Innovation Q&A with Dr. Zhang Jing

How the idea of "Innovating in China for China," became "Innovating in China for the World".

In October 2018, Heraeus Electronics opened an innovation center in Shanghai with the aim of promoting innovation and serving the Chinese market. In this interview, Dr. Zhang Jing, Head of Innovation and Engineering Service China, shares what has happened since the opening and how the work at the innovation center not only influences the Chinese market, but also has a global impact.

Heraeus research and development activities in China are particularly focused on 5G, renewable energy and e-mobility, as well as the mini-LED and micro-LED industries. As a concrete example, Dr. Zhang Jing highlights the development of WelcoTM LED131, a lead-free solder paste formulated with Heraeus' own WelcoTM powders. It features excellent printing and soldering performance on tiny LED pads, making it perfect for LED flip-chip packages of mini-LED displays, lighting and automotive applications.

China is a core market for Heraeus - in the video, Dr. Zhang Jing looks confidently to the future for further successful innovations.

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How does the Innovation Center in Shanghai work?

We employ three innovation models. First and foremost, technology development where we research cutting-edge technologies.

Then we have market driven innovation. Engineering Service it something that is extremely helpful for us.

It helps us to better understand the client, so we can translate their needs into specific products. This makes our products meet market-demands – precise and fast.

We also develop products further upon customer’s request. By implementing quick improvements and small adjustments to our existing products, they fulfill the demand of our clients better.

Innovate in Shanghai, and serve the entire Chinese market?

Back in 2018 when the Shanghai Innovation Center was established that was the idea.

However, we have come to realize that many of our clients in China are global market leaders – for example in 5G, in renewable energy and e-mobility and in the industry of mini-LED and micro-LED.

Chinese producers are on the forefront of these markets. So, we talked to these market leaders. Communication granted us a massive gain in experience and know-how.

We found that our innovation products are not only helping China, but they also serve on a global level. It truly involved from the idea of “Innovating in China for China” to “Innovating in China for Global”, which also exceeded the expectation Heraeus had set itself.

Can you name any local innovation cases?

I would like to share the experience with an innovation called LED 131. This is something we developed for the mini-LED market. I think the success comes from three important aspects:

We couldn’t have understood the needs to begin with, if Heraeus weren’t truly immersed into the ecology of the LED and mini-LED industry. So, we kicked off in 2018 to pioneer in this technology. We also have many exceptional partners that added great speed to the R&D process. Then it all comes down to our dedicated and extremely capable colleagues. The team’s efforts empowered us. With quick responses to feedback.

When LED 131 was presented to the market in 2021, we received fantastic feedback for solving many key problems of the market. Thus, last year LED 131 was awarded a top recognition by our clients, which was the best compliment for our work.

What are key traits of a good innovator?

I think to be a good innovator, one should be equipped with three attributes:

He/she has to be open minded, willing to explore new possibilities and able to think outside of the box, rather than being limited by the status-quo. Secondly, he/she has to be competent with expertise to turn ideas into something concrete. The last trait I would like to emphasis is a leadership skill, which may be something that’s rare among innovators. You may ask why? The reason is, it’s actually a very important trait when it comes to increase your own efficiency. Only with good leadership skills, you will be able to lead yourself, improve your efficiency and hence better execute your tasks. Good leadership skills also mean that you are able to inspire your peers and everyone around you.

We welcome more talents.

If you are interested in joining the semiconductor packaging industry, I do believe Heraeus will be a good career choice. Our Shanghai Innovation Center will prove to be a valuable platform for you.