Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) is an international research & development and innovation hub, active in the fields of nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Luc Van den hove has served as President and CEO since 2009.[1]

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre
Nonprofit company
Industrynanoelectronics, digital technologies
GenreIndependent research center
Founded1984 (1984)
FounderRoger Van Overstraeten
Number of locations
Taiwan, Japan, United States, China, Netherlands and India
Key people
Luc Van den hove (President and CEO)
ServicesR&D, business incubation, IP licensing, prototyping, training, (...)
Revenue535 million Euro (2018)
Number of employees

In September 2016, IMEC merged with the Flemish digital research center, iMinds.[2]


IMEC employs around 4,000 researchers from more than 90 countries; it has numerous facilities dedicated to research and development around the world, including 12,000 square meters of cleanroom capacity for semiconductor processing.[3] The IMEC headquarters are located in Leuven (Belgium).


In 1982, the Flemish Government set up a program to strengthen the microelectronics industry in Flanders. This program included setting up a laboratory for advanced research in microelectronics (IMEC), a semiconductor foundry (former Alcatel Microelectronics, now STMicroelectronics and AMI Semiconductor),[4] and a training program for VLSI design engineers. The latter is now fully integrated in the IMEC activities.

IMEC was founded in 1984 as a non-profit organization led by Prof. Roger Baron Van Overstraeten. The name IMEC is an acronym of the original full name: Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum VZW. It is supervised by a Board of Directors, which includes delegates from industry, Flemish universities and the Flemish Governmenlt. Since 1984, IMEC has been led by Roger Van Overstraeten, Gilbert Declerck (as of June 1999), and Luc Van den Hove (as of July 2009).[1]

Merger with iMinds

In February 2016, it was announced that IMEC would be merging with the Flemish digital research center, iMinds. The goal was to strengthen Flanders’ international authority as a technology hub.[5]

Philippe Muyters, the then Flemish Minister of Innovation, stated: “When [IMEC and iMinds] were founded, the line between hardware and software was still very clear. Today, and especially in the future, this line is increasingly blurring – with technology, systems and applications being developed in close conjunction. The merger anticipates this trend and creates a high-tech research center for the digital economy that keeps Flanders on the world map.”[5]

The merger was finalized on September 21, 2016.[2]


The IMEC campus in Leuven, Belgium consists of 24,400m² of office space, laboratories, training facilities, technical support rooms, and 2 cleanrooms which run a semi-industrial operation (24/7). There is a 300mm cleanroom (450mm ready) that focuses on R&D towards (sub-)3 nm process technology and a 200mm cleanroom for R&D, development-on-demand, prototyping and low volume manufacturing on more-than-Moore technologies (sensors, actuators, and MEMS, NEMS etc.).

IMEC has, among others, a pilot line for silicon and organic solar cells, unique laboratories for bioelectronics research, and equipment for materials characterization and reliability testing. For research on technologies for the intuitive internet of things, IMEC has dedicated labs for sensor and imaging technologies, wireless connectivity.

Research domains

IMEC performs research on different application fields of nanoelectronics, applications related to the intuitive internet of things, healthcare and energy. More specifically this includes wearable health monitoring (e.g. EEG, ECG sensors), life sciences (lab-on-chip, cells-on-chip, neuroprobes); wireless communication (e.g. reconfigurable radios, radar); image sensors and vision systems (e.g hyperspectral imaging, lens free microscopy); large-area flexible electronics; solar cells and batteries; and GaN power electronics.


IMEC has offices at the following locations:


  1. Abusol (2 June 2009). "IMEC names Luc Van den hove to serve as President and CEO - Leuven.Inc - Leuven Innovation Networking Circle". Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  2. "Newswire & Press Release / Merger Between Centers Imec and iMinds Completed - Electronics/Instrumentation/RFID - Imec | NewswireToday". 22 September 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  3. "Imec (Flanders) opens new state-of-the-art R&D center". Invest In Flanders. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  4. "STMicroelectronics buys Alcatel microelectronics unit". Computerworld. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  5. ""A baby with major potential"". 20 February 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  6. "Imec - Connect with us". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
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