© TNO

FME, the entrepreneurial organization for the technological industry, thinks it is “high time that, in addition to the political focus on protecting health care, the focus is also on economic interests”. From a survey carried out by FME, it appears that almost half of the companies are already facing a considerable drop in turnover and expect to lose at least 20% and sometimes as much as 50% of turnover in the third quarter. Nearly 60% of companies expect to run into liquidity problems within a year. Half of those companies say they cannot rule out personnel measures to prevent bankruptcy if government measures are not taken. FME chairman Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink: “Health and economy are two sides of the same coin. The ‘intelligent lockdown’ must become an ‘intelligent relaunch’ as soon as possible so that we can contain enormous and permanent damage to companies”.

© FME

600 entrepreneurs took part in the survey. The common thread in the answers is that entrepreneurs in the technology industry are facing a very tough time as a result of the corona crisis. “The ‘intelligent lockdown’ is economically disastrous for the industry”, says Dezentjé. “The FME corona bureau, already established in January, was inundated with reports that the international supply chains were under pressure. Even though technology is now, more than ever, the solution to societal challenges. In the healthcare sector, in food production and in public safety.”

“The ‘intelligent lockdown’ must become an ‘intelligent relaunch’ as soon as possible, so that we can contain enormous and lasting damage to companies.”

Innovating out of the crisis

FME sees only one way to guarantee society’s prosperity and well-being: “We need to innovate ourselves out of the crisis. These shocking figures show that this is a huge challenge. That’s why we need people with the right skills, both now and in the future. We need to ensure that technology personnel are retained and can get back to work, through additional government support. We also need to invest in innovation and R&D right now”, says Dezentjé.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.