The Van der Valk Hotel in Nijmegen-Lent hosted the annual Bits&Chips RF Conference Benelux on June 1st. Belgian and Dutch high-tech professionals discussed developments in the radiofrequency industry. We spoke to some of the attendees about their lessons learned and what they expect and hope for at next years edition.
The Bits&Chips RF Conference, last held as a live event back in 2019, hosted several speakers discussing trends and innovative solutions. Geoffrey Raetsen, account manager at CN Rood, was a first-time visitor. ‘I go to about ten conferences a year. They’re a great place to meet people in the industry. Contrary to other conferences, Bits&Chips hosts the absolute cream of the crop, which makes sense, as this is the European hotspot for RF technology.’
Anton van Rossum is a partner of the organization: ‘We want to stimulate the technological community by hosting this event. There are people here from the Benelux, Germany, and our keynote speaker is from the USA – a massive network!’
A lot of familiar faces
Bringing together people from all over the world helps participants exchange knowledge. Peter Koomen of IP2 Solutions was at the conference to discover what had happened in the industry over the past few years. ‘We build RF systems, so we need to stay on top of what’s being developed by others. By attending the conference, I learned about the newly developed equipment and finally got the chance to speak to other visitors and speakers in real-life again.’
Besides exchanging knowledge and insights, sales is an essential aspect of the conference, especially for exhibitors. Horst Beekhuizen, sales manager at Salland Engineering, was also happy to be able to attend a live event again. ‘It’s nice to exchange contacts. Our customers are mostly abroad, but it’s still important to get in touch with other companies within the industry. We all need each other to face challenges and stay innovative.’
Facing challenges together
Many of the attendees echoed the need to build connections within the industry. ’90 percent of production in the Netherlands is moving out of the country. It’s interesting to connect with others and discover why this is happening. We want to find out how we can reverse this trend.’
There was a lot to discuss: ‘Given the current chip shortage, we try not to put all of our eggs in one basket. In other words: we have several suppliers to ensure we can deliver,’ says Geoffrey Raetsen. Companies deal with the shortage differently, impacting their ability to help clients. ‘We make sure we have the components before we promise our clients that we can deliver. Still, we believe the shortage will cause problems until 2024 at least,’ says Horst Beekhuizen.
According to Beekhuizen is a firm believer in cooperation as well: ‘The technologies developed in our sector are necessary for almost every innovative solution. We’ll need each other to live up to the expectations.’ There is certainly enough to talk about at future Bits&Chips conferences.