imec and iMinds to Merge and Create High-Tech Research Center Driving the Digital Economy

Ghent and Leuven, Belgium -- The leading nanoelectronics research center, imec, and digital research and incubation center, iMinds, today announced that its respective board of directors have approved the intention to merge the research centers. Using the imec name, the combined entities will create a world-class, high-tech research center for the digital economy. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, with the united organization staged to bring added value to existing partners while further strengthening Flanders’ authority as a 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 center 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’ flagship 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 strengthen the unique capabilities and assets of imec as a research and development center.

Imec has been a global leader in the domain of nanoelectronics for more than 30 years, and has innovated applications in smart systems for the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Health, and Internet of Power. It has built an extensive and worldwide partner network, as well as in Flanders, and has generated successful spin-offs. iMinds’ activities span research domains such as the IoT, digital privacy and security, and the conversion of raw data into knowledge. Its software expertise is widely renowned and its entrepreneurship activities in Flanders are first-rate.

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 organization by the end of 2016.

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