Verhaert participates in the imec.istart investment fund

Verhaert Masters in Innovation, the innovation factory with headquarters in Kruibeke, has subscribed to a capital increase from the imec.istart Fund. The investment fund imec.istart Fund receives a substantial capital injection and grows from 12.5 million euro to more than 30 million euro. 

Coaching tech start-ups

“Within the MyStartUp programme, Verhaert has guided and provided equity free seed money to more than hundred start-ups across Europe in recent years on the authority of the European Space Agency ESA, the European Copernicus and Point.Iot programme and several MedTech accelerators,” says Koen Verhaert, CEO and Program Director MyStartUp.

With this investment in the imec.istart Fund, Verhaert, through the fund, now also invests in the capital of such tech start-ups. “We have chosen the imec.istart Fund for this because of their track record, ecosystem and multi-sector approach. Verhaert will also help to guide the imec.istart team and coach the start-ups in further developing their idea into a marketable and scalable product.”

imec.istart Fund

The imec.istart Fund was established in 2017 with a starting capital of 12.5 million euro and a focus on start-ups working with digital technologies. The Flemish government and private partners who co-initiated the fund are imec, ING, BNP Paribas Fortis, Telenet and Cronos Groep. Besides its initial focus on digital technology, special attention will be paid to sustainability and IoT physical products. To reinforce this evolution, the fund also attracts 4 new partners: Verhaert, Nuhma, EFIN and Vlaamse EnergieHolding. This way, the capital of the imec.istart Fund grows to 30.5 million euro and the right framework is created.

During the past years, the investments of imec.istart often turned out to be a flywheel for follow-up funding. Every euro that the imec.istart Fund invested in start-ups generated on average more than 25 euro from other sources. Together, the portfolio companies of the imec.istart Fund raised over 320 million euro in follow-up funding. With the capital increase, the various partners want to further increase the impact of the start-up ecosystem and thus contribute to innovation and a sustainable local economy.

– – – – – –

More on imec.istart

About Verhaert Masters in Innovation
Since 1969, Verhaert Masters in Innovation has been a pioneer in the field of product innovation. As a leading innovation group in integrated product development, Verhaert helps companies and entrepreneurs to develop and implement successful innovation projects. Today, the group has more than 200 employees with offices in Kruibeke, Gentbrugge, Kortrijk, Nivelles, Utrecht and Aveiro. www.verhaert.com

– – – – – –

Contact
Nicky Sterck
Communications, Verhaert Masters in Innovation, +32 491 249 864

Visit Verhaert at their website and follow their social media channels:

easics switches into next gear and extends management with new CEO

easics, a Leuven-based market leader in the embedded systems digital design, switches into its next gear as a company. Next to providing unique competence and development platforms that lead to first-time right, reliable and optimized logic and software that is maintainable by the customer, easics starts providing network and Artificial Intelligence (AI) product/IP solutions for system developers of health and industrial products. easics nearbAI technology provides a  compact, low-power and affordable AI core that runs complex neural networks on FPGAs and ASICs at the edge, close to the sensors. This results in a low and predictable latency and runs with ultra low-power consumption. easics’ embedded AI solutions integrate tightly with novel and existing sensors such as image sensors capturing light inside and outside the visible spectrum (such as hyperspectral and thermal infrared), 3D scanning laser (LiDAR), Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors, radar, microscopy, ultrasound sensors, and microphones, and thus enable many novel businesses.

To enable this growth ambition Emiliano D’Agostino joined the MT as managing director & CEO of easics as of April 2021. He is an executive with hands-on experience in the medtech industry. Before joining easics, he has founded DoseVue, a medtech company which he has brought from incorporation up to commercial product launch. He received a PhD in electrical engineering, focused on medical image processing, from the KU Leuven in 2006. He holds master degrees in physics engineering from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and in nuclear engineering from the Politecnico di Milano.

“I am really looking forward to helping easics moving to the next phase by expanding easics’ product related activities, in particular in the medical sector. The company has a tremendous potential and is already a trusted partner for several big international players in the medical and industrial fields.”, says Emiliano. Rector-emeritus of the KU Leuven, Prof. Oosterlinck, and since its foundation 30 years ago Chairman of the Board of easics, welcomes Emiliano: “Emiliano is an international manager with very good knowledge of the health and industrial business, and an excellent alumnus of the medical imaging research group of the KU Leuven, that I started more than 45 years ago. I am sure that he will bring easics to the next level.” “We welcome Emiliano to the MT of easics and look forward to growing the company further with him,” say Ramses Valvekens and Steven Coenen, the managers and main stakeholders of easics.


Visit easics at their website and follow them via their social media channels:

The ASCENT+ Access Programme Launches a New Phase to Become the Powerhouse of Researchers and Innovators in Nanoelectronics in Europe

Official Press Release

ASCENT+ mobilises an unprecedented network of knowledge and investment to open access to key European infrastructures and enable academic and industry researchers to address emerging challenges in Nanoelectronics and to accelerate innovation path-finding.

Building on previous success, and with an additional EU investment of €10m, ASCENT+ brings together 15 partners to make world-class facilities available and to foster the Nanoelectronics community. ASCENT+ offers an extensive portfolio to access state-of-the-art processing, modelling and data sets, metrology and characterisation, and devices and test structures for Nanoelectronics. As such, it significantly advances the first phase of the open access programme (ASCENT https://www.ascent.network/) which delivered 100 access projects to researchers from 30 countries across the global research community over the last four years and built a community of over 400 researchers.

ASCENT+ integrates a unique research infrastructure with outstanding credentials. The partners’ facilities at CEA-Leti (FR), Fraunhofer Mikroelekronik (DE), imec (BE), INL (PT/ES) and Tyndall (IE) combine research infrastructure and expertise representing over €2.5 billion of investment and several millennia of accumulated knowledge.

ASCENT+ also includes CNRS (FR), Universiteit Gent (BE), TU Bergakademie Freiberg (DE), JKU (AT) and the University of Padova (IT) as academic partners to advance the project’s offering and further stimulate the user community to bridge the gap between scientific exploration and development of proof-of-concept technologies. This will fast-track the development of next generation information processing devices.

ASCENT+ will grow a first-class research and innovation network through the participation of Silicon Europe Alliance members: DSP Valley (BE), MIDAS (IE), Minalogic (FR) and Silicon Saxony (DE) as well as the SiNANO Institute (FR), reaching out to over 3,700 members.

Giorgos Fagas, ASCENT+ lead and Head of EU Programmes at Tyndall National Institute said “The next era in Nanoelectronics is driven by demonstrations of: (i) quantum advantage using solid-state platforms; (ii) low-power, energy-efficient, high-performance computing based on disruptive devices; and (iii) increased functionality through advanced integration of a diverse range of materials and innovative technologies. ASCENT+ offers an unparalleled access opportunity to users, empowering them to respond to these new problems and to advance knowledge and technology through generating novel results and nurturing talent in their own labs.”

ASCENT+ presents a unique opportunity for Europe to regain global leadership in Nanoelectronics at a pivotal time as the horizon broadens beyond Moore’s law.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 871130.


About the ASCENT+ Partners

Tyndall National Institute is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT hardware and systems. Central to Tyndall’s mission is delivering economic impact through research excellence. We work with industry and academia to transform research into products in our core market areas of communications, agri-tech, energy, environment and health.

Tyndall is home to a high-tech national research infrastructure unique in Ireland and is key to the national economy. Tyndall uses its facilities and expertise to support industry and academia globally and provides large numbers of highly qualified graduate students. Our researchers have won numerous awards for their ground-breaking research on new materials, devices and systems across micro/nanoelectronics and photonics, including in the areas of ICT for Health, smart farming, wearables and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

We are also a lead partner in European research programmes. In H2020, we deliver value to European research in 99 projects so far (16 as coordinator).

Further information on TYNDALL can be found at www.tyndall.ie


Imec is a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy and education.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together more than 4,000 brilliant minds from almost 100 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, and offices in China, India and Japan. In 2019, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 640 million euro.

Further information on imec can be found at www.imec-int.com


Leti, a technology research institute at CEA, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, CEA-Leti pioneers micro-& nanotechnologies, tailoring differentiating applicative solutions for global companies, SMEs and startups. CEA-Leti tackles critical challenges in healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and computing solutions, CEA-Leti’s multidisciplinary teams deliver solid expertise, leveraging world-class pre-industrialization facilities. With a staff of more than 1,900, a portfolio of 3,100 patents, 10,000 sq. meters of cleanroom space and a clear IP policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. CEA-Leti has launched 65 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network.

Follow us on www.leti-cea.com

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, headquartered in Germany, is the world’s leading applied research organization. Fraunhofer develops key technologies that are vital for the future and enables the commercial exploitation of this work by business and industry, thus playing a central role in the innovation process. Today, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft operates over 74 institutes and research institutions with 28,000 employees. Current annual research budget amounts to €2.8 billion. Thereof, €2.3 billion are generated through contract research, including roughly €95 million funded by the European Commission. The Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics consists of 11 institutes with a combined staff of over 3600 and an annual operational budget of over €500 million. The technology spectrum ranges from 300mm CMOS technologies to hetero-integrated smart devices and novel end user applications. Together with 2 additional institutes of the Leibniz association these institutes are the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany, FMD, the backbone of research and development in microelectronics in Germany.

More information on: www.mikroelektronik.fraunhofer.de

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), is the first and, so far, the only, international research organization in Europe in the field of nanotechnology. INL had been established in 2005 by a joint decision of the Governments of Portugal and Spain, with the mission to perform cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and development in nanoscience and nanotechnology and to function as an innovation integrator in multiple application domains.

Operating since late 2010, following an investment of 100 M€, INL is on the Portuguese Road Map of Research Infrastructures. INL is currently financed by member-state contributions, competitive funds from national and international calls, and fees from users and industry. The research and development environment at INL includes a state-of-the-art cleanroom for nanofabrication and comprehensive facilities for testing and nanocharacterization of devices and materials. At the beginning of 2020, there were 368 people of over 40 nationalities working at INL, 312 of them researchers.

More information on: https://inl.int


The SiNANO Institute is the European Academic and Scientific Association for Nanoelectronics, gathering 22 reknown Universities and Research Centers from 13 European countries. Sinano carries out a role of representation and coordination of the associated Organizations in order to strengthen the impact of the research activities at EU level in this very important field for many future applications and markets.

Members of the Institute are particularly exploring disruptive science and technology aspects for long term to identify the most promising topics for future ICT and speed up technological innovation. Activities from More Moore, More than Moore, Beyond CMOS to Smart Systems and System Design are sound competences of Sinano.

We are also organizing international Workshops and Conferences to develop high competence levels in Europe, and participating in roadmap definition. In this respect, the Sinano Institute is the European representative of IRDS. Sinano plays an important role in European structuring and programs, in collaboration with Research Institutes and Industry, and strengthens the overall efficiency of the European research in Nanoelectronics.

More information on: www.sinano.eu


MIDAS Ireland is an industry led cluster consisting of over 60 member organisation from industry, educational, research and government agencies, working together to assist in the development of the electronics based systems sector in Ireland. MIDAS began in 1999 as the Microelectronics Industry Design Association with a focus mainly on the design of advanced integrated circuits. Today MIDAS Ireland represents the entire value chain, as the industry evolves to deliver more complete electronic and software system solutions with €13.5bn export revenue and €325m in annual R&D spend. MIDAS Ireland is the key enabler of networking and collaborative opportunities within our industry and represents the needs of the sector to government. It supports the upskilling of graduate and professional engineers to meet the ever changing needs of this ‘deep tech’ sector.

More information on: www.MidasIreland.ie


DSP Valley is the organization for companies creating, applying, and adapting to electronic solutions and digital technologies in the Low Countries. As a cluster organization, our mission is to Breed Digital Business through Collaborative Business Development. We do this for our members through local, regional, and international networks focused on 5 major areas: Smart City, Smart Health, Smart Mobility, Industry 4.0, Digital Technologies. DSP Valley takes part in European projects such as ASCENT+ as a further broadening of these activities, bringing expertise and a strong network to consortia.

Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, DSP Valley also has offices in Eindhoven (NL), Antwerp (BE), and Hasselt (BE).

More information at: https://breedingdigitalbusiness.com


Minalogic is a global innovation cluster for digital technologies serving France’s Auvergne-RhôneAlpes region. The cluster supports leading innovators by facilitating networking, fostering collaborative R&D, and providing companies with personalized assistance throughout all phases of business growth. The products and services developed by our members address most industries including ICT, healthcare, energy, advanced manufacturing and mobility.

Minalogic has 400 members, including academic laboratories, RTOs and 320 companies, among which 75% are SMEs. Our members develop and/or integrate components, materials, services and solutions based on innovative microelectronics, photonics and software.

The cluster has certified more than 450 projects that have secured total government funding of €838 million of the more than €2 billion in total R&D spending these projects represent. This resulted in 56 products and generated €3,6 billion in revenue.
Minalogic is a proud member of Silicon Europe and was awarded with Gold Label for Cluster Excellence for the 2nd time in 2016.

More information on: www.minalogic.com/en


With more than 350 members, Silicon Saxony e. V. is the largest high-tech network in Saxony and one of the largest microelectronics and IT clusters in Germany and Europe. Since its foundation in 2000, Silicon Saxony has been a self-financed association linking manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, universities, research institutes, public institutions as well as industry-relevant start-ups in Saxony and beyond.

The cluster’s focus is on technological trends of the present and future – e.g. artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, internet of things, sensors, energy efficiency as well as neuromorphic and edge computing. As a high-profile information, communication and cooperation platform, the association promotes the regional, national and international networking of its members by participating in and organizing industry events and projects.

Moreover, Silicon Saxony is one of the founding partners of Silicon Europe – an alliance of twelve European clusters for advanced electronics and software technologies.
Since 2012, the network bears the GOLD label for excellent cluster management by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI).

More information on: www.silicon-saxony.de/en/home


With about 18,000 students and over 2,500 faculty and staff members, the Johannes Kepler University of Linz (JKU) is one of the main universities in Austria. The Semiconductor Physics Division of the JKU, headed by Prof. Armando Rastelli (the JKU PI within ASCENT+), counts 5 permanent staff members, 5 engineers/technicians and about 30 Post Docs/PhD students. The group has a longlasting tradition in the field of epitaxial growth, structural and optical characterization of semiconductor quantum dots and operates a modern cleanroom equipped with instruments for epitaxial growth, lithography, metal and dielectric deposition, etching and bonding. Particularly relevant to this project is the experience on the development of strain-tunable sources of quantum light for applications in emerging quantum technologies.

More information on: www.jku.at/en


Ghent University is a top 100 university and one of the major universities in Belgium, founded in 1817. Ghent University wants to be a creative community of staff, students and alumni, connected by the values the university upholds: engagement, openness and pluralism. Our motto is ‘Dare to Think’: we encourage students and staff members to adopt a critical approach.

Our 11 faculties offer more than 200 courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. Ghent University has about 9 000 staff members and over 45 000 students, of which about 12% are international. Ghent University also has a Global Campus in Songdo, SouthKorea, as an important Asian hub for bio industry and life sciences.

Ghent University has very strong research activities including 66 ERC projects (June 2019), over 3 000 publications annually, 618 patents and 69 spin-offs in the last decade, and 22 business development centers which enable intensive collaboration with industry.

More information on: www.ugent.be/en


CNRS/IMEP, Institute of Microelectronics, Electromagnetism and Photonics, with staff of 110 persons (60 permanents, 50 PhDs) belongs to the top French micro and nanotechnology research academic laboratories, particularly for micro- and nanoelectronics, microphotonics, microsystems and microwaves. CNRS/IMEP is focusing on CMOS and post-CMOS nanoelectronics, as well as new materials and smart devices such as i) advanced CMOS components on bulk silicon, SOI, SiGe and strained Si, ii) NW and nanometric quantum devices, iii) advanced device electrical characterization and simulation techniques. CNRS/IMEP has been very much involved in many FP6, FP7, and H2020 European projects during the last 15 years as coordinator and participant. CNRS/IMEP is collaborating with major technological centers in Europe as well as with main semiconductor industries (ST, SOITEC, GF…). CNRS/IMEP has a 30-year track record in the field of advanced characterization and modelling of semiconductor devices, especially on CMOS and emerging technologies.

More information on: https://imep-lahc.grenoble-inp.fr


The TU Bergakademie Freiberg, as a resource university, focuses its research and teaching on how to deal responsibly with the finite resources of this earth. To this end, the six faculties develop efficient and alternative technologies for raw material extraction, energy technologies, materials and recycling processes and contribute significantly to solving economic and ecological challenges. With the engineering, natural, geo, material and economic sciences, the university combines all areas of modern raw materials research in the basic area and application-oriented research. About 4,000 students receive a scientifically sound and practice-oriented education in 72 courses of study. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg has a long history in semiconductor material research. In collaboration with local and international industrial partners and research institutes, the Institute of Applied Physics at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg accompanies the development process from the synthesis and characterization of the semiconductor material towards nanoelectronic devices.

More information on: https://tu-freiberg.de/en


Dating back to 1222, the University of Padova is one of the leading Universities in Italy, with its 32 departments, 40 doctoral degree courses and 44 interdisciplinary research and service centres, covering an exceptionally broad research scope. Unipd currently participates in 134 Horizon 2020 actions (45 as a coordinator) for a total budget of 54 Million Euro.

Within the University, the centuries-old tradition initiated with Copernicus and Galileo continues today at the Department of Physics and Astronomy “G. Galilei”, one of the most important research centres for physics and astronomy in Italy, with involvement in research projects at the highest international competitiveness in many fields of fundamental and applied Physics, including Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Matter Physics, with state of the art infrastructures and important role or access to large scale international laboratories, and an excellent track record in Semiconductor Physics for micro/nanoelectronics and photonics.

More information on: www.unipd.it/en

AI-based platform Hai brings COVID-related safety awareness to the public

To help face COVID-19 and ensure both health and well-being, the European service provider in product innovation Verhaert Masters in Innovation developed ‘Hai’: a digital demonstrator platform, based on user-centered Artificial Intelligence.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/J_vc4eMLoMacZn_7gu_ur_kW2I9_OEkEzcfzfxUCB-JdV6_GAogLB10MguQRkHhs9FtZjEQD7iwkhwJGugESBZF4vpSN15-KG9kTUrfXVCok-hOR0hSKxQotVXHNUzdeyvomX-29
New platform Hai for safer behavior

After 3 months of lockdown, strong regulations, and economic struggle, we’re carefully going back to our “normal” life. It’s a challenge to find the right balance between the well-being and health of the population, and a steady recovery after this critical period. 

To provide an answer to this challenging situation, Verhaert developed a demonstrator of a digital platform that uses AI-based Computer Vision to extract essential metrics from any room or area. The ‘Hai’ platform can bring COVID-related safety awareness to the public, allowing them to make informed decisions. It’s not a surveillance system, but a tool to empower people with relevant data about a specific space and to nudge them in a positive way towards a safer behavior. 

Components of the AI system

The digital platform consists of 3 components:

  1. Cameras to record a live feed of the people present in a particular area, the people entering and leaving the place.
  2. An edge AI system to process the footage on-the-fly. The system extracts the number of people, how many of them wear face masks, and measures the physical distance between individuals.
  3. Online dashboard to display this information in a friendly and educational way. 

Let’s say you work at your desk and you want to get something from the cafeteria. On the dashboard, you can see whether or not you should wait a while until fewer people are present at that place.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/HKdRn9P1SJ-HqE00Ow8y1MhqhjMBGZE45eMTYr_CbbrDXiG9_nXgG-A69xKQJlHMo9UBztFmxnvi8Wujzuczi3uSHXmOzPA7WolEFDlkMMEWYSP2yI5005V9StiR0flAtSjLgA44
Artificial Intelligence algorithms

Verhaert’s AILab trained the AI algorithms to calculate the number of people present in any space and detect how many of them are wearing face masks. What about the security and protection of private data? The cameras’ live feed never leaves the AI system. The edge AI device treats the information locally and only transfers processed and anonymous data to the dashboard. No human being sees, stores or transfers any images, safeguarding everyone’s identity and privacy.

Hai is about our health

The online platform is a tool to organize ourselves and our spaces, it doesn’t judge individuals. It allows us to access real-time information from anywhere to make informed consent whether or not to enter a room. Hai will display the total number of people in an area versus the maximum quantity allowed. Additionally, it creates a heat map of “close-encounters” (distance less than 1.5 meters) giving valuable information for cleaning, disinfecting, optimizing walking flows, and detecting bottlenecks.

Hai is about you

Hai will recognize in the near future  your gestures, so if you wave hello to the camera or raise a thumb, Hai will respond interactively. The digital platform has been created to demonstrate how AI technology can help us in managing our presence and common spaces better during COVID. Ensuring we all stay safe, not only at home.

– – – – – –

About VERHAERT

Since 1969, Verhaert Masters in Innovation has pioneered the field of product innovation. As a leading innovation group in integrated product development, Verhaert assists companies and entrepreneurs in the development and implementation of successful innovation processes. The group now has more than 200 employees with offices in Kruibeke, Gentbrugge, Kortrijk, Nivelles, Noordwijk, Utrecht and Aveiro.

For more information, please visit our website.

Contact
Nicky Sterck, Communicatie Verhaert Masters in Innovation
T +32 3 250 19 00 – M +32 491 24 98 64 – nicky.sterck@verhaert.com Jochem Grietens, Coordinator AILab at Verhaert Masters in Innovation
T +32 3 250 19 00 – jochem.grietens@verhaert.com

You can visit Verhaert at their website and follow them via their social media channels

This is a press release from the Verhaert Team

LACROIX Group positions itself as European leader in Smart City technology with the acquisition of Belgian company Smartnodes

By Lacroix Group

LACROIX Group has just concluded a strategic deal by acquiring the Belgian start-up Smartnodes, a small company founded on inter-university research which has won numerous international awards for its innovations in Smart Lighting systems.

This start-up, with around fifteen employees, strengthens the European position of LACROIX Group in the Smart Cities market, complementing its offer related to the intelligent management of street lighting infrastructure.

With Smartnodes, the group is expanding its offer thanks to dynamic products at the cutting edge of technology, while also strengthening its highly skilled engineering teams. In doing so, it aims to accelerate its ability to implement new road-management use cases by harnessing street lighting infrastructure with dynamic technology. Smart Lighting regulates the zones, times and intensity of lighting for environmentally friendly cities, while retaining visual attractiveness and safety. Available in all public places, the street lighting network, fitted with new sensors, thus becomes the support base for the development of Smart City networks.

LACROIX Group strengthens its European position as a Smart City technology provider.

Already established in Spain, Germany and Italy, LACROIX Group is expanding its European footprint with the acquisition of Smartnodes.  After covering Belgium and the Netherlands, the priority targets for Smartnodes are France, the DACH countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Northern Europe, drawing on an extensive and highly dynamic offer.

 “With a keen high-tech focus, the company Smartnodes, a spin-off of the University of Liège and the University of Louvain, is a pure start-up which, in a very short space of time, has successfully developed and marketed outside Belgium a range of detection and communication (IoT) products based on the implementation of a low-bandwidth mesh network and edge-computing systems. Smartnodes can rely on a very fine team of engineers and sales representatives committed to meeting the challenges of tomorrow’s cities,” emphasises Jean Beka, CEO of Smartnodes.

An acquisition in line with LACROIX Group’s Smart Cities growth strategy.

“The arrival of Smartnodes, following on from the group’s acquisition of Sogexi in 2016, strengthens our European leadership in the field of smart street lighting management. This is in line with the takeover of SAE IT-systems at the beginning of 2019 in support of our goal to become the technological equipment leader in the Smart Cities market,” says Vincent Bedouin, LACROIX Group’s Chairman and CEO.

ABOUT LACROIX Group

LACROIX Group is an international technological equipment manufacturer, aiming to serve a connected and responsible world with its technical and industrial excellence. Registered as a family business, the Group is able to combine the agility necessary to innovate in a constantly changing technological world with the longterm vision to invest in and build the future.

LACROIX Group provides connected, secure equipment for the management of smart road infrastructure (street lighting, traffic management and regulation, signage, V2X) through LACROIX City and for the management of water and energy infrastructure through LACROIX Environment.

LACROIX Group also develops and produces electronic equipment for its automobile, home automation, aeronautics, industry and healthcare customers through LACROIX Electronics.

Far from having big futuristic plans which are totally unrealistic, the Group works with its customers and partners to link today’s world and tomorrow’s world. By helping them to build the industry of the future and to benefit from the innovation opportunities all around us, LACROIX Group provides the equipment for a smarter world.

The Group has its head office in Saint Herblain, and operates in France, Germany, Poland, Tunisia, Spain, Italy and Singapore. It has a turnover of €468 M. It is managed by Vincent Bedouin. 70% of its capital is family-owned and 30% is listed in Compartment C of Euronext. Further information: www.lacroixgroup.com.

ABOUT SMARTNODES

Smartnodes is a company specialising in the development and marketing of communication modules fitted with sensors and edge-computing technology for Smart City solutions.  Smartnodes distributes its IOT products to public authorities, as well as to the private sector.

The company is based in Liège, Belgium.  Further information: www.smartnodes.be.

PRESS CONTACT: Giotto – Laure Desalins – +33 (0)6 66 27 21 62 – l.desalins@giotto-cr.com

Digital exams can contribute to a better quality of education

By Televic

Televic Education researched trends in and willingness to conducting digital exams in Flemish education.

Since a couple of years, digitalisation has been having a strong impact on our everyday lives. Not only can our children no longer be distracted from their loved screen, but digital tools and platforms are also omnipresent in the professional work context. Education cannot be left behind in this respect. This school and academic year, too, new digital steps are being taken to help improve the lives of teachers and pupils. In recent years, digital exams or e-assessments have become more and more important in education. In recent years, digital exams or eassessment have become more and more important in education.

Is it true that digital exams are on the rise? And what is the status of pen and paper exams in the Flemish classroom at the moment? Which issues can digital exams solve for schools and universities? And why is it that that e-assessment has only taken baby steps at various educational institutions? Software company Televic Education* searched for an answer to these questions. They published the results of their survey in a report.

Paper is still omnipresent

This survey shows that digital examination has already made its appearance in most educational institutions, but is rather limited in use. In general, digital exams remain subsidiary to ‘traditional’ paper exams. It is remarkable that no less than 20% of all surveyed educational institutions still exclusively conducts their exams on paper, and therefore has not yet taken any steps towards digital examinations.

In the remaining 80%, a limited form of digital examination has already been introduced, but not a single school entrusts its examinations to a digital platform to maximum extent. Paper therefore remains omnipresent.

E-assessment and digital exams contribute to a better quality of education

Yet there is some movement in the educational landscape when it comes to exams. At no less than 76% of the surveyed educational institutions, digital exams are one of the topics included in the strategic policy. These schools and universities mainly stress the advantage of saving time while creating and marking exams, and assume that the time freed up can then be invested in the quality of education. Joris Vanholme, Business Development Manager at Televic Education, confirms that this assumption is correct: “The time and insights that digital exams provide can be put to good use in the search for solutions to the challenges in education. After all, teachers, lecturers or professors cannot use the time they spend improving their course or their teaching approach, or enter entering into a dialogue with their students, … . I therefore strongly believe that, with the introduction of digital examination, the teacher will not have to work longer or more, but will be able to fill in their time more efficiently.”

“A unique opportunity to benchmark educational institutions”

Through numerous conversations in the context of, but also outside of this research, Televic Education gained more insight into the needs, wishes, practices and perceptions concerning digital exams in Flemish education. General Manager Stijn De Vleesschouwer: “Televic Educations can only make the right decisions in the further development of its e-assessment platform if it knows the needs and wishes of educational institutions. Our experience shows that the co-creation process, in which we involve our customers as much as possible in design decisions before we develop a feature, always leads to great added value for our customers. This research fits in perfectly with that process and offers educational institutions a unique opportunity to benchmark themselves.” For example, the study shows that as many as 70.4% of the surveyed educational institutions wants to invest in (new) e-assessment software in the future. One third of these schools and universities will already do so in 2019-2020.

The full report can be found in Dutch on the Televic Education website.

More information:
Stijn De Vleeschhouwer – General Manager, Televic Education s.devleeschhouwer@televic.com – +32 495 58 48 54
Joris Vanholme – Business Development Manager, Televic Education j.vanholme@televic.com – +32 476 86 47 35

More information about our digital exam solution at VIVES University of Applied Sciences (EN): https://www.televic-education.com/en/references/vives-university-applied-sciences.

*Televic Education
Televic Education, owned by Lieven Danneels and Thomas Verstraeten and headquartered in Izegem, was founded in 1956 as part of the Televic Group. Televic Education is a world leader in the development and implementation of science-based educational solutions. More information on www.televic-education.com

The Business Advantages of Microsoft Azure

By Thaumatec

Microsoft Azure on a daily basis keeps on making strides, according to the publicly available earnings (revenue generated) reveal that “The seven biggest enterprise-cloud vendors are Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Google.” Given the importance of Microsoft Azure in the world, what exactly are we dealing with here? Azure in simple words, is a cloud computing platform that supports operating systems, tools, databases programming languages and devices. Azure has proven to be a powerful platform that has brought revenues and benefits from the smallest of companies to multinational corporations.

What is the deal with Microsoft Azure?

The number of companies using Azure is constantly increasing, cloud based models are without a doubt practical business solutions. The reason for this high buzz is due to quantifiable services provided e. g. analytics, computing, mobile apps, networking, storage and more. Tools like this provide knowledge and power, meaning it determines the company’s weaknesses and strengths and the power to decide what will be the next move. A tool that is indeed powerful and does not want your competitor to catch you without it.

What Benefits will it bring to any company?

Speed is an asset that nobody can live without these days and that’s exactly one of the biggest benefits of Azure. Speed is crucial in terms of deployment, operation, and scalability. Being up-to-date with cloud technology for sure gives you a competitive advantage. Azure is known for its capacity for storing data, facilitating faster content delivery and sharing reliable data across virtual machines. Additionally, Azure can be deployed anywhere, it provides end-to-end solutions and software updates are automated. Rarely one size fits all, Azure is perfect for small or big companies; meaning that it is designed to meet your IT demands and it operates according to your business budget. Security, compliance and disaster recovery are Azure’s finest. It protects your data because both the platform and end-users are protected, it also provides recovery abilities that can restore information in a matter of hours.

Future of Azure

It’s unlikely to compete with your competitors nowadays without having Azure in your company. Azure has positioned itself as one of the top cloud companies, it’s market share increases and the majority of businesses are trying to stay updated in the non-stop growing market of the cloud. Azure, besides being one of the top leading cloud platform companies of the world, it also brings to the table, top-notch performances to your business. Speed, agility, world-known reputation, reliability, end to end solutions, fast recovery, enterprise security, flexibility, and adaptability are a few words to describe all the benefits Azure can bring to your company. Do not try to be caught off guard without Azure in any business or else the competition will lead the pathway. IT companies such as Thaumatec, with expertise on Microsoft Azure, invite you to implement this cloud computing platform or simply upgrade it to your business. It is time for you to stay ahead of your competition and Thaumatec will help you deliver that.

Check us out at our website.

Sigasi Presents a new Educational Program: everybody can be an XPRT now!

by Sigasi

Sigasi believes that students should get the best start in digital design and use the best tools during their education. Therefore, we decided to upgrade our Educational Program. As from September 2019, Sigasi provides Sigasi Studio XPRT to all students and teachers who join our Educational Program, free of charge. We are confident this will help students aim higher and become our next generation of technological inventors.

Why shouldn’t students and teachers have the best tools?

Sigasi Studio is the best tool for teaching and learning VHDL, Verilog and SystemVerilog. Students and teachers have been telling us this for years now.

Sigasi Studio shortens the feedback cycle, students learn faster, trivial errors are avoided and educators can focus on teaching the concepts of hardware design while Sigasi Studio assists to write correct syntax and code.

We too, at Sigasi, have been students not that longtime ago. That is why, since our start in 2008, we have always offered our educational licenses free of charge. We helped 1200+ educational institutions and sent out 5000+ educational licenses. Sigasi Studio is a must-have tool for all modern-day digital designers.

All that functionality at your fingertips

Individual students, professors and classrooms will now have all the features of Sigasi Studio XPRT available to them on PC, Mac or Linux. All you have to do is apply for your educational license.

Everybody knows the basic functions such as error checking, autocomplete and fast navigation, and will now also be able to work with:

  • Mixed language projects
  • Advanced linting
  • Net search
  • Integration with external tools Powerful visual feedback tools
  • Visualisation of your HDL code

 Let us learn from you

For educational licenses, talkback will be enabled. This is a Sigasi Studio service that automatically collects metadata about how Sigasi Studio is used. This metadata is sent to Sigasi through a secure connection. This will let us determine which features are heavily used and helps in planning which kind of features are valuable for you as Sigasi Studio user, so that we can adjust our product roadmap. We collect performance statistics, that we can relate to the project sizes. Together with our in-house performance tests, this helps us keep the Sigasi Studio compiler and user interface fast. We reduce software errors by collecting incident reports from a wide range of use cases.

Sigasi uses the information transmitted by Talkback for product planning and development. We use it for deciding which features to focus on and improve, for finding and fixing bugs and for finding and fixing performance issues. The end result is that you can use an ever-improving Sigasi Studio.

Request your educational license

You can visit this​ page to directly access the request form. Students will receive a 6 month node-locked license, teachers will receive a 1 year node-locked license. For classrooms, you will receive a floating license for 1 year. After your license expires and if you’re still learning or teaching, you’re welcome to request a new license.

Please complete all fields and use an email that is linked to an educational institution. One of our colleagues will be happy to approve your request.

Our educational program is for learning and teaching only. For academic research, we have a special pricing, contact us​ for more information.​