5 min

Preface April 2019

Each month our CEO reflects on the events in his (professional) life and discusses some of the articles featured in the magazine. This month he talks about the new OnePlanet Research Center, which is examining the relationship between food and health.

“Also imec believes in the importance of a healthy diet. But we are also aware that researchers don’t always have the right tools for studying in detail the relationship of nutrition with health and certain diseases.”

On 15 March, imec officially celebrated its 35th birthday. This was of course a good reason to celebrate – with cake at all our locations – but also to take a good look at the future. As a reader of our magazine, you may already have read the future visions of 15 of our scientists, in the January issue.

This month we offer you a 16th view of the future, related to health and diet. This is definitely a hot topic at the moment. Wherever you go you’ll find lots of books about the link between our current food and diet pattern and diseases of the brain. There was also the recent VIB/VUB study that establishes a link between intestinal flora and depression. 

Imec also believes in the importance of a healthy diet and is aware that researchers don’t always have the right tools for studying the relationship of nutrition with health and certain diseases in detail.

Can electronics also be put to good use here? That is something that we will be investigating in the new ‘OnePlanet Research Center’. 

Imec, Radboud University, the Radboud University Medical Center, Wageningen University & Research and partners from industry, have established this new innovation center for health, diet and agricultural technology with the support of Gelderland province (Netherlands).  Chip technology will play a vital role in this center. The areas of research that will be examined include prevention through personalized nutrition, early diagnosis, the efficient treatment of and support for chronic diseases, new sensors, robots, artificial intelligence, (big) data analysis and digital connectivity for innovative farming technology. The aim is to develop a sustainable, affordable, healthy and safe food system in an ideal living environment.

universiteit van wageningen

The new OnePlanet research center will be located at the university campus in Wageningen (the Netherlands) where also the Wageningen University is situated (copyright Wageningen University). 

If you would like to know more about this exciting initiative, then come along to Future Summits, our 3-in-1 conference, which will last for two days. Chris Van Hoof, who will be playing a major role at the OnePlanet Research Center, will be explaining this initiative at Future Summits, and is only one of the dozens of other speakers from imec and other leading organizations. Why is it a “3-in-1” conference? Because there will actually be 3 separate conferences going on at the same time: imec’s ITF technology forum; the more society-driven ‘Forward Dive’; and the business-focused ‘AI Flanders’. You can register for one or more of these conferences via www.futuresummits.com. Be sure you do!

Also in this issue of imec magazine, we introduce you to the future of diet and health in a view of the future presented by John Baekelmans, managing director of imec Netherlands. We also show you how an innovative company such as Yesse has asked imec to produce new tools for things such as providing diagnoses, more specifically a “nose-on-chip”. This chip contains odor receptors and can be used to focus on smells. This is useful both for the perfume industry, as well as for diagnosing certain diseases, (such as Parkinson’s). 

Elsewhere in the magazine there are also articles about a fantastic, low-tech solution for tackling the complex problem that is loneliness in the elderly; software designed to improve our camera images; some examples of the dedicated chips we produce for customers; and a nice piece of doctoral research about optimizing contact resistance in transistors. Enjoy!

Luc Van den hove,
President and CEO imec

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