IMEC Board Confirms Solid 2008 Despite Challenging Economic Situation in the Electronics Industry

In today's General Assembly, the IMEC Board confirmed that 2008 was a solid year, and this despite the challenging economic situation in the electronics industry. The Board also looks with confidence to the future. Nanoelectronics offers tremendous opportunities for markets such as healthcare, energy, home entertainment, etc. In this economical downturn, the IMEC Board is convinced that industry needs research platforms to prepare in a cost-efficient way for their future products. This will give them a head start when the economy picks up again.

In 2008, IMEC’s total revenue (P&L) amounted to 270.16 million euro, of which 44.17 million euro was granted by the Flanders Government. These results were achieved by 1,659 people, a 5% increase over 2007, including 1103 payroll people, 329 industrial residents and 189 PhD students. The talent and devotion of IMEC’s researchers led to important results, evidenced by more than 1,500 conference contributions and publications in prestigious journals, often in collaboration with universities in Flanders and abroad.

“With the scaling of nanoelectronics, the opportunities for markets such as healthcare, cleantech, home entertainment are flourishing. New and low-cost products will arise which can solve societal and environmental problems but also increase wellness and welfare. To develop these products, industry needs a research platform where they can prepare in a cost-efficient and rapid way for these products;” said Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC. “Therefore, we are determined to expand our research facilities and offering in CMOS scaling and packaging, photovoltaics, wireless technologies and bioelectronics. The activities, and their scale, will give IMEC access to new partners such as fabless and fablite companies, energy companies, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies etc. Also, by making its clean room 450mm ready, IMEC offers a platform to equipment suppliers to keep doing their future research activities in Europe and be ready when 450mm takes up in the world.”

IMEC’s activities in photovoltaics are growing rapidly; already in 2009 the R&D team has grown significantly, and it is expected to grow further in the frame of IMEC’s recent silicon solar cell industrial affiliation program. In bioelectronics, IMEC has the ambition to become an important center, growing its research qualitatively. Also in this research domain an extension of both the workforce and research labs is foreseen, which will make IMEC unique in its kind for example to do research on neuroscience. And also in IMEC’s flagship research, CMOS scaling, IMEC looks forward with its research into 3D integration, and fortifies its lead in lithography with the preproduction EUV equipment in 2010.

Gilbert Declerck concluded, “We are convinced that it is important to keep doing research in economic downturns. Our partners will have a definite advantage when the economy picks up again. They will be able to integrate innovative solutions immediately, beating those companies to the market that have deferred their research.”

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