The university engages in groundbreaking research and supports companies in innovation. It aims to be a node in the innovation web. Its six institutes are the backbone of this innovative research.
FRIS, the Full Regional Innovation System, is an innovation scheme based on the idea that innovation is not a linear process from research via development to a marketable new product or service, but more of a web-like process, with complex interactions between different companies and between companies and knowledge institutions at all stages of the research, development and commercialisation process. FRIS reflects this new reality optimally: all actors are brought together and can interact at every stage of the innovation process. In this sense, FRIS is a concrete manifestation of a domain-specific and regional innovation web.
The FRIS concept was proposed by Hasselt University as a framework for bringing together triple helix actors in a regional and sector-specific setting with the aim of accelerating regional innovation.
1. Effective training in the fields in which Limburg wants to excel. Because people make the difference. With their specialist knowledge and professional skills, young talents can help our businesses innovate. And professionals also need fresh insights that will help them continue adapting to new professional realities and fast-changing market demands.
2. Research is of course an important link in the innovation chain of R&D-driven sectors, but access to applied research is also important in non-R&D-driven sectors. Limburg needs fundamental, basic industrial and applied research with a focus on the specific application fields in which the region wants to excel.
3. A commercialisation factor, helping develop new economic activities by using academic findings cleverly in order to develop new processes or services. This may involve cooperation between knowledge centres and businesses, licensing knowledge to businesses or creating spin-offs.
4. A flourishing cluster platform: in Limburg, sector-specific communities need to be created as inspiring meeting and interaction platforms where companies (including start-ups), entrepreneurs, government actors, knowledge and research institutions, graduate students and others can continually inspire and dynamise one another around a particular application field.
5. A catalyst encourages the integration of enabling technologies and crossovers between different FRIS sectors. The catalyst promotes out-of-the-box thinking in the quest for crossovers and innovative business models.
6. Incubator: This breeding-ground for new ideas also needs a physical location in an incubator where start-ups, entrepreneurs and researchers meet. Limburg has invested in recent years in incubators for the life sciences (BioVille), cleantech (Greenville), energy (EnergyVille), ICT (Corda Incubator), the creative sector (C-Mine Crib) and so on.
7. Investment fund: To enable promising young companies to grow into businesses that generate additional employment, there is a need for appropriate forms of financing. These investment funds are needed to both set up and grow high-tech spin-offs and innovative companies in established sectors.