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Research funding


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The Strategic Basic Research (SBO) programme focuses on innovative research which, if scientifically successful, will create prospects for economic or social applications (e.g. a new generation of products, processes or services). SBO is thus aimed not at pure knowledge dissemination, but at the acquisition of new knowledge in dialogue between the research centres that carry out the research and the companies and social stakeholders that will subsequently translate the results into concrete applications. Out of this dialogue valorisation projects can be initiated. The SBO programme breaks down into two finality parts: an economic programme part for projects with primarily an economic finality and a social programme part for projects with primarily a social finality.

In principle, an SBO project has a duration of four years. The project budget is initially set to maximum €500,000 per year. However, if the project is carried out by a consortium, the project budget may be increased to a maximum of €500,000 per year multiplied by the number of legal entities acting as a project applicant, provided the project sub-budget of these project applicants amounts to at least 15% of the total project budget.

An SBO project proposal is submitted by at least one Flemish research centre. Two or more research centres together may also form a consortium. In this case, one of the Flemish research centres is appointed as the project coordinator. Companies can not act as an applicant in SBO applications. Companies can be involved in SBO projects by inviting them to become a member of the advisory committee or through cooperation with the SBO research consortium where companies, in parallel to the SBO project execution, undertake certain R&D activities that are related to the SBO project.

There is one deadline each year (May).

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Annelies Stockmans
Contact FWO: sbo@fwo.be
Or on the website of the FWO

Extra support?
The Research Coordination office:

  • Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
  • Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and FWO
  • Acts as an intermediary when internal (TTO, PER, FIN) or external (ICL, etc.) consultation is necessary
  • Helps with preparing the project budget 
  • Checks the final project budget 
  • Helps with administrative formalities relating to Hasselt University 
  • Coordinates the signing process of the declaration of intent by the rector