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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 (incl. overhead) per year. However, if the project is carried out by a consortium, the project budget may be increased to a maximum of €500,000 (incl. overhead) 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.


18 September 2020 (5 PM)

As supervisor of the project, you prepare your proposal via the FWO e-portal and transfer your proposal in preparation to your host institution (=main applicant of the proposal ) through the FWO e-portal by 18 September 2020 (5 PM).

This preliminary application should contain at least the following information:

  1. full composition of the project consortium,
  2. summary of scientific & valorization goals,
  3. choice of the research topic and thematic SBO-expert panel and
  4. experts to be avoided (max. 3).
5 October 2020 (9 AM)

Deadline final application of ‘host institution of the supervisor’ (=main applicant)

Attention: The submission of the final project proposal is carried out by the Research Coordination Office. The Research Coordination Office needs enough time to control all applications, therefore there is an internal deadline. The deadline of 5 October is only for applications of which Hasselt University is the main applicant. 

9 October 2020 (5 PM)

Deadline submission final project proposal by the main applicant


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

Extra support?

Potential applicants may request an exploratory discussion with the FWO staff. Please send an e-mail to sbo@fwo.be including a short abstract (max. 1 A4 page). The applicants should also provide a number of possible dates when this exploratory interview could take place. The information that is provided during this meeting should be interpreted as non-binding advice and no rights can be derived from this information. Given the very exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus crisis and the related restrictive measures, an exploratory discussion will only be via video conferencing.

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 
  • Submits the final proposal