Ghent and Leuven – 22 September 2016. Since yesterday, the merger between research centers imec and iMinds – announced on February 19 – has been completed. The deed of merger was officially signed in Brussels, in the presence of Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois and Flemish minister for work, the economy, innovation and sport Philippe Muyters. iMinds vzw thereby ceased to exist, but its activities are making a new start within imec, which is now stronger than ever as a unique high-tech research center for the digital economy.
By signing the deed of merger yesterday evening in Brussels, iMinds vzw was officially disbanded and integrated into imec. Imec’s broadened research and collaboration offering makes it a unique and world-class research center in the field of nanoelectronics, excelling in software and ICT expertise. The broadened innovation center – which will operate under the imec name – will use this knowledge to develop disruptive technologies and solutions in application areas such as health, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.
The renewed imec organization now brings together nearly 3,500 researchers from all over the world, to make the impossible possible in each of those application areas. It also has access to a unique infrastructure, including 12,000 square meters of cleanrooms with the most advanced equipment for research into next-generation IC technologies, and state-of-the-art bio, network and imaging labs. And, of course, an extensive network of local and international industrial and university partners for intensive collaboration.
“Today is a historical day for anyone with a heart for high-tech innovation in Flanders,” says Luc Van den hove, president & CEO at imec. “Together with our colleagues from iMinds, we have successfully finalized this unprecedented merger in a record time. For imec, this is an important breakthrough to strengthen our offering towards industry. We will of course continue to build and confirm our leadership in the field of nanoelectronics, but by combining iMinds’ expertise in software, artificial intelligence and ICT, with the miniaturization power of chip technology, we will now be able to offer total solutions to virtually all industrial markets, including manufacturing, automotive, security, agriculture, food, energy, infotainment, ect... One of imec’s aims is to advance our research into health and life sciences, combining chip technology, biosciences and artificial intelligence and by doing so, we will drive scientific research on brain and neurodegenerative diseases, and also provide solutions for more effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer or diabetes. We also aim to adopt iMinds’ open, approachable character into our entire organization, and will focus even more on intense collaborations with our Flemish partners – using instruments like the iStart entrepreneurial program, the applied ICON research (iMinds’ cooperative research programs) and the Living Labs methodology. In other words: a world-class research center with maximum regional impact.
“The iMinds staff members and researchers can look back with great pride on what we have achieved over the past 12 years,” adds Danny Goderis, executive vice-president at imec and former CEO of iMinds. “These past years, we have put Flanders on the digital world map – not only thanks to our research into digital security solutions or large-scale living lab projects like ‘City of Things’ in Antwerp, but also through our entrepreneurship program, which has been widely praised. Within the extended imec organization, we will be able to do even better: we’re aiming to make our disruptive digital research flow to the market more fluently and will continue to guide promising high-tech start-ups on their path to international success.”
“The merger of iMinds and imec now combines the knowledge and experience of over 3,500 top researchers. The result is a world-class, high-tech research center offering companies in Flanders and abroad the ultimate in knowledge. This merger is also a key opportunity to support and accelerate Flanders’ transition to the digital economy of tomorrow and to further strengthen the position of ‘Smart Flanders’ on the world map,” says Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois.
Flemish minister for economy and innovation Philippe Muyters confirms: “I must agree with Luc and Danny: this is a truly historic merger. Imec and iMinds have done absolutely groundbreaking work in their respective fields over the past years. By combining the strengths of both centers, we’re guaranteeing that Flanders will continue to have a world-class research center, now and for the future. It is also remarkable that this merger did not take place because it was necessary – both organizations could easily continue their successful strides for years to come – but because imec and iMinds wanted to. Because they realized that they would be even stronger together. A merger is always a delicate process, but the swift and serene way imec and iMinds handled theirs – paying careful attention to both organizational cultures – demands our utmost respect.”
As part of the merger, the Board of Directors of imec has been expanded with Board members with iMinds expertise. The members of the Board of Directors are Michel Akkermans, Brigitte Boone, Ann Caluwaerts, Caroline Pauwels, Lieven Danneels, Antoon De Proft (chairman), Georges Gielen, Tom Heyman, André Oosterlinck (vice chairman), Karen Maex, Gerard Van Acker and Rik Van de Walle.