Imec adds digital research, incubation arm with iMinds merger
Incoporating iMinds, the expanded imec, “will create a world-class, high-tech research centre for the digital economy.” The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, creating a Flanders-based, “technology epicenter and region focused on creating a sustainable digital future.”
iMinds will be integrated as an additional business unit within imec, resulting in a new research centre that will fuse the technology and systems expertise of more than 2,500 imec researchers worldwide with the sophisticated digital competencies of some 1,000 iMinds researchers representing nearly 50 nationalities. The additions of iMinds’ open innovation research model -ICON- (in which academic researchers and industry partners jointly develop solutions for specific market needs), iStart entrepreneurship program (supporting start-up businesses), and Living Labs will add to the capabilities and assets of imec as a research and development centre.
iMinds’ activities span research domains such as the IoT, digital privacy and security, and the conversion of raw data into knowledge, with focus on software expertise.
“The proliferation of the Internet of Everything has created a need for solutions that integrate both hardware and software. Such innovative products that optimally serve tomorrow’s digital economy can only be developed through intense interaction between both worlds. There are infinite opportunities in domains such as sustainable healthcare, smart cities, smart manufacturing, smart finances, smart mobility, smart grids, or in short, smart everything. Research centers such as imec, with its widely acclaimed hardware expertise, and iMinds, an expert in software and ICT applications, are uniquely positioned to bring these concepts to life,” stated Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec. “Furthermore, iMinds is widely recognised for its business incubation programs and open access to SMEs, and, this merger provides us with a unique opportunity to jointly reach out to the Flemish industry and further elevate Smart Flanders on the global map.”
Danny Goderis, CEO of iMinds, adds, “The merger between imec and iMinds is Flanders’ answer to this rapidly accelerating digitisation trend. We have a clear ambition to pair more than 3,500 top researchers across 70 countries with an ecosystem of Flemish companies and start-ups.”
Now that the intention to merge has been approved, the merger protocol will be developed and the integration process of imec and iMinds will be initiated immediately. The current iMinds activities will constitute a third pillar next to imec’s units. iMinds will remain headquartered in Ghent with its researchers spread across the Flemish universities. The ambition is to operate as one organisation by the end of 2016.