Pierre De Muelenaere

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Dr. Pierre De Muelenaere is a Belgian entrepreneur[1][2] and scientist. In 1987, after he received its Ph.D. in Applied Science from the Université Catholique de Louvain, he created the Belgian company I.R.I.S. with the financial help of the Belgian holding company Ackermans & van Haaren. Pierre De Muelenaere has been leading I.R.I.S. through all its development steps and is currently the President and CEO of the company. In 2008, the company, which has become a world-wide leader in the field of Intelligent Document Capture and Document Management had a staff of more than 500 people, with a revenue of more than €100 million.


Pierre De Muelenaere was born on 25 October 1958 in Brussels. He received a civil engineering Degree in Electronics from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 1981 and a PhD in Applied science in 1987, from the same university.


Pierre De Muelenaere original background is Integrated circuit design. During his PhD, he has developed new microprocessor architectures dedicated to very fast Image Processing and Recognition. A prototype of a complete OCR system was also built in the University labs, based on a new generation of custom Image Processing ICs. With the support of the Belgian holding Ackermans & van Haaren, and together with a fellow PhD student Jean-Didier Legat, Pierre founded I.R.I.S. (Image Recognition Integrated Systems) in April 1987, to bring this invention to the market, develop and market Optical character recognition (OCR) and Intelligent Document Recognition (IDR) products.

In 1992, Pierre De Muelenaere and Pierre Rion performed a Management Buy Out of I.R.I.S.[3] In 1999, I.R.I.S. was introduced on the Brussels Stock Exchange, (BXS, now NYSE Euronext) and received the "1999 Best Belgian IPO Award" from BXS. I.R.I.S. has now more than 500 people, with offices in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, USA and Hong-Kong. In 2008, the revenue was over €100millions. Over the years, De Muelenaere has been a main contributor to the R&D vision of I.R.I.S. and has contributed to the development of many new I.R.I.S. technologies and products and to a number of patents filed by the company. He also accumulated a solid international experience establishing strategic agreements with international partners in the USA, Europe and Asia (such as HP, Canon, Kodak, Adobe, Fujitsu, Siemens, ...) contributing to the development of I.R.I.S. in the USA and Asia.

De Muelenaere has received several Belgian awards including: two innovation awards from the Walloon Region (1989 and 2007), the "2001 Manager of the year award" from Trends,[4] the "2002 Entrepreneur of the year award",[5] the "2008 ICT personality of the year award" from DataNews.[6][7]

He is currently, President and CEO of I.R.I.S. Group, and a member of the board of several companies, including : BSB, Belgacom, Pairi Daiza.


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