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.
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The Internet of Things 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:
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.
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.
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.
Flanders is not only a stimulating environment that helps your business bloom, it is also an interesting market for your products. Flanders’ economy is bursting with businesses eager to invest in digital R&D in the face of the dawning digital age. Some of the most IoT-minded sectors and application areas Flanders has to offer include:
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.
- 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.
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.
- Architecture for the IoT – teaching engineers how to develop products and systems that are compatible with IoT;
- Introduction to Architecting Smart Iot Devices – explaining the inner workings of and providing recipes for the development of successful EmS devices;
- Architecting IoT Devices – teaches engineers how to use the necessary hardware and software components to develop embedded systems devices.
- various government grants and subsidies for transformation, ecological, R&D and growth investments;
- unique tax incentives for various types of business activities and investments;
- a set of employment subsidies to further reduce your salary costs as well as fiscal remuneration advantages;
- a number of funding options to help you get off the ground.
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.
- … 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.