Our magazine VITO vision brings various expert articles about innovative projects, often including testimonials from our clients and/or project partner(s). Below you can find the online version of the magazine.

VITO Vision May 2023

Cover story: Jessa Hospital is embarking on a transition to sustainable energy neutrality

The hospital’s goal is to move from 50 % renewable energy in 2031 to fully self-sufficient energy management in 2050 on its future unified campus in Hasselt (Belgium), where three existing care campuses and a logistics campus will be centralised. VITO/EnergyVille was engaged to design the energy system, and concluded that the best solution was a heating and cooling network based on geothermal energy. This is how VITO/EnergyVille is helping healthcare facilities with the transition to sustainable systems. Institutions can contact VITO/EnergyVille for advice on water management, as well as energy.

We visited the Jessa Hospital, watch the video report below.


All articles in the VITO Vision of May 2023

Urban greenery can bring cooling in unbearably hot Niamey

Niamey, the capital of Niger, is one of the hottest cities on Earth. Urban greenery can help relieve heat stress, which is rising by global warming. Together with local partners and volunteers, VITO is mapping out how many thousands of urban trees will mitigate the increasing heat in the city, whose population is expected to grow explosively in the coming decades.

European innovation and testing environment for membrane technology

Innovative membrane technology tailored to industrial customers. That is what the European INNOMEM project aims to help ensure. About 30 companies, universities and research centres work together on improving and scaling up existing membrane technologies, tailored to the specific needs of industry. For one of these ‘showcases’, i.e. optimised membranes for waste water treatment, VITO is responsible together with the Danish company Liqtech.

Platform for inhalation tests reduces need for animal testing

Animal testing is still frequently used to test the safety and effectiveness of medicines and other chemical substances. Alternative methods can re-duce the need for such testing, for instance, be-cause they are based on cultured human cells (in vitro). VITO designed a test platform specifically for inhaled substances. Together with the Rega In-stitute at KU Leuven, the platform was used to investigate whether remdesivir, used to treat Co-vid-19, can also be administered through the air-ways.

Digital support for the repair economy

When a domestic appliance breaks down, it usually ends up at the local waste depot. Yet, this ‘disposal economy’ has a large environmental impact. That’s why more people are keen to mend or get their appliances repaired, yet all kinds of obstacles still stand in their way. A digital infrastructure can help them succeed. The step towards such an infrastructure has been investigated in the Sharepair project, which concluded recently. VITO, together with the partners, developed the online tools in this system to encourage and facilitate repairs.

A road map for the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industry

How can industries in the European Union, such as the steel and chemicals sector, cement factories and oil refineries, reduce their CO2 emissions to net zero in the coming years and decades? Will they be able to make a substantial contribution to the intermediate European climate goals in 2030 (55 per cent less greenhouse gases) and the final horizon of climate neutrality in 2050? And how can they do this? These kinds of questions will soon be answered thanks to the AIDRES project (Advancing industrial decarbonisation by assessing the future use of renewable energies in industrial processes). Its rich experience with geographic energy studies was among the reasons why VITO/EnergyVille was given the lead for this initiative.

‘Geo-intelligence’ brings balance between people, planet and profit

‘Together we evolve towards a sustainable society,’ that’s VITO’s motto. But how do we do that exactly? And who exactly is ‘we’? At VITO Remote Sensing, a new vision has been emerging in the sustainability transition in recent years. ‘Data-driven’ is central – or ‘geo-intelligence’, to put the emphasis on remote sensing data. In this vision, data and its targeted use are firmly embedded in the socio-economic fabric. This is done by developing a new structure, a true geo-intelligence hub. VITO cannot do it alone, but is rising to the challenge. Because the time is ripe: the data and technology are available.

VITO employee in the spotlight: Hilde Vandecruys

The strong connection with sustainability and the environment is what brought Hilde Vandecruys (43) to VITO in 2018. Although she has no direct involvement on these topics, she contributes every day from the ICT department to an optimal working environment for research and related activities. ‘Ultimately, as a support service, we share a common goal with our scientists and researchers.’ Besides the content, Vandecruys also appreciates the frequent social contacts in her job, plus the variety, participation and opportunities to continue developing personal skills and influence your own career path. This makes VITO an exciting and pleasant employer, also for people in ICT. ‘They are very welcome here. We have several vacancies at the moment.’

B4PLASTICS winner of Cleantech Hero Materials 2022

B4Plastics' biodegradable polyamides and polyesters address a real sustainability issue. This innovative and clean technology has great impact potential in Flanders and beyond. The jury could highly appreciate the thorough engineering of materials at the molecular level.


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