Impulse by Constanze Hufenbecher
Today, innovations are more important than ever to master the two great challenges of our time. Decarbonization and digitalization will profoundly change the world over the next ten years. New technologies that achieve more with less resources and fewer emissions are key to a sustainable future. Collaborations in innovation ecosystems and the courage of society for change are crucial to mastering the transformation.
Climate change is affecting the lives of more and more people in all regions of the world. Extreme weather events – from heat waves to droughts to heavy rainfall – are causing great concern all over the world. At the same time, the shortage of raw materials and rising energy prices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine are making us realize more clearly than ever how important it is to restructure our energy system and use resources more efficiently. In addition to climate protection, it is now also a matter of securing our future prosperity and the cohesion of society.
The conversion to a sustainable society and industry is only possible with digital technologies. The green transformation and the digital transformation go hand in hand. Semiconductors are needed today more than ever to solve global challenges. They are key elements in shaping our future worth living: Climate protection through the switch to clean, electrical energy, a careful use of resources through digitalization, improving our daily lives and work with connected devices with useful functions – all this is only possible with semiconductors.
The coronavirus pandemic has given an enormous boost to digitalization in all areas of life. But we are still at the beginning of the development. The digital transformation has only just begun. The Internet of Things is opening up entirely new possibilities for both industrial and consumer applications. We will see the IoT truly evolve into the Internet of Things. So far, connected devices have mostly been about their interaction with humans. In the future, devices will communicate much more directly with each other. Faster communication, new and more powerful technologies, edge computing and new services in the cloud will accelerate each other. They will make our lives more convenient – while making better use of resources.
At Infineon, we want to harness the great potential of new technology to make people's lives easier, safer and greener. This mission drives us. We offer solutions for the efficient use of electrical energy in all areas of life. Our technologies pave the way to clean and smart mobility. We make the Internet of Things easier and safer for people. In short, we enable a climate-neutral economy and connect the real world with the digital world.
Innovation has been part of our company's DNA for years. But we can't do it alone. We firmly believe that tomorrow's solutions can only be developed together with the right partners. Thinking outside the box, trying out new ways, learning from each other, accelerating innovation together and bringing it to market – all this works best when different expertise and perspectives come together. That's why we at Infineon rely on networks and collaborations with our customers and other important partners such as startups, universities and research institutes.
UnternehmerTUM offers a very attractive ecosystem for testing new approaches in partnerships and driving digital transformation for the benefit of us humans. A good example is the "appliedAI" initiative for the application of leading, trusted AI technology. At Infineon, we highly value such cooperation opportunities and, as a leading semiconductor company, we are happy to contribute our know-how and vigor to developing solutions for the future.
Our society needs the courage for change in order to actively shape decarbonization and digitalization and achieve the ambitious goals. In addition to technological expertise, openness to technology and the willingness to change are crucial. Enabling rather than preventing must be the motto. Therefore, political decision-makers in Europe should focus regulatory frameworks for digitalization much more strongly on enabling and promoting cooperation between companies in the digital space – for example, the secured exchange and use of data, the targeted use of artificial intelligence for the benefit of humans, and – more broadly – the development of new digital business models.
Innovation ecosystems, such as UnternehmerTUM, are key drivers of these change processes. I am convinced that further strengthening collaboration will benefit all partners, their business success and our society.
Constanze Hufenbecher has been a member of the Management Board of Infineon Technologies AG and Chief Digital Transformation Officer since 2021. Her responsibilities include the Group's digitalization strategy.