alexa Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology

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Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology

Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie is a life sciences research institute, based in Flanders, Belgium, founded by the Flemish government in 1995, and became a full-fledged institute in 1996. Aim of organisation is to perform basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications and economic growth. It is a decentralised institution, working towards goal of uniting the very best researchers in teams and research departments that maintain physical ties with the Flemish universities.

Objectives of VIB are investing in technology, main focus in developing and attracting advanced technologies not just for research laboratories but also to be advantageous to the whole of Flanders. To achieve the mission and objectives, VIB concentrates on diffusing the institutional knowledge and advance technology in the entire Flemish academic and industrial community. Attracting young and high potential scientists from all around the world is another objective of VIB. In 2008, the institute received 77 projects from researchers in 21 countries.

Flemish scientists were reputed for technology advancements. They are first to discover the chemical structure and functional meaning of a gene and then of a complete genome. Their research involves with disorders such as cancer, coronaries or Alzheimer’s disease. Departments, labs and research facilities associated with VIB are Ghent University, KU Leuven, Imec Campus, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University Campus.

VIB is a research institute headed by a general assembly and a board of directors. Daily basic responsibilities are run by general management and scientific directors of research departments form a board of directors. General assembly consists of 35 members from academic, public and industrial and civil society and considered as organisations most senior body. The board of directors consists of 13 representatives from academics, industry and government who are heads of the association and represents it extra judicially.

VIB consider international nature of research teams as major characteristics of the research institute. In 2009, 45% of post-doctoral students and 42% of doctoral students hailed from a total of 56 different countries. In 2008, for every euro invested by the Flemish government in the VIB, one euro was invested by private financiers in startups originating from the Institute. Since 1996, 11 companies or organisations have been founded or cofounded by VIB, including four companies specialising in healthcare biotechnologies. 80% of VIB budget is spent on research activities and 12% is spent on technology transfer activities and stimulating the creation of new businesses. Approximately 2% of company’s budget is spent on socio-economic activities.