IPC’s Thought Leaders Program (TLP) taps the knowledge of industry experts to inform our efforts on key change drivers and to offer valuable insights to IPC members and external stakeholders.

TLP experts provide ideas and insights in five areas:

  • Education and workforce
  • Technology and innovation
  • The economy
  • Key markets
  • Environment, health, and safety  


Interview with Mike Carano, TLP Chair

Mike Carano, Thought Leaders Program (TLP) Chair, gives an overview of the TLP, how it supports industry's migration to factory of the future and next steps for future projects.


Meet Program Members

Six members comprise the TLP. Get to know them!




With Innovation Comes Responsibility

Sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s also about our health as a society in ensuring that no people or areas of life suffer as a result of environmental legislation. It’s also about examining the longer-term effects of the actions humanity takes and asking questions about how it may be improved.




Full Material Disclosure in the Electronics Industry: An Overview

In this white paper, TLP member Stephen Sweeney, IBM, delves into various facets of full material disclosure (FMD), emphasizing its importance and implications.


Understanding Cyber Attacks on Future Factories — Part 1

TLP Member Hiroyuki Watanabe, NEC Corporation, sounds the alarm that current cyber-attacks upon companies pose major business risks. His white paper provides information on what needs to be done and the needed steps toward reducing those risks.


Full Material Disclosure -- Panel Discussion

TLP Member Stephen Sweeney, IBM, gathered a panel of experts to discuss: definition and importance of full material disclosure, legal and regulatory frameworks, corporate responsibility and transparency, ESG factors, and consumer protection and product disclosure.

Resources Archive (Report, Webinar Recordings, Videos)

IPC CMMC Report June 2021

The U.S. Defense Dept.’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification aims to enhance national security, but its costs and burdens are officially underestimated and could actually force more electronics manufacturers out of the DoD’s supply chain. Read report.


CMMC Survey Results 2021

This report represents the findings of an online quantitative survey fielded among electronics manufacturers between February 25 and March 5, 2021.


CMMC 2.0 Webinar (December 2021)

Are you aware of the latest update to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)? CMMC expert Leslie Weinstein leads a webinar, “CMMC 2.0 is Here: An Update on the DoD’s #Cybersecurity Requirements,” to cut through the noise and confusion.


Opportunities for Small- and Medium-sized PCB Fabricators to Compete on the World Stage (April 2022)

If the federal government and semiconductor manufacturers are serious about boosting chip fabrication in the U.S., they will need to drive significant investment in small and medium-sized PCB manufacturers as well. This report by TLP Chair Mike Carano identifies niches of opportunity and the relatively modest levels of investment needed to seize them.


Leadership Lost? Rebuilding the U.S. Electronics Supply Chain (January 2022)

The report, written by industry veteran Joe O’Neil under IPC’s Thought Leaders Program, was prompted in part by the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA) and similar legislation being prepared in the House.


Jumping the Technology Curve -- Collaboration with your Competition (July 2021)

Mike Carano, TLP Chair and VP of Technology & Business Development at RBP Chemical Technology, Inc. details the four "Cs" of maintaining a company's competitiveness -- collaboration, consortium, clusters and calls to action. Read paper.


It Shouldn’t Be Just Chips (September 2021)

"If America is to reclaim the mantle of global leadership on electronics manufacturing – and capture the benefits of doing so – it will need to focus on the whole ecosystem, not just one of its parts.” Matt Holzmann, president, CGI Americas, stresses the necessity for government to focus on more than semiconductor chips in his “perspectives” piece for EE Times magazine.


Digitization’s Effects on European Engineering Industries (October 2021)

Digitization is having significant impacts on European engineering industries, and it will require ongoing investments in capital equipment, workforce training, and other competitive factors. Read the summary from TLP Member Olivier Coulon.



EU Skills Strategy (July 2021)

This presentation developed by Olivier Coulon summarizes MicroElectronics Training Industry and Skills (METIS) Strategy which identifies the skills required for Europe to lead in the microelectronics sector. Read report.


Electronics Materials: From Vectors to Circles (August 2021)

This 14-minute video by Roger L. Franz, a leader in electronics and materials technologies, highlights the existing knowledge, standards, and assessment tools that are available. Seeds of novel approaches to material selection are provided that may help us grow a sustainable future.