5 min

Preface March 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 one of our spin-offs that will showcase its first product in the city of fashion, Milan and about a unique system-on-chip for a new generation of single-use wearables. 

“Our spin-off, Morrow, is heading for Milan to convince opticians to use its technology in their latest spectacles designs.”

At the moment, the weather in Belgium is fine enough for sitting outside on the terrace. Which is exceptional for February. And although everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather, many people realize that ‘this is not normal’. Our weatherman tweeted: “Not since 1901 has it been so warm so early in the season.” So, does the unseasonably warm weather have something to do with global warming? That is not the case, says another weatherman. The climate warming protesters, who have been coming out on to the street in their thousands here in Belgium, each Thursday since January, claim otherwise.

In actual fact, it doesn’t matter one way or the other. But there can be no doubt that there is something odd going on with our planet – and it’s having consequences for the climate. Something else that is sure is that we can all lend a helping hand. Which is why this month, like many other business leaders here in Belgium, I signed the ‘Sign for My Future’ petition aimed at demanding a more powerful climate policy from our politicians.

And because the weather has been so fine, we are all digging out our sunglasses – sunglasses that we don’t have to charge up at the moment. But there are changes coming if we are to believe our (and UGhent's) spin-off, Morrow – formerly EYEco eyeCO. This month, Morrow is taking its first product to the MIDO trade show in Milan. MIDO is the focal point for the optics market in Italy’s fashion capital.

Morrow has produced a clever pair of glasses, which – by pressing the button – can switch between an ordinary pair of glasses for shortsightedness and reading glasses.

Pretty handy if you’re sitting outside on that terrace in Leuven, people-watching, and a message pings in on your smartphone. We wish Paul and Jelle the very best of luck at the show in Milan, hoping they will find partners wanting to use this unique technology in their designer glasses.

glasses morrow

The glasses imec & UGhent spin-off company Morrow is taking to Milan look just like any others. Yet they feature the highly innovative technology that transforms the sunglasses into reading glasses at the touch of a button.

Back at imec, we are also busy working hard on technology designed to improve both our lives and our health significantly. For example, our researchers have been working on the MUSEIC chip. MUSEIC is a fully fledged system-on-chip that enables various health indicators to be measured and synchronized, analyzed and transmitted all at the same time. MUSEIC is the key to a new generation of wearables, such as ‘single-use’ heart plasters.

The chip means the wearable can be manufactured very cheaply and/or compactly, making it ideal for the many innovative startups working on health monitoring devices. The next important task is for us to convince chip manufacturers to produce the chip. While the chip may be complex, it would make so many new applications and business models possible for hospitals, doctors and patients.

You’ll find the whole story and more technical details about the MUSEIC chip in this issue of imec magazine, as well as stories about a new test method designed to help with the electromigration problem in chips, gallium nitride chips for electric cars and brain research from the multidisciplinary NERF lab.

Luc Van den hove,

President and CEO imec

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