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Leuven-based Belgian chip research center imec expects to add about 1,950 new employees by 2035. The workforce growth is part of an overall plan to expand the research center.

Imec expects to significantly expand its chip research initiatives in the coming years, writes De Tijd. It hopes to achieve this in part through a recent grant of 750 million euros from the European Union and an equally large amount from the Flemish government.

The amount from the Flemish government is intended for the construction of a new clean room. For this clean room, the Dutch company ASML will provide the high-quality chip production machines free of charge.

The chip research center is currently the only research institute in the world that develops and manufactures chips with a process node smaller than that of a nanometer.

More personnel needed

These developments in turn mean that considerably more personnel are needed. Imec therefore expects about 1,950 new employees until 2035. Currently, the Belgian chip research center has about five thousand employees, of which about four thousand are at the Leuven location.

The new personnel to be recruited for imec should be in all positions, from operators and technicians to physical and chemical researchers and PhD students. Cooperation with universities must also be strengthened.

Part European Chips Act

The expansion of the workforce is partly a consequence of the EU Chips Act through which the EU wants to become less dependent on other countries and regions for chip production. EU chip production should therefore double by 2030.

Tip: These are the plans for European chip production

Imec, together with the French research institute Leti and German company Fraunhofer, wants to follow this up and make the Leuven region the beating heart of European chip production.

Master plan

To this end, the chip research center has developed an overall plan of which the desired personnel expansion is a component. Imec also plans to further expand the location in Leuven and is now in talks with local residents about this.

Also read: imec and ASML to jointly develop advanced processors