DIRECTOR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, VITO
And when we speak of sustainability, VITO is the key player in this arena. With about 1,000 employees, VITO is an independent Flemish research organization with top researchers working on cleantech and sustainable development. Antwerp is a place where innovation is also massively translated into business opportunities. From science to applications contributing to the transition towards a more sustainable world. For more than 30 years we at VITO work on this transition with a strong contribution in various domains such as chemistry, materials, energy, land use and personalised healthcare; this cross-sectoral approach is creating great space for innovative sustainable business creation and helps existing companies to rapidly adapt to the challenges they are facing in the fight against climate change.
Membrane technologies, smart integration in process chemistry of renewable energy, smart algorithms for mobility solutions, etc. find rapid deployment thanks to the close collaboration of our researchers with businesses that see market opportunities rising rapidly.
Clearly, sustainability connects the different technology domains more than ever; and it leads to great interest of the strong chemical industry in the Antwerp region to adopt many of the principle technologies that are developed within VITO; strengthening the Antwerp position as a leading chemical cluster in the world.
VITO’s role in applicative research also helps to bridge the various innovation players, for example University of Antwerp, Catalisti, BlueChem and industries; with our drive to demonstrate innovation on pilot level we de-risk the new technologies for industries to adopt them in their processes much easier. The understanding of market needs coupled to technology development is a core driver for VITO to support the economic fabric in Antwerp (and the whole of Flanders) via supporting existing companies as well as via the vibrant startup community in the region.
Along the lines of these technological innovations, VITO also contributes to the development of human talent. Researchers from both local universities and abroad are trained in applied research, linking their skills to an industrial market understanding and value-based working allowing them to grow into future careers in our vibrant industry in the Antwerp region.
By running the applied research cycle quicker than ever, VITO contributes to the Antwerp’s lively society not only by technology and cleantech development but surely with smarter people contributing to our region becoming the most sustainable economic space in the world and making it a great place to live.