imec adds digital research, incubation arm with iMinds merger

February 22, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
The nanoelectronics research centre, imec, and digital research and incubation center, iMinds (also in the Flanders region of Belgium) have announced that they are to merge activities, with the combined operation continuing under the imec name.

Incoporating iMinds, the expanded imec, “will create a world-class, high-tech research centre for the digital economy.” The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, creating a Flanders-based, “technology epicenter and region focused on creating a sustainable digital future.”

iMinds will be integrated as an additional business unit within imec, resulting in a new research centre that will fuse the technology and systems expertise of more than 2,500 imec researchers worldwide with the sophisticated digital competencies of some 1,000 iMinds researchers representing nearly 50 nationalities. The additions of iMinds’ open innovation research model -ICON- (in which academic researchers and industry partners jointly develop solutions for specific market needs), iStart entrepreneurship program (supporting start-up businesses), and Living Labs will add to the capabilities and assets of imec as a research and development centre.

iMinds’ activities span research domains such as the IoT, digital privacy and security, and the conversion of raw data into knowledge, with focus on software expertise.

“The proliferation of the Internet of Everything has created a need for solutions that integrate both hardware and software. Such innovative products that optimally serve tomorrow’s digital economy can only be developed through intense interaction between both worlds. There are infinite opportunities in domains such as sustainable healthcare, smart cities, smart manufacturing, smart finances, smart mobility, smart grids, or in short, smart everything. Research centers such as imec, with its widely acclaimed hardware expertise, and iMinds, an expert in software and ICT applications, are uniquely positioned to bring these concepts to life,” stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec. “Furthermore, iMinds is widely recognised for its business incubation programs and open access to SMEs, and, this merger provides us with a unique opportunity to jointly reach out to the Flemish industry and further elevate Smart Flanders on the global map.”

Danny Goderis, CEO of iMinds, adds, “The merger between imec and iMinds is Flanders’ answer to