April 02, 2003

Thomas Breser
Leica Microsystems
(703) 229 - 4503
Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
-Firm’s semiconductor division world headquarters based in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County-

MUNICH, GERMANY - Leica Microsystems, a German company, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) will highlight Leica’s success at SEMICON Europa this week. The company recently won the annual German Business Innovation Award in the medium-sized business category for its revolutionary high-resolution inspection and metrology products for the semiconductor industry. Leica invented a product that specialists considered impossible: a deep ultraviolet objective using “airspace technology,” that has an unlimited lifetime.

“The fact that we have won this prestigious award underlines Leica Microsystems’ reputation for superlative quality and innovation,” said Leica Microsystems’ CEO Dr. Gerhard Kleineidam. “Technology leadership in the semiconductor marketplace is a firm foundation of our business, which is achieved by close cooperation and partnerships with best-in-class industries, which happen to be located in the United States,” added Thomas Breser, Strategic Marketing Director for Global Operations. “This is one reason why Leica’s Semiconductor Division relocated its headquarters to Virginia, while manufacturing plants are based in Germany.”

Staff from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) are promoting Virginia as an ideal location for semiconductor firms and suppliers this week at SEMICON Europa, the premier event in Europe for semiconductor equipment, materials and services. More than 800 companies will display the latest manufacturing technologies for semiconductors, flat panel displays (FPDs) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) at the event held at the New Munich Trade Fair Center in Munich, Germany. The exposition, now in its 27th year, is presented by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

“Virginia is a growing semiconductor leader in the United States,” said Mark R. Kilduff, Executive Director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. “Leica Microsystems is the perfect example of how a European semiconductor firm can prosper in the Commonwealth.”

Two semiconductor manufacturing facilities are located in Virginia. Infineon Technologies operates a plant in the Richmond area and Micron Technology has a facility in Manassas. Both facilities produce dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips. Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner will lead a trade mission to Europe May 18-25.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business development and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.


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