In a major move to strengthen its position as a global hub for technological innovation, the European Union (EU) and Belgium have announced a joint investment of $1.6 billion in Imec, a leading chip technology firm. By supporting Imec’s recognizable work, the EU and Belgium are positioning themselves at the forefront of chip technology advancements, with wide-ranging implications for various industries and societies.
Imec, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has been a pioneer in the field of nanoelectronics and digital technologies for over three decades. With this substantial investment, Imec will be able to expand its research and development activities, recruit top talent, and further develop its state-of-the-art facilities. Imec will use the investment to expand its “clean room” test facility with the most advanced equipment and processes, the company said in a statement.
We know we will get our money back, not only in euros but also in societal dividend,
Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon said at a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
During her visit to Imec, Von der Leyen emphasized the European Union’s position regarding the need to minimize risks in chip supply chains. Although she did not explicitly mention China’s upcoming restrictions on the export of crucial metals utilized in the semiconductor sector, she emphasized the EU’s objective of reducing its reliance on a limited number of suppliers from East Asia. The European Union had previously expressed apprehension regarding China’s plans earlier this week.
By investing in Imec, the EU and Belgium are positioning themselves to harness the economic potential associated with technological advancements. Chip technology plays a pivotal role in enabling digital transformation and serves as a cornerstone for industries seeking to thrive in the digital age.