Bridging gaps, education and innovation were the main themes of last night’s Agilent Technologies sponsored EuMW Welcome Reception. Addressing the delegates for the Week’s four conferences and the exhibitors from the European Microwave Exhibition, EuMW General Chairman, Frank van den Bogaart, commented, “Bridging gaps is our theme. The aim while organising the four conferences, exhibition and associated events, has been to enable you to discuss with each other, to meet each other and exchange ideas.”

“However, when you talk I am not sure what language you use as we have participation from all over the world that, up to today, has numbered more than 3,000 people (registered delegates, exhibitors and visitors).”

He attributed these encouraging figures not only to the content of the conferences and the attraction of the exhibition but also to new initiatives such as the introduction of Interactive Poster Sessions and the EuMW2008 Student Challenge, which aims to bridge the gap between university and industry. This competition challenges students and young researchers to test their technical and application-oriented innovation skills.

Education and development was also the theme for Benoit Neel, Agilent Technologies’ vice president and general manager electronic measurements group EMEA field operations. Commenting on the company’s official platinum sponsorship of EuMW for the fourth year, he stated, “We are so keen to be the sponsor of such an event because we have a strategy where we want to provide engineers worldwide with the best measurement tools and solutions.”

He continued, “We are absolutely committed to contribute to the market and particularly to the education of the research community. We have continuous programmes for the donation of equipment to students worldwide, year after year. As an example last year we contributed $25 M worth of equipment to universities mostly in Europe the Middle East and Africa. And this year we have decided to do something new, the Agilent Technologies University Innovation Award.”

He explained that to demonstrate commitment to university research and development in Europe the Award recognises that access to instrumentation and expertise is often an obstacle for research and the prize consists of a week of access to the RF measurement Lab in Miplaza, Eindhoven to enable the winners to take their research to another level. He presented the inaugural Award to a research group from the universities of TU Delft and Twente made up of six students – Mayazzura Ruggiano, Angie Fasoula, Gabriel Lellouch, Firat Tigrek, Muge Tanyer-Tigrek and Teis Coenen.

Such initiatives have been a particular feature of EuMW 2008 and with a few days to go any gaps are well on the way to be being bridged. It is a hard act to follow, but Paolo Lampariello, General Chairman for EuMW 2009 and his team are keen to do so and invited all those present to, “Come to Rome, the most beautiful city in the world” for next year’s event.