While traveling through America or Asia, CEO Peter Wennink often gets asked why his company ASML is practically the only one able to make those very complicated chip machines.¬†His answer is invariably: the regional network of suppliers and research institutes. Wennink: “If someone asks me what ASML actually is, I can just say that we build machines that can make the most advanced chips. But what we really are is a collaborative knowledge network, we are the system architect that’s always on the lookout for partners who can perform certain tasks better than we can. And then we bring them together.”

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