Willkommen in München, home of the Oktoberfest. This October, though, the microwave community will also be celebrating a "Microwavefest," as European Microwave Week follows immediately on from the world famous beer festival. While the Oktoberfest may be enjoying its 170th anniversary, the EuMW is a relative youngster, celebrating just its 6th year. In that time, however, it has established itself as the premier microwave event in Europe, which, in the present economic climate, takes on an even greater significance as a forum for ideas, a platform for the latest technology and a medium for networking.

Having previously been held at the ICM, the International Congress Centre Munich, in 1999, the EuMW is returning to the same venue to begin another five-year cycle through Europe, continuing on to Amsterdam in 2004 and Paris in 2005. The European Microwave Week, with its three leading Microwave Conferences, is an initiative of the European Microwave Association (EuMA) and the GAAS Association, and is now being arranged by Horizon House Inc. The event plays a pivotal role in achieving the EuMA's primary goals, which include networking and uniting microwave scientists and engineers in Europe, circulating technical and academic information, and promoting public awareness and appreciation of microwaves.

As returning visitors know, and new ones will soon find out, a warm welcome awaits those who enter through any of Munich's three remaining town gates. For as well as being a place for the world's microwave engineers and scientists to network, exchange information and debate the merits of the latest technologies, European Microwave Week also provides the opportunity to socialize and to mix business with pleasure.

The three separate but complementary conferences - GAAS 2003, the European Gallium Arsenide and other Compound Semiconductors Application Symposium, the 33rd European Microwave Conference (EuMC 2003) and the European Conference on Wireless Technology (ECWT 2003) - are renowned for being lively forums for the sharing of ideas. This is even more crucial at present in order to stimulate interest and, of course, business. That, too, is the aim of the three-day European Microwave Exhibition, which has attracted key players, not only from Europe but also from the US and Asia. The Exhibition will provide the opportunity to see newly launched products and to view the latest ranges on offer. In addition, there are workshops and short courses on various subjects for those seeking hands-on experience and advice from the experts.

On the other side of the coin, there are social events organized and tours on offer, with no end to the sights that Munich has to offer. There are museums, galleries and palaces to visit, parks and open spaces to relax in, historical buildings to experience, theatres to be entertained in and much more.

Hopefully the week can be both informative and informal with a lot of effort having been put into making the event a worthwhile, interesting and lucrative experience for all who attend. To achieve this has involved countless people, including the chairmen of the associated conferences and their teams, the local organizers, the TPC-members, the members of the review boards, who dedicated their valuable time to help maintain the high scientific standards of the conferences, the organizers of the workshops, short courses and special sessions, and also the members of the EuMA board of directors. Not to forget the team at Horizon House Inc., who for the first time have organized the European Microwave Exhibition and contributed to the organization of the conferences, and also the many industrial companies and organisations who have lent their financial support.

Thanks to all their hard work, the event promises to be just as intoxicating as the Oktoberfest, so let's raise a glass to its success and welcome all visitors to European Microwave Week 2003.