The Flemish Minister of Science and Innovation, Fientje Moerman, signed a new frame agreement between IMEC and the Government of Flanders for the period 2007-2011. The agreement follows a positive evaluation by a group of independent external consultants and peer reviewers.
As part of the agreement, IMEC’s annual research grant will amount to 38.909 million euro, which is an increase of 11% compared to 2006. The grant will increase by another 4.375 million euro on January 1, 2008 resulting in a total increase by 20% compared to 2006.
The external evaluation in preparation of the new frame agreement was very positive, pointing out that IMEC remains a top-class independent research centre in a difficult, volatile and dynamic market. At the base of this continuing success is – still according to the evaluators – the well-thought strategic decisions that were made over time, such as the decision about and the fast deployment of the 300mm research infrastructure.
Also last year’s strategic decision to strengthen its multi-disciplinary research was seen as a critical success factor for the future. With this decision IMEC is anticipating the changing semiconductor market towards an increased interest in technologies that allow increasing the functionality of systems without necessarily scaling transistor dimensions.
To this end, IMEC is extending its R&D by combining conventional CMOS base processes (130nm/90nm) of the 200mm pilot line with the integration of additional process modules and devices, and by developing application-specific demonstrators as proof of concept. This will result in more intensive collaborations with industry in the field of advanced packaging and interconnection technologies, bio(medical) electronics, GaN power devices, large-area organic electronics etc.
IMEC has been able to build out its international position thanks to an international team of expert researchers. Last year, 1489 people worked at IMEC, 22% are guest researchers and residents from the academic and industrial world. In 2007, IMEC will hire about 100 extra people, ranging from process and hardware technicians and engineers, operators, finance and legal experts, to researchers, both at junior and senior level. Besides that, IMEC intends to enlarge its research potential through an increase of PhD students which amounts today to 180.
“We are excited with this new frame agreement which will enable us to find a perfect balance between long-term research and more applied research together with the industry,” said Gilbert Declerck, President and CEO of IMEC. “This will enable us to offer advanced research to a broad industry ranging from integrated device manufacturers to system developers in a variety of application domains.”
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.
IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands, IMEC Nederland, concentrating on wireless autonomous transducer solutions, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1500 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2006, its estimated revenue (P&L) was EUR 227 million.