IMEC strengthens forces to attract Japanese companies for joint R&D

November 6, 2001 – Tokyo, Japan – European R&D center in microelectronics and information and communication technologies IMEC is holding its second annual seminar in Tokyo to discuss its current research activities and collaborative programs. The session’s objective is to form alliances with Japanese and other Asian companies and organizations that will meet the technological challenges of next-generation technologies.

Technological challenges such as the implementation of new materials and new processes require multinational resources in order to find solutions in the times dictated by the International Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). IMEC also believes that pooling global resources and visions can speed the search for creative solutions to close the design productivity gap.

In 1991, IMEC formed a business model, IMEC Industrial Affiliation Programs(IIAPs), for joint R&D. IIAPs are based on a sharing of cost, risk, talent and ideas. This concept is already recognized by European and US companies as one of the most successful international partnership models for joint development of next-generation technologies.

IMEC believes that cooperative IIAPs are critical for developing new technologies, especially in a period that the global semiconductor industry suffers from a serious downturn and that the technological challenges are tougher than ever before. Joint R&D assures that companies are ready with new technologies and new products when the market recovers.

IMEC’s current collaborations in Japan include Sony, Hitachi, JSR, TEL, Hitachi Chemical, ASET and Selete. IMEC now wants to extend its services to other Japanese companies.

“We applaud the technological strengths of the Japanese semiconductor companies and its receptiveness to collaborative efforts in R&D,” said Gilbert Declerck, president and CEO of IMEC. “Alliances with a wider circle of Japanese companies allow to develop new technologies and products faster than one organization can achieve alone.”

Besides collaborating with individual Japanese companies, IMEC also looks at how Japanese consortia such as STARC and MIRAI could fit in IMEC’s cooperation programs, so that they could come to a win-win situation by benefiting of each other’s strengths.

IMEC has appointed a senior Japanese executive as its local representative for Japanese companies. This will facilitate communications and interaction between Japan-based companies and IMEC.


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