Industry Day- 2019 :: Interview with Ajit Manocha

Ajit Manocha is the president and CEO of SEMI, the global industry association serving the electronics manufacturing supply chain. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, SEMI is focused on advancing the mutual business interests of its membership and promoting a free and open global marketplace.

Manocha has more than 35 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. Manocha is active on global advocacy issues and has served on the President’s committees for Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST).

He is one of the Speakers for Industry Day on September 21. In an interview with Dr Vanita Srivastava he talks about the importance of days like Industry Day, steps to be taken for accelerating the Make in India campaign and more.

Edited Excerpts:

How do you see events like the Industry Day forge better academia-industry relationship?


Events such as Industry Day that promote stronger relationships between academia and industry are key building blocks for future innovation. Over the course of my 35-year career in the semiconductor industry, I have strived to be a champion of industry collaboration and the formation of partnerships between the public and private sectorsto advance technology for societal and economic prosperity. This is a primary focus at SEMI, where we help our members in the global electronics design and manufacturing supply chain to connect, collaborate and innovate in order to grow and prosper.


Please give a brief on what you will be talking?


For my presentation, I will focus on the unprecedented growth opportunities that are available to India as part of the new digital world. I will discuss India’s current positioning and highlight a call to action, based on examples of other developing nations.


In the field of Make in India, what are the major challenges in collaboration with the academia? How can these challenges be addressed?


I would say the primary challenge in industry collaboration with academia is getting people to put in the time and effort to make it happen.


How can we build momentum for Make in India?


Continued development of talent and infrastructure should be a key focus in building momentum for Make in India. I strongly believe in the power of private and public sector partnerships as a necessary enabler of success. In my role as COO of Philips Semiconductors, now NXP Semiconductors, we had operations in more than 15 countries with over 25,000 people, and I made it a priority to formpublic-private partnerships (including academia) in each country to leverage governmental support.


How do you see the academia helping the industry for Make in India and vice versa?


At its core, industry and academia collaboration on co-development of curriculum will help to keep the talent pipeline full into the future, which is a huge concern in the electronics manufacturing field. Beyond that, academic institutions are under increasing pressure to deliver cutting-edge research that has commercial viability and real-world applications, while industry R&D departments need access to the brightest minds from academia to drive innovation. This is particularly the case in fields such as AI and analytics, wherecollaboration on research is an absolute must. These types of collaborations represent a true win-win scenario that can help to significantly advance Make in India and a wide spectrum of technology advancement initiatives.