Agreement between Vlerick Business School and the Flemish government represents a major incentive for academic research

Philippe Haspeslagh and Ingrid LietenToday Vlerick Business School and Flemish Minister of Innovation Ingrid Lieten have signed a new agreement, which covers a period of six years, beginning in 2013 and ending in 2018. During every year of this period Vlerick Business School can count on the support of the Flemish Government in relation to the conducting of academic research.

By providing this support the Flemish government is making an important contribution to the further development of Vlerick Business School as an academic research institute. The research that takes place within the school is in line with Minister Lieten’s innovation policy for dealing with social challenges.

In fact, Vlerick attaches specific importance to multidisciplinary research into sustainable and social entrepreneurship, innovation and entrepreneurship in all its forms. In addition, it has been decided to develop research expertise in a few well-chosen sectors, such as healthcare and energy, for example. A few examples are research into the best market strategy for the cleantech industry and studies concerning the optimal deployment of the smart meter within the context of energy savings.

Minister of Innovation Ingrid Lieten is delighted with this new agreement. “We are entering into a six-year agreement with Vlerick Business School. With this innovation I have decided that, alongside the substantive provisions relating to research funding, I will take on a few specific points of interest which are perfectly in line with my policy, including diversity and gender, collaboration with other business schools and a greater focus on scientific communication”, says Minister Ingrid Lieten.

Professor Filip Roodhooft, Research Dean at Vlerick Business School: “The covenant means Vlerick can further focus on research that is not just relevant to society and the business world, but that also has a strong methodological basis and is therefore of a sufficiently high quality to be eligible for publication in top international, academic publications. Moreover, Vlerick will continue to focus on strategic collaborations with the aim of further developing its research and innovation capacity.

In concrete terms, Vlerick hopes to achieve four research objectives via the covenant.

To begin with, Vlerick wants to significantly increase the number of top international academic publications in journals with a high impact by obtaining a 25% increase in the number of articles written between now and the end of 2018. Alongside this, a new policy needs to further highlight the importance of doctoral research. In order to achieve this focus a lot of energy is put into attracting both new PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Subsequently the covenant also strives towards a greater international mobility and a more intensive collaboration with excellent national and international top researchers from other schools and from the parent universities. In concrete terms Vlerick will invite research fellows from other institutions to actively work on joint research projects. In addition, Vlerick will offer its own researchers the opportunity to develop international networks abroad and bring out joint publications. A lot of effort is being made to stimulate multidisciplinary research. Finally the covenant opens the doors to an increase in the number of successful applications to international funding bodies (e.g. international research networks, EU framework programmes, etc.).

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