Superminds 2016 – The researcher ecosystem

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Yesterday we were present at the Superminds event, an annual event organised by imec for imec researchers and related third parties. Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. We were able to listen to top researchers talking about their research on the latest hot topics on digital innovation. Afterward, you had the opportunity to visit several stands showcasing the latest projects, which allowed you to discuss and connect with the researchers and to get in-depth information on some of the current research. This set-up gave you the chance to network and create new valuable relationships for future projects.

The researcher ecosystem

From the ecosystem intelligence approach we have at We Connect Data, it was beautiful to see the vibrancy of the researcher ecosystem at Superminds. The benefits of a vibrant creative ecosystem are also embodied in the projects We Connect Data does, of which the Creative Ring is a perfect example. The Creative Ring project is centered around the vibrancy of creative ecosystems in cities. Connecting with the creative ecosystem in cities allows for many new opportunities of the digital transition that characterise European societies of today.

The importance of a connected creative ecosystem in cities was also represented at Superminds by the City of Things project. The City of Things project brings the internet of things to the city of Antwerp, focusing on connecting the people in the city. By positively impacting mobility and public safety in the city, the project aims to connect thousands of Antwerp citizens with numerous innovative solutions that will considerably improve their quality of life. This project requires the expertise from many different research areas, bringing together not only the people in the city but also the researchers within imec.


We showcased our ecosystem intelligence vision at Superminds with the iLastic platform, which we helped built together with iMinds (now imec) and others. The iLastic platform helps to visualise the research ecosystem, existing of the connections between the researchers, their projects, universities and the research facilities.                        screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-17-45-50The visualisation of the research ecosystem allows the researchers to connect more easily with each other and with related organisations, in order to launch and come up with new research projects. Moreover, iLastic makes the management of research projects more efficient, allowing researchers to easily look up who is doing what and who is working together. At the moment, the iLastic database is only representing the research of the Ugent. However, we believe that there is much more potential, as the platform can be applied to any university or research ecosystem. Ideally, once all the Belgian or even all the Europian researchers are connected, iLastic will be able to support the whole research ecosystem we know. In this scenario, new innovations will be created and goals will be reached which would not have been able without a well-connected ecosystem!

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