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In our Sunday newsletter, we, as editors, look back on the past seven days. We do this on the initiative of our cartoonist, Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, draws a picture, and we take it from there.

Albert Jan’s choice of a cartoon to accompany an article about chips has yet to come out of the blue, as we published much about this high-tech sector last week.

Last week, we wrote about a new report by PwC that argues that the industry’s strong dependence on Dutch chip giants threatens future growth. The report concluded that diversification into adjacent markets is necessary.

But, that report came under critical scrutiny. René Raaijmakers, editor-in-chief of High-Tech Systems, wrote in an opinion article that he finds the report “toe-curling” and defends the thesis that the current concentration of the Dutch manufacturing industry on semiconductors is the right strategic choice. According to him, PwC paints a false picture of the future and shows a lack of understanding of Dutch high-tech manufacturing and the global chip market.

Moral issues

And then there was ASML. This week, imec and ASML opened the new High NA EUV Lithography Lab in Veldhoven, the Netherlands; customers can start testing with the newest machine: High NA EUV. This machine can make even more minor, faster, and advanced chips. Imec and ASML opened the new High NA EUV Lithography Lab in Veldhoven this week.

Its status as the world leader in advanced chip machines confirms the above news once again. The fact that this fact also raises moral issues is insurmountable.

Bloomberg reported that ASML could remotely disable advanced chip machines in China. The involved parties themselves did not officially respond to the news. The news once again underscores the importance of technology in geopolitical conflicts. What does this trump card mean in the context of global power relations? I asked former diplomat Gerrit van der Wees, China, and geopolitics analyst Frans-Paul van der Putten.

Road to 2050

Colleague Mauro launched a new series this week: ‘Road to 2050’. In it, he explains the challenges we must overcome to achieve climate neutrality. The first topic is grid congestion. What are possible solutions to this problem? You can read it here. Oh, and Elcke also wrote this article this week about where in the Netherlands grid congestion is the biggest problem.

And here’s what else caught our eye this week:

You can read the rest of the articles we wrote last week here. Have a great weekend!

Aafke Eppinga
editor-in-chief Innovation Origins