IMEC, the Belgian nanoelectronics research institute, has announced that it has begun expanding its Leuven campus facilities, starting with 2,800 square-meters of research labs and including the extension of its state-of-the-art clean room. With this extension, IMEC will expand its research on sub-32nm CMOS, low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells, and biomedical electronics. IMEC also plans to construct a new office building later this year.
The 2,800 square-meters of extra lab space includes 1,200 square-meters of ultra-clean processing area as an extension of its current 300mm clean room. The clean room will be 450mm-ready so that IMEC's advanced process technology research continues to follow industry standards. About 1,600 square-meters of new lab space will also be realized to expand both its research on silicon and organic solar cells and on biomedical electronics.
Today, IMEC employs about 1650 people. With this expansion, IMEC looks to create about 300 new jobs in the coming years for many different profiles, including researchers, operators, and lab assistants in several domains (engineering, chemistry, etc.).
The total cost of the expansion amounts to 70 million euro. The Flemish Government invests 35 million euro and IMEC will cover the remaining 35 million euro through a loan.
Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC, stated, "In 2009, IMEC lights 25 birthday candles. Thanks to the unbridled commitment of our researchers and the continuous vision and support of the government of Flanders, we succeeded in putting Flanders on top of the world in nanoelectronics research. IMEC today is addressing the major challenges of our planet: environment, energy and the ageing population. Concrete programs in areas such as solar energy, smart-grid, energy scavenging and in several biomedical and medical applications address those challenges. We are proud that we can further expand IMEC's activities so that we continue to offer valuable R&D programs to the industry that will contribute to Flanders, Europe and the world of tomorrow."