A city in the garden
At the beginning of September, we organized the first Imec Technology Forum (ITF) in Singapore, one of the most futuristic cities in the world. From my hotel room I could admire the well-known skyline of Singapore.
The most iconic building in the city is undoubtedly Marina Bay Sands, a hotel with three towers consisting of 57 floors that are connected at the top through a green park of 1.2 hectares. But there are other constructions inspired by nature as well. For instance, there’s the Art Science Museum, which is shaped like a lotus flower. And then you have these steel tree structures that give the city its unique futuristic look, especially at night when they are beautifully lit. These ‘Supertrees’ are vertical gardens in the middle of the city with ferns, orchids, bromeliads, and … solar cells and water harvesting systems. They mirror the function of real trees and in this way they are the green lungs of the city. These ‘Supertrees’ are only one of the many efforts the City of Singapore has made to transform itself from ‘Garden City’ into a ‘City in a Garden’! Beautiful!
But Singapore is also the place to be when it comes to Internet of Things and life sciences. The same is true for their unique start-up culture. So it was definitely interesting to let our researchers share their stories here. Paru Deshpande gave interested companies an overview of our life science research, e.g. how we want to use biophotonics technology to make microscopes and cytometers cheaper and more compact.
In this magazine, there is also an article on the first pilot line for biophotonics in the world, a project we set up together with 14 European partners.
We had also invited a Belgian start-up to give a testimonial on our high-tech culture. T-Mining uses blockchain technology to ensure the secure transfer of containers from one partner to another in the logistic chain. At the moment, they have a trial project running in the Antwerp harbor. Imec believes in this start-up and supports them via the imec.istart entrepreneurship program.
Blockchain is a hot topic. The technology is poised to revolutionize the commercial world and the way in which companies make transactions. At the same time, it is very complex material. In this magazine issue, two of our security ‘gurus’, Wouter Joosen and Bart Preneel, explain what exactly blockchain technology is and which opportunities or challenges it creates.
Have fun reading!
Luc Van den hove,
President and CEO of imec