imec and iMinds merge to focus on the digital economy

February 19, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Leading nanoelectronics research centre, imec, and digital research and incubation centre, iMinds are on the path to merge their competences to create a world-class, high-tech research centre for the digital economy.

The transaction, expected to be completed by the end of 2016, will further strengthen Flanders' authority as a technology epicentre 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’ flagship 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 strengthen the unique capabilities and assets of imec as a research and development centre.

“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 centres 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 recognized 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.”

“Flanders faces the enormous challenge of realizing a successful transition towards tomorrow’s digital society; a transition that must happen quickly, considering the urgency to reinforce Flanders’ industrial position,” commented Danny Goderis, CEO of iMinds.

“The merger between imec and iMinds is Flanders’ answer to this rapidly accelerating digitization trend. We have a clear ambition