On 28 May 2004, the Flemish Government approved the foundation of the Industrial Research Fund (Industrieel Onderzoeksfonds, IOF) at the Flemish universities (with the exception of the KUB). The IOF is to enable each university to pursue a policy of its own, focused on building a portfolio of potential application-oriented knowledge that can be used for economic purposes. The IOF will form a harmonious whole with the university's valorisation policy and its interface with industry, and lead to a social valorisation and transfer of the knowledge gained, in collaboration with industry, the government and the non-profit sector, or via the incorporation of new companies.
In the same way that the Special Research Fund (BOF) is complementary to the FWO in the area of pioneering scientific research, the IOF is complementary to the Flemish funding channel for strategic basic research. The IOF must therefore allow every university to pursue a policy of its own geared to building a portfolio of potential application-oriented knowledge that can be used for economic purposes, in the continuum between strategic basic research and technological innovation, together with the attendant property rights, in the domains in which the university has acquired high-quality potential and/or wishes to assume a leading position. The Vrije Univeristeit Brussel endorses this objective on all points and will also rely on the IOF to map the main areas for strategic basic research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
In the framework of the first Proof-of-Concept call of the Industrial research Fund (IOF), members of the departments SKAR (Prof. Dr. Karin Nys, Hilde Wouters) and TONA (Prof. Dr. Ir. Hugo Thienpont, Dr. Ir. Wendy Meulebroeck) are funded to further develop a portable optical measurement system for the non-destructive, in situ characterization of cultural heritage materials.
This IOF funding is inteded to work as a catalystic agent on the current financial scheme of B-Phot. It should enable B-Phot to become self-supportive in the industrial valorisation of its research and to sustain exponential growth at least for the next five years. The financial injection from IOF will first of all be used to provide B-Phot's entrepreneurial-minded post-docs with a long-term research career perspective and with ample time for industrial project recruitment.
VUB - Campus Etterbeek
Building F - 9th floor