IPC Hosts Workshop on the Future of the Defense Electronics Industry


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On Friday, October 19, more than 40 industry executives participated in a day-long discussion on the defense electronics industrial base in Bannockburn, Illinois.

IPC—in partnership with WHMA and ECIA—organized the event to support the ongoing effort by the Department of Defense (DoD) to assess the U.S. defense electronics industrial base. Pursuant to Section 845 of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), DoD is required to provide this assessment to Congress by January 31, 2019. IPC was the primary champion for this provision during congressional consideration, and the provision is reflective of the comprehensive evaluation of the defense electronics supply chain that IPC has long called for.

The October 19 discussion focused on five segments of the industry that are sometimes overlooked by policymakers, namely PCB, EMS, cable/wire harness, connectors, and passive components.

The event kicked off with Dr. Robert Irie, who oversees electronics for the DoD’s Industrial Policy Office, offering remarks on the recent White House report on the overall defense industrial base and the important and complementary purpose of the defense electronics assessment now underway.

IPC Director of Research Sharon Starr delivered the results and analysis of an IPC/WHMA/ECIA survey, which underscored many issues facing the industry, including shortages in skilled workers and suppliers.

Participants then divided into their industry segments for focused discussions on a range of issues that DoD is required to assess. In the afternoon, participants came back together to report on their perspectives and conclusions.

Dr. Irie and officials from the Executive Agent for PCBs at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane were on hand to listen and ask questions.

If you are interested in this initiative, it is not too late to offer your perspectives. IPC will soon release a report on the workshop, affording IPC members one last opportunity to provide their input.

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