5 min

The 5 highlights of September 2018

Life is busy! So you might not always have the time to keep up with imec's latest news and achievements. On this page, you can find a quick overview of what imec has been doing in the past month.

Introducing Sentea, a new optical fiber sensing spin-off 

On September 7th, Sentea has been incorporated as a spin-off of the Photonics Research Group of Ghent University and imec to commercialize more than a decade of research in silicon photonics and fiber optic sensing. The company aims to be a market leader in advanced fiber optical solutions that enable continuous monitoring of engineering structures (for early signs of damage) as well as the inspection of industrial installations (to maximize their efficiency). Sentea’s silicon photonics-based fiber optic sensing interrogators offer high accuracy, small size and advanced functionality. Read the press release here.

Happy 10th birthday to imec Taiwan!

Since its foundation 10 years ago, imec Taiwan has grown into a reliable partner that helps turning game changing technologies into great business opportunities, from early prototype to chip design and product realization. Aside from specialized imaging technology, the colleagues at imec Taiwan are expert designers of smart Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as health monitoring wearables. Moreover, the team has developed a way to fabricate freeform, flexible surfaces – conformal structures – studded with electronic components such as LEDs or sensors.

On September 20th, imec Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan’s Instrument Technology Research Center of National Applied Research Laboratories (ITRC-NARLabs), confirming the close collaboration between the two research centers when it comes to developing advanced imaging and optics applications. The MoU was signed at the Imec Technology Forum (ITF) TAIWAN 2018. The ITFs bring together premium stakeholders from the global semiconductor, ICT and high-tech industries – featuring inspiring talks from global authorities and imec experts. Join us next month for the Imec Technology Forum HEALTH 2018, focused specifically on solving current and future healthcare challenges.
For more information, go to the ITF website.

Record efficiencies for imec solar cells 

At this year’s EU PVSEC conference (Brussels, September 24th – 28th), imec presented two types of solar cells with conversion efficiencies that surpass 23%. The latest generation of large-area monofacial screen-printed rear-emitter nPERT cells feature a conversion efficiency of 23.03% and are even projected to reach 23.5% by the end of this year. The n-type PERT (Passivated Emitter and Rear Totally diffused) technology is being developed as a cost-effective alternative for conventional pPERC (p-type Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) processes, with the potential for a longer-term stability and a higher efficiency. Read the press release here.

A thin-film tandem solar cell consisting of a top perovskite cell and a bottom CIGS cell even achieved a record efficiency of 24.6 percent. The tandem cell significantly outperforms stand-alone perovskite and CIGS cells, because the perovskite top cell uses light in the visible part of the solar spectrum, while the light in the near-IR spectrum that passes through the perovskite cell is harvested by the underlying CIGS cell. Since both perovskite and CGIS cells are thin-film solar cells, these results pave the way for flexible solar cells and high-efficiency building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions. The full press release can be found here.

Imec.xpand raises 117 million EUR to invest in innovative, early-stage ideas

Imec.xpand, an early stage and growth venture capital fund initiated by imec, just closed its first fund of EUR 117 million in committed capital. The fund targets ambitious tech start-ups for whom imec knowledge, expertise and infrastructure plays a determining role in their success. Imec.xpand’s philosophy is to support companies early on, enabling them to focus on developing their technology and building a business, instead of spending all their energy looking for the next round of funding. The amount raised in its first fund exceeds the initial target of EUR 100 million and positions imec.xpand as a major player in the deep tech venture capital ecosystem. Read the press release here.

Imec.scale-ups helps US and Asian tech scale-ups to expand into the European market

US and Asian scale-ups often struggle to enter the European market because they do not have access to a local network, lack market knowledge, or are unfamiliar with EU business culture and legal requirements. To respond to these needs, imec presents imec.scale-ups, an intensive 8-week program that helps foreign scale-ups find their way in the local ecosystem. By entering the program, the scale-ups also benefit from imec’s wide network of potential partners, investors, or clients. Imec.scale-ups is set up in close collaboration with Scale-Ups.eu and with the support of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT). More information on the website and in the press release.

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