Head of Brussels office appointed
Kristof Vlaeminck is appointed head of the University of Bergen’s Brussels office. He will take an active part in making more UiB scientists succeed in achieving EU funding.
”Horizon 2020 can seem overwhelming, but one of my main tasks will be to aid scientists in the application process,” says Kristof Vlaeminck.
The University of Bergen (UiB) opened its Brussels office in the autumn of 2015. The office will increase UiB’s engagement and presence in the EU capital, as well as offer assistance to researchers in need of information, building networks, or establishing partnerships.
Now, Kristof Vlaeminck has signed a contract with UiB, officially beginning as head of the office in May 2016.
Vlaeminck’s most important contribution will be informing UiB researchers of the great possibilities Horizon 2020 has to offer. Horizon 2020 is the EU’s largest research programme ever.
Vlaeminck has an extended network both in the EU system and research environments.
”One of my other tasks will be to establish connections between UiB scientists and potential partners, creating a basis for new and productive projects,” he says.
As well as the daily operation of the office, Vlaeminck will counsel UiB leaders on the politics of research in the EU.
Hiring a person with an extended network as well as knowledge of the workings of the EU has been important, according to Rector of UiB, Dag Rune Olsen.
”As Vlaeminck gets to know UiB as an organisation, we will have a contact in Brussels who will be an important contributor to making EU grants find their way to Bergen,” says Dag Rune Olsen.
Vlaeminck has experience from both research and research support, and is presently National Contact Point for FP7 as well as Belgian delegate to the Horizon 2020 Programme Committee configuration for Secure Societies.
Solving societal challenges
Vlaeminck thinks UiB’s priority areas are in line with the priorities of Horizon 2020.
”This is a horizontal programme, with big possibilities of collaborations across disciplines. Finding partners can be difficult, but I hope to help,” he says.
Planning visits to Bergen
To get to know the university and its researchers and staff, Vlaeminck will visit Bergen this June.
”It certainly will not be my last visit. I wish to be a familiar face at UiB, and make it clear that researchers can contact me for help. This promises to be exciting, and I think we can achieve something great together,” he says.
The Brussels office is a cooperation between the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and SINTEF, the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia. Initially, it will be a three-year project.
According to statistics given by the Research Council of Norway, the University of Bergen has the greatest application approval rate for the EU programme Horizon 2020 among universities in Norway. Horizon 2020 is the world’s largest programme for research and innovation.