GeneralWork at imec

5 min

Preface July 2018

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 football World Cup(!) and the importance of informal meetings between work colleagues. 

“On our campus we create opportunities that bring people together in an informal atmosphere. This is essential for encouraging cooperation and creativity.”

For many of us, these weeks are all about the football World Cup. Certainly, it may not be the perfect timing for students, but with the right amount of discipline, the World Cup can also provide the opportunity for some well-deserved R&R between all that studying and revising. On Monday 18 June, our Red Devils played their first match in the amazing Fisht stadium in Sochi. To mark the occasion, 100 supporters gathered in the imec cafeteria to watch the game and celebrate a handsome 3-0 victory. 

I think it is important to create places and organize events where our employees can meet in an informal setting. In the end, these encounters encourage the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that is vitally important for making genuine innovations – as well as creativity. Undoubtedly, the best example of such an informal setting is our JAVA café. This is a place where people can get together or have little meetings, where they can celebrate something or work quietly – or simply enjoy breakfast together or have a bite to eat at lunchtime. Other places to meet and organize activities include the start-to-run program with our Run for Life team, knitting cafés with our knitting4Alzheimers team and the weekly yoga sessions. The garden benches and tables outside amid the greenery make a great place to have lunch or work outside when the weather’s fine. Then there are the fitness benches and so much more. Plus we’ll be rounding off this month with our own ‘festival’ where two imec DJ’s will be strutting their stuff. 

No, the days when you only went to the office to sit behind a desk all day are well and truly over. The new way of working involves so much more. However, in these busy times there is still the issue of finding the right work-life balance. 

Imec magazine this month also features an article about technology for sportspeople – yes, even Cristiano Ronaldo uses RSscan technology. Working with imec/CMST and Holst Centre, RSscan is developing a new product designed to help prevent sports injuries. You’ll find more entrepreneurial spirit in the article about spin-off Aloxy and the one about the Swiss company Datwyler. As a result of the interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity of the researchers at Datwyler and imec, conductive rubber components have been developed that work perfectly in the prototypes for imec’s EEG headset and EOG goggles. The Neuropixels ‘probe’ is a new tool for brain researchers and there’s the article about our exchange program with Johns Hopkins University to give our life science research an additional boost. Plus, of course, we also enjoyed the Imec Technology Forum last month in Antwerp. And this month we bring you the vision of An Steegen (imec) and the story of Pattie Maes (MIT Medialab) that they presented at ITF. I wish you much reading pleasure!

P.S.: Would you like to come and work at imec after reading about our ‘informal settings’? Than please visit our job site

Luc Van den hove,
President and CEO imec

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