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Flanders’ ecosystem for intelligent transport

From industry leaders, knowledge centers, technology incubators, transport and pipeline infrastructure and research groups – Flanders has everything an intelligent transport-focused ICT, logistics, energy or road management organization needs to flourish.

Flanders Institute for Logistics (VIL)

Flanders Institute for Logistics (VIL) is the main driving force behind and single point of contact for the new Spearhead Cluster for Logistics of the government of Flanders. This multidisciplinary collaboration between industry and research players will drive focused logistics innovation. Flanders’ Institute for Logistics (VIL) supports research and innovation in the fields if IoT, e-mobility, electric vehicles, urban logistics and wireless networks, among many others. 

A clear focus

Adopting a long-term approach, the Spearhead Cluster for Logistics will focus on 4 innovation domains:

1.   digitization in logistics;

2.   Flanders’ logistics gateways;

3.   sustainability;

4.   omni-channel retail logistics.

Strategic research centers

imec

Imec, Flanders’ strategic research center for digital and nanotech, is dedicated to innovating across a wide range of ICT-centered industries relevant to intelligent transportation systems such as IoT, network modeling, sensing and more. It supports entrepreneurship by offering training, financing, state-of-the-art facilities and networking opportunities related to:

  • wireless communication and network development;
  • CMOS development and scaling;
  • the Internet of Things;
  • data processing and encryption;
  • and more.

Flanders Make

Flanders Make is the region’s strategic research center for innovation in manufacturing and industrial sectors. Closely associated with Flanders’ 5 universities, Flanders Make strives to enable the advent of intelligent systems by focusing its research on:

  • clean, energy-efficient motion systems;
  • smart monitoring systems;
  • agile and human-centered production and robotics systems;
  • and more.

VITO

This strategic research center – one of the largest multidisciplinary research centers in the world – is involved in tech research that covers cleantech, environmental and process technology, smart grids and more. VITO actively innovates in the areas of:

  • energy;
  • materials;
  • chemistry;
  • health;
  • land use.

Intelligent transport ICT incubators

There are a number of incubators responsible for ICT-focused intelligent mobility start-ups thrive in Flanders, providing them with affordable office space, administrative services and even development tools:

  • iCubes & Startup Garage (Ghent) – Provides office space and ready-to-use ICT infrastructure to start-ups in ICT areas.
  • Corda (Hasselt) – Space, events, workshops, this extensive tech campus fosters fruitful relationships and knowledge sharing between tech companies.
  • Startit@KBC – Provides workspace, training and advice to ICT entrepreneurs in sustainable growth.
  • Flanders Smart Hub – A network of tech clusters that offers incubation to start-ups and established companies in many fields of digital technologies.
  • Darwin Incubator – Provides office space, laboratory infrastructure and expertise to entrepreneurs offering innovative solutions in information systems, tech sciences and more.
  • StartupVillage – With StartupVillage, Antwerp provides affordable office space for innovative start-ups. This, in the city center near Antwerp’s main incubators and other start-up initiatives. In addition to the BlueHealth Innovation Center and a base of the imec research center for nano- and digital technology, StartupVillage is also home to CoFoundry – an incubator of the Cronos Groups that helps start-ups with a minimum viable product find growth financing. What’s more, accelerator Netwerk Ondernemen offers promising growth companies networking opportunities and access to specific expertise through its extensive network of company leaders.

Research groups and centers

Flanders is home to research groups and knowledge centers that revolve around intelligent transport, alternative energy, network technologies and ICT innovation. Here are several of these groups:

  • Energyville - an independent energy R&D center that enables new tech developments in electromobility, clean vehicle technologies and more.
  • IDLAB (UGent) – the Internet Technology and Data Science Lab focuses on advancements in state-of-the-art, high-speed circuit design for optical and wireless communication.
  • IBCN (UGent) – Internet-based Communication Networks and Services research group take a multidisciplinary approach to studying network modeling, design and evaluation, mobile & wireless networking, autonomic computing & networking and more.
  • WAVES (UGent) – the Wireless, Acoustics, Environment & Expert Systems group performs cutting-edge research in wireless communication, smart cities, energy and more.
  • Traffic Planning and Highway Engineering (KU Leuven) – this research group investigates policy analysis and transport system analysis, design, safety, accessibility and sustainability.
  • MOBI (VUB) – the Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology Research Center innovates in electromobility and socioeconomic evaluation.
  • Transport Research Institute (UHasselt) – undertakes a broad range of projects impacting emergency response, dynamic signage, transportation psychology and more.

Key organizations

These groups, coalitions and organizations help foster promising innovation and encourage knowledge-sharing in ICT areas, many of which are applicable to intelligent transportation systems:

  • VLAIO – Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship provides funding, advice, support and networking services to innovative tech companies.
  • Sirris – A research group, network driver and incubator covering various fields of ICT, Sirris explores the applications of new networking solutions to enable smart cities, intelligent transport and IoT applications.
  • Agoria – An innovation-focused support and research group that provides business development services to entrepreneurs in a wide range of tech fields.
  • FCA – The Flanders Cleantech Association is a collective of cleantech companies in the region that represents the sector’s interests, fosters knowledge-sharing and encourages cross-collaboration between enterprises.

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