As Amsterdam is renowned for its vast network of canals and the bridges that cross them, it is not surprising that Bridging Gaps is the theme of the 11th European Microwave Week that takes place at the city's RAI Centre from 27 to 31 October. However, the reference is not to the spanning of the Amstel, but to the vital building of links between research and development, leading to commercial implementation. EuMW's four focused conferences and associated workshops and short courses, alongside Europe's premier RF and microwave trade exhibition, attract the cream of academia and industry from Europe, North America and Asia, making the Week the ideal medium for bridging gaps and forging relationships.

EuMW 2008 will focus on the needs of engineers and researchers for the creation of innovative applications, products and services by providing an inspiring environment for discussion between academia and industry. We hope to enable the two communities to share the latest trends and developments that are widening the field of application of microwaves. Microwave devices, systems for telecommunications (both terrestrial and space-borne), transportation, medical, radar as well as new fields of application are all being addressed and special attention has been given to the coordination of areas of common interest between the different conferences, workshops and short courses.

The four conferences-the 38th European Microwave Conference (EuMC), the 3rd European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC), the 1st European Wireless Technology Conference (EuWiT) and the 5th European Radar Conference (EuRAD)-specifically target ground breaking innovation in microwave research through a call for papers explicitly inviting presentations on the latest trends driven by the industry roadmaps. The result is a total of 528 papers over 108 sessions, complemented by 183 poster papers, 12 interactive poster presentations and 16 keynote speakers who will focus on new trends and state-of-the-art innovations.

Just how far down the road of innovation the industry has travelled will be demonstrated by the three-day European Microwave Exhibition, which has established a reputation as the essential platform for key players, not just from Europe but from across the globe, to showcase their wares to a wide and focussed audience. It is a trade exhibition that companies target to launch new and significant products, offer technical advice, discuss possible future developments and get feedback from customers.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice, there are associated workshops and short courses on various subjects that offer the opportunity to get hands on experience and guidance direct from the experts. Also, the siting of conference Poster Sessions, including new Interactive Posters, in the exhibition halls on all three days sets the current academic research amongst the exhibitors who have the commercial expertise to make the concepts a reality.

The EuMW Welcome Reception epitomises the organiser's ongoing endeavours to encourage the interaction between industry and academia, having become established as a social event that is both convivial and conducive to networking. Indeed, mixing business and pleasure can be enjoyed throughout the week through the strong calendar of social events that has been organised.

Like the industry it serves, European Microwave Week has to be innovative and forward thinking; therefore, three new initiatives have been introduced this year. For the first time, IQPC's Military Radar Conference will be collocated and accessible to EuMW delegates, with forum and panel discussions organized on topics of special interest. A Women in Engineering event will focus on and debate the contribution and role of women in our industry. Thirdly, the EuMW 2008 Student Challenge 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. The competition complements the 2008 Tutorial Seminars for Young Engineers aimed at stimulating and encouraging the next generation that was successfully launched last year.

Such initiatives take time and effort to bring to fruition and the Local Organizing Committee would like to express its gratitude to the international Technical Programme Committee and more than 300 hundred reviewers who worked hard to shape the conference programmes. We would also like to acknowledge those who organized the workshops, the focussed sessions, the short courses and the special events that are essential elements for a successful event. Thanks also goes to the Horizon House staff assigned to EuMW for their invaluable support in organising this major international event, as well as their contribution to the staging of a world-class exhibition. Last but not least, we acknowledge the financial and in-kind sponsorship of many industrial enterprises and other organisations.

Frank van den Bogaart

Ivar BazzyDue to all of their efforts the 11th European Microwave Week will not just bridge the gap between the 10th and the 12th, but aims to be a significant catalyst in developing relationships, forging alliances, and moving the microwave and RF industry positively and productively forward.

Welcome from Frank van den Bogaart, general chairman of EuMW 2008, and Ivar Bazzy, president, Horizon House Publications.