011, several existing partnerships in imec’s broad research offering were renewed. Important new collaboration agreements were signed with leading companies worldwide. Especially many new contracts were signed with fabless and fablite companies. To remain competitive, these companies need to get early insight in the most advanced CMOS technologies to develop their next-generation smart systems. Therefore, imec has extended its advanced CMOS offering answering the needs of the product design community in IDMs, fabless, fablite and system-design companies.
“I’m looking back to a challenging but positive year;” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec. “Our growing global partner network is a confirmation of the relevance of imec’s R&D offering to the industry.
Imec’s business model of open innovation has always been imec’s strength. Given the growing complexity of the challenges that need to be tackled, open innovation will become ever more important as it allows efficient cost sharing and risk mitigation, and accelerates research.”
Together with its partners, imec’s scientists and engineers achieved excellent results in the various domains imec is working in: advanced CMOS scaling, smart systems, biomedical electronics, organic electronics, low-power wireless communication and energy. This is proved by more than 1,750 publications, by 41 prizes that were awarded to imec researchers, and by132 patents that were granted and 133 patent applications. Imec’s R&D offering reaches out far beyond the borders of the semiconductor community. Such a multidisciplinary approach secures imec’s future growth. And, it enables innovation at the borderline of disciplines, indispensible to find technology solutions for the grand challenges the world is facing (sustainable healthcare, sustainable urbanization, sustainable use of energy, ...).
Also in 2011, a positive evaluation of imec resulted in the signing of a new 5-year agreement with the Flemish Government. When meeting the strategic and operational objectives of the contract, imec will, until 2016, receive a yearly grant of more than 48 million euro coupled to the health index.
European collaboration is becoming ever more important. In 2011, imec started working on new European research programs. Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at imec: “We have many strengths in Europe including world-leading R&D institutes, world-leading equipment and material suppliers, and many high-end system companies. By joining forces, Europe can change into an innovation engine, offering the world innovative advanced technology. To drive Europe’s innovative power on the longer term, Europe will need to stay ahead of advanced technologies. Above CMOS technologies such as MEMS on top of CMOS using 300mm wafers and the most advanced CMOS on 450mm wafers will be imperative. Therefore, I endeavor that Europe joins forces to set up a 450mm R&D pilot line. This 450mm facility will support the entire European eco system (including equipment and material suppliers, fabless and system houses), and it will enable Europe to keep on delivering the most advanced material, technology and device research to the world.”