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Companies are bombarded with new technologies. Many suffer from information overload. We therefore bring companies together in an ecosystem to work on solutions to shared technological challenges. This concerns pre-competitive research that results in a new technology or application. Once the project has been completed, every company can start working with the results and translate them into a concrete product or production innovation. We define different types of research projects and also take part in externally funded research projects, both in Belgium and abroad.

The two main types of research that are set up by Flanders Make are: 

  • Strategic basic research (SBO) is challenging and innovative research with a clear perspective towards product development or production process innovation. Through the user group, companies can follow up the project for four years and submit cases to validate the results. As such, they are the co-creators of a hotbed for the technology of tomorrow.
  • Industrial applied research (ICON or interdisciplinary collaborative research), in which we bring knowledge closer to the market and translate it into concrete products or production processes within companies. These are two-year projects working on medium-term applications. Companies actively help to apply the results within their own area of expertise. 

Twice a year, we propose a list of new SBO and ICON projects in so-called "Open Calls” and make a call for cooperation towards interested companies. 

Collective research & development and collective knowledge dissemination/transfer (COOCK) 
These projects aim to accelerate the introduction of technology and knowledge in companies. We can do this by conducting cases that show the added value of this technology in a business context. In this way, we can close the gap between research results and industrial applications. 
International research
We also take open innovation across national borders. Flanders Make is a partner in several interregional and European research projects. This gives us the opportunity to co-shape a strong, prosperous and competitive European innovation landscape in which companies can grow. Most of these projects also invite companies to join.
Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH)
Flanders Make is part of a European network of digital innovation hubs. These innovation hubs are funded by regional, national or European initiatives and aim to accelerate the digital transformation of the industry in general and of SMEs in particular. Through Flanders Make, companies can thus get access to a European network.