.) to make microwave technology and industry more visible and coordinated within Europe, by e.g. increasing European R&D. Indeed, despite the fact that RF/microwave technology constitutes a vital competence for a broad range of European companies, the subject itself is almost invisible in the European research agendas such as the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The EuMA is enthusiastically supporting this initiative as it fully fits into its objectives.
The importance of EuMW for academics, students and industrialists is clearly evidenced by EuMW 2008 figures: 1,080 papers submitted (60 more than last year) from 50 countries, 518 oral presentations, 196 posters, 210 exhibiting companies, taking up over 6,000 m2 of gross exhibition space and an expected attendance of more than 4,000 attendees (comprising delegates, exhibitors and visitors). Such statistics are the product of active promotion.
Paper Submission Statistics
Participation at EuMW conferences has been promoted by reduced fees for students and senior persons, student grants and grants (valued at €500) for delegates from the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the ex-Soviet Republic, up to a total of about €20,000, and Best Paper Prizes (including student papers), some sponsored by industry (companies including Raytheon. Sony and EADS) are also awarded. The total value of the Best Paper Prizes amounts to €24,000. In addition, EuMA awards Best Paper Prizes at national European Conferences in Eastern Europe, such as Mikon, Comité, Microcoll, MSMW, etc.
Emergence of Asia-Pacific
European countries are major contributors to the EuMW conferences, but are not as dominant as might first be thought. For instance, this year the US is the third largest contributor of submitted papers after Germany and France, while Japan and Korea are the sixth and seventh, with only slightly less papers than the UK. Contributions from the Asia-Pacific region are again strong this year, carrying on from EuMW 2007 when more than 25 percent of the paper submissions came from the Asia-Pacific region. This gives a clear indication of the increased interest that such countries are showing in EuMW and generally towards the EuMA. In fact, it is expected that Asia-Pacific contributions will increase even further in future years and this will certainly have some impact on EuMW as well as on the European microwave industry and its market.
Importantly, EuMA has a considerable number of members from the Asia-Pacific region. This is another significant indication that we need to further increase our efforts for improving and enlarging our cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference (APMC).
The EuMA is evolving towards being an open association. Since 2004 it has been open to all qualified microwave experts, including students, not only from Europe but also from all over the world. There are EuMA members in the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, etc. Parallel to such an evolution, the General Assembly (GA), the highest governing body of the EuMA, has been enlarged to 35 members in order to include more representatives of European countries or groups of countries. Starting with 2008, in recognition of the significant contributions from outside Europe, the GA has agreed to add two more members, one from North America and one from Asia-Pacific. The newly appointed members are Prof. Tatsuo Itoh from UCLA and Dr. Bumman Kim, from Korea Academy of Science and Technology.
EuMA membership has constantly increased over the last few years reaching almost 700 members as of 2 October 2008, the largest groups being Ukraine with more than 90 members and Germany with almost 80 members. Significant is the presence of 40 members from Asia-Pacific and 27 from North America. EuMA members benefit from 20 percent reduced fees to all EuMA conferences, including EuMA sponsored events. They also receive the EuMC Proceedings Archive, a DVD containing all EuMC papers since its inception in 1969 and may subscribe at a very low price for EuMA publications.
Starting in 2009, a new technical journal will come to life, the International Journal of Microwave and RF. This new journal will take over the former Proceedings of the European Microwave Association, with a renewed momentum under the general Editorship of Prof. Raymond Quéré from the University of Limoges (France). The journal will provide information on scientific and technical innovation in areas of interest to the EuMA, namely in microwave technology, including antenna and device technologies for microwave and millimetre-waves up to optical frequency applications.
From the very beginning it has been recognized that the EuMA must represent the interests of both academia and industry (the founder members constituted four from academia and two from industry). Nevertheless the majority of people involved in the management of EuMA activities are from universities. The transfer of academic results into commercial products is of vital interest for the economical benefit of the region and the feedback of emerging problems of industry into research is of vital importance too.
In order to enhance this mutual interaction and promote the involvement of industrial partners into EuMA activities, an Industrial Liaison Committee (ILC) has become established as an individual body of EuMW. Headed up by distinguished and experienced individuals from industry, representatives of all different sectors of high-frequency-related industry offer suggestions and opinions on new subjects and organisational format to the programme committee and to the organizers of the conferences and the exhibition. As a result, recent initiatives have seen the stronger involvement of the defence and homeland security industry and the encouragement of small and medium enterprises to participate through low rate exhibition space such as shared pavilions. This greater inclusivity and involvement is encouraging but affords room for further engagement.
In the few years since its creation, the EuMA has become a well established reality in Europe as well as having considerable visibility and the capability of entertaining relations and negotiating with the most important professional societies in our field. EuMA intends to collaborate with other professional societies in the world in view of the common objective of promoting knowledge and education in the microwave technical community worldwide.
In particular, of course, with the IEEE MTT Society which represents the most important and influential association in our area. A very recent joint move in this direction has been the launching of the program called European Microwave Lecturer (EML), to be incorporated into the MTT-S Speakers Bureau. Jointly nominated by EuMA and MTT-S, the Distinguished Lecturers will deliver their speech at MTT Chapters in Europe and Region 8 and will be financially supported by EuMA. I believe this is a significant initiative which stresses the common interests of both associations.
Besides consolidating its role in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe, through the numerous initiatives already undertaken, the EuMA needs to establish tighter links within the Mediterranean area, including North African as well as with Middle East countries. There is a considerable microwave culture and tradition in such regions that should be put in contact with the European community. An important opportunity to address this will come when EuMW is held in Rome, Italy in 2009. The road towards establishing cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region has already been taken: we need to continue and to look for new ways of cooperation.
Finally, at the higher and more general level of information and communication technologies, I perceive that the European community itself needs to create its own identity and self-awareness in much the same way as we have done in the area of microwaves. Indeed, following the EuMA example other scientific communities, for instance the Antenna and Propagation community, have started the process of creating their own association. Through the initiative of the EuMA, contacts with recognized European Associations in areas other than microwaves will soon be established with the view of setting up a European Association of Electrical Engineering. To this end, given its position, EuMA can play an important role by establishing cooperative links with companion associations in related areas or by stimulating the creation of such associations.