With the official signing of a new framework agreement, VITO and Hasselt University strengthen their collaboration. Since 2014, the two institutions have been conducting joint research in statistics, environmental sciences, biomedical sciences, and mobility sciences. "With this framework agreement, we are taking it a step further. This structural collaboration will lead to the initiation of even more joint research, projects, and doctoral programs," say Walter Eevers, Director of Research & Valorisation at VITO, and Bernard Vanheusden, rector of UHasselt.

With this new framework agreement, UHasselt and VITO are fully committed to jointly supervising doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, participating in and bidding on public contracts and research projects, and transferring knowledge between the two institutions. Additionally, the institutions also aim to initiate more joint initiatives in science communication.


"Until now, our joint projects have always proceeded with a separate collaboration agreement, which was not always straightforward," says Bernard Vanheusden. "To avoid this in the future, our Tech Transfer Office collaborated with VITO to develop this framework agreement. This offers many benefits for our researchers. We are setting out the broad lines for our future collaborations and clearly indicating that both institutions want to collaborate more intensively. This facilitates future negotiations, and using predefined templates can save time."

Strong collaboration

The partnership between UHasselt and VITO has always been robust. Not only have they been structural partners within EnergyVille since 2018, but their first collaboration dates back to 2014. Meanwhile, several research projects are ongoing between the two knowledge institutions. The Data Science Institute of UHasselt is now the first institute to use this new framework agreement, focusing mainly on achieving greater critical mass for this type of research with more impact and valorisation. A possible structural collaboration is also being explored for the Materiomics master's program. "Valorisation in research is crucial for stimulating sustainable prosperity and innovation. The new framework agreement between UHasselt and VITO illustrates this importance by facilitating streamlined collaboration. This agreement enables time-saving and lays the groundwork for more joint research projects, leading to increased impact and valorisation of research results. By jointly focusing on supervising doctoral students, participating in public tenders, and knowledge transfer, a strong synergy is created that lays the foundation for innovations contributing to a sustainable society," says Walter Eevers of VITO.

The signing of the framework agreement took place during the Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI) event in Hasselt. Both VITO and UHasselt are partners of this event where technology and innovation are central as drivers of sustainable prosperity.

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