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The Internet of Things in Flanders

One of the inventors of the internet was born in Flanders; it’s only logical that the Internet of Things is our specialty.

Many cutting-edge digital evolutions are entwined with one underlying system: The Internet of Things. From smartphones to cars, from industrial machines to people: the possibilities generated by our ability to connect almost anything and anyone to the internet are endless. Find out how your company can benefit from the many IoT initiatives launched in Flanders.

Building blocks for IoT in Flanders

The Internet of Things is inextricably linked to other domains of digital society such as big data, smart cities and mobile apps. In Flanders, you can find several research institutes, experts, manufacturers and government initiatives willing to support your digital business. We’ve highlighted a number of significant projects, centers and courses below, but invite you to discover them all by exploring the following building blocks of digital society established right here in the region:

Strategic research centers boost your IoT business

Flanders houses a wide range of strategic research centers with a strong focus on the Internet of Things. Discover how your business can benefit from a partnership with these institutions.

VITO: technology for a brighter tomorrow

As a leading research and technology organization, VITO focuses on cleantech and sustainable development. VITO believes that IoT can be a key element in tackling these issues. The center invests in various projects that examine the lever effect that the Internet of Things can have on society.

LH2ORA: smart metering for durable water consumption

One of VITO’s prominent IoT initiatives is the LH2ORA project. Together with Vlakwa (Flanders’ water knowledge center), ETRO (VUB Department of Electronics & Informatics), water company De Watergroep, IoT provider Actilit Benelux and tech startup Snaptronic, VITO is testing the impact of data communication between smart meters and water quality sensors in both industrial and residential applications.
Discover the LH2ORA project.

imec: IoT is the key to a better world

Renowned nanoelectronics R&D center imec dedicates a large part of its research to the Internet of Things. The research center uses its expertise in various fields of nanoelectronics to foster an IoT that doesn’t only connect but interacts with and learns from humans to make them healthier, happier and more effective beings in a safe and sustainable world. The institute has played a major role in the development of MEMS for energy harvesting and low power wireless technology, for instance.

MOSAIC: all the necessary technology at hand

MOSAIC (MOdeling of Systems And Internet Communication) is a research group linked to the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Applied Engineering (Electronics-ICT) at the University of Antwerp. The research group’s main points of focus are: low-power wireless communication, networking and embedded distributed systems. On the subject of IoT, MOSAIC is mainly working on the design of network control and management of algorithms and protocols for highly dynamic, heterogeneous and constrained wireless network environments.
Learn all about MOSAIC.

All the talent at hand

In Flanders, nearly all universities and university colleges offer various trainings related to IoT, educating a wide range of highly-trained professionals. Not surprisingly, these courses are often offered as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), co-created by research centers such as imec and EIT Digital.

An overview of available coursework

Traditional classes

  • Bachelor of IT Electronics at Odissee, VUB and Thomas More - a three-year curriculum that focuses on the development of both interactive media and hardware and infrastructure;
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (Communication and Information Technology) at Ghent University – two-year program training engineers for the development of state-of-the-art hardware for smart devices and the Internet of Things;
  • Master of Computer Science Engineering at KU Leuven and Ghent University – this one-year master’s degree is focused on the creation, testing and maintaining of advanced software systems.
  • Postgraduate in IoT at the University of Antwerp, Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel – a one-year program training students to implement comprehensive IoT solutions.

Blended learning

The following three courses have been co-developed by imec, Ghent University and EIT Digital. They can be followed online or as part of a blended learning course combining online learning with practical trainings.

Specific incentives

Flanders offers incentives that are relevant to research-intensive domains like encryption, computer science and data security. Examples include:

  • innovation income deduction – up to 85% of a firm’s net earnings from innovation is tax exempt;
  • investment deduction for R&D – 13.5% of acquisition value/qualifying asset or 20.5% of the depreciated amount;
  • exemption of payment of 80% – of the personal income withholding tax of researchers in certain scientific fields.

R&D tax incenctives in Flanders

Did you know…

  • … The internet was co-invented by an IT specialist from Flanders? Together with Tim Berners- Lee, Robert Cailliau is the founding father of the world-wide web.
  • … Flanders had the honor of hosting the first-ever European IoT convention? Its theme was the development of the economic potential of the Internet of Things.
  • … Flanders-based start-up Pozyx Labs won the Innovation of Things award 2016 at the IoT World conference in Dublin? The start-up’s extremely precise system for indoor positioning won against 34 other start-ups from around the world active in IoT.

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