Silvia Lenaerts has always been a pioneer. She was the first chemist to achieve a PhD at IMEC. She founded a company on gas sensors, as well as the Bioscience Engineering department and her research group. Currently, she is full professor and vice-rector Valorisation & Development at the Universiteit Antwerpen.
The Universiteit Antwerpen and the higher education institutions will take up their responsibility by acting as drivers in the innovation ecosystem. Life is not divided in disciplines, nor are the world’s biggest challenges.
Together with companies, citizens and policy makers, we study and develop solutions for the big challenges of our society. This two way exchange of knowledge and competences should lead to innovation. We have defined three priority valorisation domains, where we as a university want to make the difference. The Antwerp region positions itself as a living lab, by supporting partnerships with resources, infrastructure and equipment to bridge the valley of death between research and innovation.
The first domain is metropolitanism, smart city, mobility and logistics that is housed in The Beacon. Together with the City of Antwerp, the Port of Antwerp, IMEC, Agoria and Lantis we jointly develop digital and design solutions towards better urban living.
The second focus area is sustainable chemistry and materials located at Bluegate. In our BlueApp building, we co-develop chemistry and engineering-based solutions for new materials and processes. We work on hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier, water technology and closing the materials loop.
The third area is infectious diseases and environmental health situated at Vaccinopolis. Antwerp has the biggest concentration of hospital beds and in combination with the Institute of Tropical Medicine we strive for better pandemic preparedness and response.
The Universiteit Antwerpen takes up her responsibility to society in two ways: by educating those to whom the future belongs and by providing innovation for a more resilient and agile industrial and societal community.
Together we build the future.