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ARCHIVE >  February 2013 Issue >  Hi-Tech Events > 

What's Missing in Munich

Electronica and productronica alternate in Munich — electronica in even-numbered years with displays of the newest products including semiconductors, passive and mechanical components as well as PC boards and systems, and productronica in odd-numbered years with displays of production machines and test equipment for electronics manufacturing. So there's always a major electronics trade show in Munich in November.

This was my 21st trip to Munich, where I have exhibited at every electronica and productronica since 1991. I love coming to Munich, where I discover new products, meet old friends, and establish new contacts. This year, I also had a rich and rewarding surprise. Munich is convenient for travelers. Everything you need is easily available. The city's transportation system is easy to navigate. The food is familiar. But November in Munich is cold.

My journey from Los Angeles to Munich requires 14 to 16 hours with one plane change — this time I changed planes in London. I had plenty of time to think, and reminded myself that Germany was once a very scary place to be. Still today, you can see large street signs pointing the way to Dachau, just 16km from Munich. My journey to electronica began on the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1938. I felt really cold fingers in my spine when I realized this. Today, Israel provides an antidote for the pain inflicted on the Jewish people during my parent's generation. Israeli businessmen easily travel to Europe, which they say is in Israel's back yard. During the four days of electronica, I saw hundreds of Israelis, mostly walking in pairs, loudly speaking Hebrew and prowling the aisles. As with other visitors, Israelis come to Munich to look for business opportunities, build relationships and connect with partners from all over the world.

A show catalog weighing about 5 pounds helped me navigate the 14 large exhibition halls containing 2700 exhibiting companies from 49 countries. Instinctively, or maybe out of curiosity, I flipped to the pages in the catalog where exhibitors are ranked by country. I was shocked to see that only 12 exhibitors came from Israel. How could this be? By comparison, Morocco had a pavilion with 11 Moroccan companies and Tunisia had 6 companies exhibiting. Why were there so few exhibitors from Israel? The State of Israel has the largest percentage of engineers and scientists, per capita in the world. Important inventions continuously flow from Israel. Every smart phone in the world contains chips that were invented by Israeli development teams. The accolades about Israel's high-tech industry are endless. Israel is rightly called "The Startup Nation". I strongly believe that for the next electronica, there should be an Israeli pavilion with at least 50 companies. Why not? There are over 1000 high-tech companies in Israel with interesting products that are suitable for a world market. The planning must start immediately. The next electronica is scheduled for 11-14 November 2014 — a perfect opportunity to showcase Israeli products. An Israel pavilion could sprout meaningful and sustainable relationships with partners from all over the world.

There were 2700 companies exhibiting; 12 of them came from Israel. That means there's a lot of really neat technology that's not making the trip from Israel to Munich. It?s high time for Israel to set up its own pavilion for productronica and electronica.  

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