02 Mar 2021   |   Network Updates   |   Update from KU Leuven
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

KU Leuven: Five Flemish universities show how they innovate together for a better society


The Flemish universities worked together with Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad (VLIR) to make a compilation of 45 success stories of innovations that provide answers to the challenges facing our society. The brochure is available for download on the VLIR website.

Research at the Flemish universities continuously generates new knowledge, broadens the knowledge base and thus contributes directly to the innovative strength and economic potential of Flanders. Thanks to an intense interaction between universities, knowledge centres, spin-offs and industry, we are even setting the tone globally in certain domains. Universities play a key role, through research and innovation, in the search for sustainable answers to global and local societal challenges in the areas of climate, energy, food, mobility, care and security. Against the background of the protracted COVID-19 crisis, our universities are providing fuel for the Flemish resilience more than ever.

Our bright minds focus on research that makes society better, they lay the foundation for innovative products and services that improve people’s daily lives and make them more pleasant. They don’t do this alone. They cannot do this alone. We are increasingly seeing how crucial the interaction is between university research, research in industry and research institutions and practice. Collaboration between universities, industry, government, societal organisations and citizens promotes the impact of research results on the lives of people worldwide. In turn, practical application serves as a source of data and as inspiration for new scientific research.

This publication brings you no less than 45 success stories of university innovations that provide an answer to challenges for our society. We give examples in seven different domains: Healthcare, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Mobility, Circular Economy, Smart Cities, Culture & Society. In addition, we also show how our universities have joined forces to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The 45 striking examples are the result of project-based or structural partnerships between universities and industry, of research commissioned by industry and governments or of a transfer of research results via licenses and spin-offs. They are 45 beautiful illustrations of impactful collaboration in action.

Also discover in this publication how the Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) of the universities bridge the gap between scientists, industry and governments. The TTOs thus help strengthen the societal impact of the collaboration between researchers and partners. We conclude with a few key figures that show that our Flemish universities score high in leading international research and innovation rankings.

This article was first published on 2 March by KU Leuven.

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