The Flemish universiteis have their own budget for organising internal research and managing research according to their policy priorities. This Special Research Fund (Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds, BOF) is managed by the Research Coordination Office. BOF funding is organised in different programmes and is evaluated and allocated on the advice of the Hasselt University Research Council.
In addition, the university has an Industrial Research Fund (Industrieel Onderzoeksfonds, IOF). As is the case with BOF, its funds derive from the Flemish government. The aim of the IOF is to put knowledge to practical use in the form of social and/or industrial applications. It is managed by the IOF Board of Hasselt University.
Through various funds and institutes, Flanders seeks to boost excellence in fundamental research and increase the capacity for creative and innovative entrepreneurship.
The Research Foundation Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, FWO) is the main funder of fundamental research in Flanders.
Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen, Vlaio) offers funding for strategic base research, applied research and research in collaboration with the industry.
At the federal level, support for scientific research is organised through the Federal Science Policy, BELSPO. BELSPO is responsible for coordinating the federal science policy and offers various individual research scholarships every year. It also funds multidisciplinary research cooperation across community and regional boundaries through the Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks (BRAIN-programme).
Europe also invests in research. Since 2014, the European Union has brought together most of its research funding under the Horizon2020 programme, the successor to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). With this programme, Europe is aiming to develop further as a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy and to increase its competitiveness. The different funding programmes and calls are grouped in three pillars: ‘Excellent Science’, ‘Industrial Leadership’ and ‘Societal Challenges’.
In addition to these four levels of research funding, other financing options also exist. For instance, domestic and foreign foundations, universities, companies, organisations and research institutions also offer ad hoc funding. The Research Coordination Office is happy to keep Hasselt University researches informed about these generally less well-known initiatives by email and through its website.