Update 24/05/2023: VITO accelerates CEO transition >

On Monday 13 February 2023, VITO's board of directors decided to appoint Inge Neven as VITO's new CEO. Today, the Flemish government ratified the board's choice. Mrs. Neven will take up her new position on 1 September 2023. The VITO Board of Directors is confident that Inge will continue the innovative and successful trajectory in which the current Managing Director, Dirk Fransaer, has led VITO for the past 22 years.

Flemish Minister for Science and Innovation Jo Brouns: 'VITO has long been known as an essential link as centre of expertise on the path to a sustainable and innovative Flanders. It is committed day and night to the transition to a sustainable world and offers innovative answers to societal challenges. I would like to explicitly thank Dirk Fransaer for his relentless commitment, and I wish Inge Neven enormous success as VITO's first female CEO. I have no doubt that she will do an excellent job.' 

Through several amendments to the Flemish Innovation Decree, VITO's governing bodies are changing, more specifically, the leadership is entrusted to a CEO who is no longer a director but a staff member. In consultation with the Flemish Government, the board of directors has aligned this change with the anticipated departure of the current managing director at the end of August 2023.  

Chairman of VITO Board of Directors Ingrid Vanden Berghe: ‘The vacancy for CEO for VITO, launched by the board in September 2022, enjoyed wide interest. After an extensive selection procedure, Inge Neven came forward as the most suitable candidate. Inge possesses a range of knowledge and experience, a more than solid foundation for a CEO of a research organisation in sustainability and innovation. We are confident that with Inge at the top, VITO will have a strong future, building on the trajectory that Dirk Fransaer has achieved over the past 22 years.’ 

Inge Neven (46) opted for a broad education as bioengineer, with the most technical major and a thesis on precision agriculture. She took an additional year in France at "L'institut Agro Montpellier", an internationally renowned agricultural faculty specializing in agriculture, nutrition and environment. After her scientific studies, Inge obtained an MBA from Vlerick Business School, from a strong personal interest in management. 

After her studies, Inge first worked as a consultant, among others at ADLittle and later at the start-up Empact. Looking for a job with more societal impact, Inge spent four years working for an NGO on capacity building in West and Central Africa. After this experience and with more sense of reality, Inge returned to Belgium, where she earned her stripes as COO in a retail organisation and as Chief of Staff and CIO at research organisation imec. Finally, Inge was the head as well as the face of the corona policy and health prevention in the Brussels Capital Region.  

‘I have always looked for jobs with societal impact, certainly after my last experience as COVID officer in Brussels. As a bioengineer, technology, science and innovation are close to my heart. Hence, VITO presents a wonderful challenge: shifting up a gear in the transition to a sustainable world from research and innovation, together with colleagues and partners. In these talents also lies the strength of Flanders, and we can continue to leave our mark on the world and maximise our impact,’ Inge Neven elaborates on her decision to become CEO of VITO. 

Inge Neven
Press spokesperson
+32 14 33 55 53