Innovation manager / Business developer Data Science Institute

Your function

In the ever-evolving landscape of our expanding institute, an increasing number of business prospects are emerging, demanding adept capture and follow-up. We seek to extend our business development capacity by a motivated innovation manager/ business developer capable of assuming the following responsibilities:

  • You keep up to date with DSI's current scientific research.
  • You are well informed about new strategic developments in innovation policy and the industry sector in the field of data science, open science, software development and data science related IP protection.
  • You perform as first point of contact for valorization ideas or initiatives: you support researchers with defining and undertaking the next steps in valorization (e.g. patents, licensing, spin-offs, consultancy, etc.), taking into account the research context and level of experience with valorization of the involved researcher(s).
  • You maintain and expand DSI’s network of collaborators: you identify new stakeholders (industrial, academic, clinical, governmental, ...) that can be important partners for DSI through different activities such as proactive scouting and participation in network events, (inter)national seminars, trade fairs, ... ). You also maintain good cooperation with existing, strategic partners. Important players in this ecosystem are: the Flemish Supercomputing Centre, VITO, Corda campus, Flemish spearhead clusters, innovative business networks, pharmaceutical, IT and other companies, Knowledge for Growth, Flanders Health, …
  • You understand data science needs of companies or other organizations and translating these to potential solutions or services that DSI can offer. Interacting with the consultancy and financial manager to draw up quotations and contracts with industry partners for services and contract research.
  • You manage DSI’s IP portfolio, including OSS licenses for DSI software and assisting DSI researchers to select appropriate OSS licenses.
  • You will co-write and submit valorization projects: FWO-SBO, VLAIO, O&O, EU, Proof of concept funding, ...
  • You participate in negotiating IP and other contractual arrangements in cooperative agreements with external parties.
  • You work closely with the current innovation manager (business developer), the DSI directors, the research and project managers, researchers at DSI and the colleagues of the Tech Transfer Office and Research Coordination Service of UHasselt.

Your team

The UHasselt Data Science Institute (DSI) brings together high quality data-driven research, education and industrial collaboration, both at a local and international level, to facilitate the data-driven future. To develop innovative and civic-driven research we invest in fundamental and applied data science and AI research and in all components of the data science cycle ( This enables DSI to transfer knowledge and software to stakeholders with questions about for example efficient data management, fast and correct data querying, maintaining an overview and integration of data sources, avoidance of bias in big data, analyzing imperfect data, software optimization, computational challenges, AI, machine learning, semantics and many other questions that companies, knowledge centers, governments and other economic and societal actors are increasingly confronted with. DSI is looking for an additional business developer to strengthen its valorization-oriented activities in various sectors. DSI supports innovation in several sectors including (but not limited to) public health (e.g. infectious disease modelling), life sciences, industry 4.0, agriculture, environment and food safety.

Your talents

  • You either have a PhD in the field of mathematics, statistics, data science, engineering, computer science, life sciences or you have at least 5 years of experience in the implementation or organization of applied scientific research or strategic basic research in one of these fields or have equivalent experience in industry.
  • You are eager to bring research results to the market and have the talent to convey your enthusiasm to DSI researchers and contribute to a culture of entrepreneurship within the institute.
  • You like to use your (networking) skills to set up new collaborations.
  • You have proven affinity with the private sector.
  • If you have experience with applied data science, AI research and writing valorization-oriented grants that's a plus.
  • Experience in IP exploitation through licensing, spin-off or startup creation is an asset, but a strong interest is definitely too.
  • You handle proactive progress control of your assignments and responsibilities. Using your planning and organizational skills, you know how to create the necessary structure and overview.
  • You are eager to learn more and/or stay tuned on IP protection and exploitation, especially in relation to software results.
  • You are a team player and initiator, you have the talent to involve and collaborate with colleagues who bring in expertise in different steps of the valorization process (e.g. legal, financial, GDPR, data management, … )
  • You communicate fluently in written and spoken English. Communication in Dutch might be preferred when setting up collaboration with local actors. If you do not yet communicate fluently in Dutch, but would like to learn, you are certainly welcome.

Our offer for you

You will be appointed and paid as Innovation manager / Business developer.
We offer you a full-time, open-ended contract. Hasselt University wishes to create a pleasant working climate for its employees by means of flexible working hours, a good work-life balance and an open and dynamic team culture in which entrepreneurial employees are stimulated. Hasselt University supports training opportunities for its employees in the context of lifelong learning. We also offer you the option of teleworking (max. 2 days a week). This vacancy is financed via the industrial research fund (IOF) of Hasselt University, which focuses on the valorization of its own research and technology.

Apply for this position

The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file, an introductory interview, a in-depth interview (with assignment) and an assessment center. If required, a selection exam can be held after preselection.
The interviews will take place on Friday 23/08 in the morning, at the Diepenbeek campus.

Apply now
Apply up to 30.07.2024

Question about this vacancy?

For substantive questions, send an e-mail to For questions about the selection procedure, please email

Hasselt University works to ensure that everyone is welcome, feels at home, and can do their best at our university. The diverse talents of our students and staff are a precious resource for our community and the engine of our future prosperity. Diversity of experiences and perspectives enriches our education, strengthens our research and increases our social impact. As a civic university, Hasselt University seeks to set a good example in the region in terms of diversity and inclusion. With our focus on justice and nondiscrimination, we are working together for a diverse and inclusive Hasselt University.

UHasselt does not accept any discrimination in terms of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, age, family situation or dependent children; disability; culture, religion/ideology; skin colour, ethnic origin; socio-economic background or situation.

Prof. dr. Niel HENS

Full professor