VLAIO-programmes

Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship

In January 2016, Enterprise Flanders and the agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT) merged into one new agency: Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). VLAIO is charged with implementing the economic, innovation and enterprise policy in Flanders.  The activities of the former IWT towards companies are implemented within this new agency. This means that the management of IWT’s company-oriented funding programmes such as the Baekeland mandates, the Innovation mandates, TETRA, agricultural research and R&D funding for companies have been integrated within VLAIO. The activities of the former IWT towards universities (doctoral scholarships for strategic basic research, strategic basic research (SBO) projects and Applied Biomedical Research with a Primary Social finality (TBM)) have been transferred to FWO.

Click on a programme in the table below for more specific information and to find out how the Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation can support you. Next to the programmes stated below VLAIO also offers support to industrial R&D projects where universities can participate as a research partner or as a service provider. More information on these programmes can be found on the VLAIO website.

VLAIO programme

Deadline

TETRA

End of January

Baekeland mandates

End of March
Beginning of September

Innovation mandates

End of March
Beginning of September

Agricultural research

End of November

TETRA

What?

The TETRA programme is aimed at Flemish higher education institutions, particularly those research groups that actively engage in applied research. Within TETRA, they carry out short-term projects that translate available (academic) knowledge into validated, directly usable designs or prototypes that meet the needs of a large group of enterprises (SMEs) and/or social profit organisations or that represent new market opportunities for them. The companies in the target group support their interest and importance by actively guiding the project and co-financing the project budget (remaining 7,5%). TETRA projects also need to be embedded in the educational programmes of the applicants to ensure that the project results are transmitted indirectly through their graduates to Flemish companies. A TETRA project usually takes two years and has a budget of at least €100,000 and at most €480,000.

Who?
Only colleges and research groups from programs recently integrated into the university (i.e. architecture, interior architecture, engineering technology and rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy) can act as principal promotor for TETRA submissions. Other university groups can therefore only be involved as co-promotor in TETRA projects.

Deadline?
There is one deadline each year (End of January).

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
Contact VLAIO: Stephane Faignet (tetra@vlaio.be)
Or on the website of VLAIO

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation:

  • Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
  • Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and VLAIO
  • 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

International cooperation?
VLAIO is a partner in CORNET (Collective Research NETworking). CORNET is a network of ministries and funding agencies that combine their existing funding schemes to increase competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Participation in a CORNET project allows SMEs, SME associations or groups and research organisations to build an international network and benefit from know-how and resources that might not be available in their country or region. Twice a year CORNET issues calls for proposals for international Collective Research projects. The calls follow a bottom-up approach: every topic that supports SMEs in their innovation efforts is welcome. More information on the calls for proposal can be found on the CORNET website. Flemish partners with a TETRA project or a VIS-CO project can participate in CORNET. More information on the procedure can be found on the website of VLAIO.

Baekeland Mandates

What?
Baekeland mandates focus on supporting doctoral research in close cooperation with business/industrial sector. The projects in question are assigned to a consortium of a Flemish company and a Flemish university. Other types of knowledge centres (or research institutes, strategic research centres, colleges, etc.) could also act as host institutes in so far that they cooperate with a scientific supervisor affiliated with a university. The projects relate to doctorate-level research which, if successful, will have a clear economic purpose and add value for the company involved in the project. A Baekeland mandate includes the financing of salary costs, operating expenses, equipment expenses and fixed costs related to one specific employee.

At least five parties are involved in a Baekeland mandate:

  • VLAIO, which grants the mandate and provides a subsidy of 50 to 80% of the approved project budget (depending on the size of the applicant company).
  • The company, that acts as the main applicant, appoints an industrial promotor and is responsible for the co-funding.
  • The mandate holder, who is employed by the company or research institution.
  • The knowledge centre with which the mandate holder is associated.
  • The promotor responsible for the doctoral supervision and who is affiliated with a university.

The research may take place in both the research institute and the company. A mandate normally lasts four years, with a mid-term review after two years. Part-time staffing is possible (minimum 50%).

Who?
Baekeland mandates are open to all candidates who are admitted into a doctoral programme by a Flemish university. The scheme is therefore open to all nationalities and to all people holding diplomas that the education institute accepts for subscribing to a doctoral programme. Anyone wishing to apply for a Baekeland mandate must first set up a partnership with a company and a university promotor. The application will be submitted by the company. Any company with a Flemish seat may submit an application. The mandate holder may be an employee of the company or an employee of the research institution.

Deadline?
There are two annual deadlines for the submission of applications: end of March and the beginning of September.

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
Contact VLAIO:  Els Tourwé (Baekeland-IM@vlaio.be
Or on the website of VLAIO

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation:

  • Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
  • Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and VLAIO
  • 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

Innovation Mandates

What?
VLAIO’s Innovation mandates are intended for postdoctoral researchers who wish to deploy active efforts to achieve the effective transfer, the exploitation and the utilisation of their research findings, either through a collaboration with an existing company, or a new spin-off company to be established.

There are thus various types of mandates:

1) Innovation mandates leading to the establishment of a spin-off company (spin-off mandates). The main objective of this type of innovation mandates is to establish a spin-off developing an industrial activity in Flanders. The mandates are 100% funded by the Agency for up to 2 years. The mandate stops the moment the spin-off is established.

2) Innovation mandates involving cooperation with existing companies. These innovation mandates may consist of 2 phases:

· Exceptionally, a first phase of up to 12 months can be supported by a 100% subsidy to the university/knowledge centre. This is a stage during which more research is required to assess the feasibility in a business context. Should the assessment be positive, this phase is followed by the second phase, the transfer of results.

·  A second phase of up to 24 months, in which a company is the applicant and is responsible for the strategic orientation of the research, and provides co-financing (VLAIO provides a subsidy of 50 to 80% of the approved project budget, depending on the size of the applicant company). In Phase 2, the funding is granted as direct state aid to companies.

Mandates starting with Phase 1 shall proceed to Phase 2 after 6 months or after 12 months at the latest. The total project can run over 24 months or a maximum of 36 months.

The application should clearly indicate which type of mandate has been chosen. There are different application forms corresponding to the different types of mandates.

Who?
The funding programme is open to anyone who holds a doctorate (PhD) diploma. VLAIO does not impose any additional restrictions. The scheme is therefore open to all nationalities and all academic disciplines. All companies with activities in Flanders may take the role of applicant in Phase 2. For spin-off mandates, provisions must be made to set up the company in Flanders.

Deadline?
There are two annual deadlines for the submission of applications: end of March and the beginning of September.

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
Contact VLAIO:  Els Tourwé (Baekeland-IM@vlaio.be)
Or on the website of VLAIO

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation:

  • Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
  • Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and VLAIO
  • 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

Agricultural Research

Agricultural research (LA) projects should offer innovative solutions to concrete problems or demand driven opportunities for agriculture and horticulture. This results in a visible change and offers clear (economic) added value.

What?
The intention is for agriculture projects to offer solutions to problems that agriculture and horticulture companies face. The question is formulated by the companies or organisations in the primary sector, who are also actively engaged in the preparation of the project application. The project offers a clear knowledge transfer to the primary sector, the offered solutions can be applied within a relative short period of time and the results yield an important (economic) advantage for the agricultural and horticultural sector. The project duration of an LA project is, in principle, 4 years. But they can also have a duration of a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of 6 years, with a midterm evaluation every 2 years. The subsidy amounts to 90 percent of the accepted budget of the project. The co-financing is the responsibility of the applicant. This should be financed with contributions from the target companies.

Who?
Only knowledge institutions can submit applications for an LA project. They can act as an independent project applicant or can form a consortium with other knowledge institutions.

Deadline?
There is one application deadline each year (end of November).

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be 
Or on the website VLAIO