IMEC is one of the leading organizations for R&D in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The institute employs around 3,500 researchers from more than 75 countries and has numerous facilities dedicated to research and development around the world, including 12,000 square meters of cleanroom capacity for semiconductor processing.
Headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), imec is present in seven other international locations in six other countries: the Netherlands, Taiwan, China, India, the United States and Japan.
In 1982 the Flemish Government set up a program in the field of microelectronics with the goal 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), 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 Government. 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).
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.