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‘Why working at imec is like playing for the best football club in the world’

Eugenio Souto Pampin - Patent Attorney


Imec does not make products and services. ‘I would say we make solutions. Sustainable solutions, which enhance the quality of people’s lives. And with these solutions come patents.’ Eugenio is patent attorney at imec. But this job is part of a bigger picture to him. ‘We are a community trying to make an impact.’

Eugenio did not plan on becoming a patent attorney. At the turn of the century he worked as an engineer at a major telecommunications firm. But the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Internet and data usage was promised to skyrocket. But it took until 2007, when Steve Jobs took the first iPhone out of his pocket, to see what smartphones were capable of. Eugenio started looking around for a new opportunity. ‘I completed the patent exam at the European Patent Office. That is when imec crossed my path.’ Eugenio did not know imec, so he initially saw it as a plausible plan B. Until his first interview. ‘It became clear to me that imec had to be my plan A.’

Today Eugenio is still pleased with the choice he made. ‘The positive atmosphere on campus genuinely keeps surprising me.’ Instead of looking like an industrial site, the campus reminds him more of a university. ‘There are green spaces with trees, and you are surrounded by young, motivated people. This really gives you the energy to work hard every day.’ As a patent attorney, Eugenio works on various projects. ‘I have the privilege to collaborate with some of the best minds in the industry. That is how you can grow. Both individually and as a team.’ The imec management is very open as well. Imec is a big company with more than 3.500 people. Still management tries to connect with everyone. ‘I see the CEO every one or two months. It was like this when I started more than 5 years ago, and it has not changed to this day.’

That is what differentiates imec from other companies. When you need to share knowledge and ideas, it requires an open mindset. This cannot be underestimated. ‘As a Spaniard, I like to use the slogan ‘Més que un club’ of FC Barcelona, which means ‘more than a club’. The same can be said about imec.’ Eugenio feels connected to the company and part of a community. This is more than a job to him. ‘I am convinced that our actions as a team will have a positive impact on society as a whole. If I did not believe this, I would not be here. And that goes for everyone on campus.’ Even though Eugenio often has a lot of paperwork on legislation, imec’s mission gives him great satisfaction. ‘We all work on improving people’s lives. And that is a great motivator.’

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