Through the European network EARTO, short for European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, VITO wants to develop its expertise on an international level. Key issues will be sharing knowledge and aligning technological developments.
EARTO is a network of 350 European research and technology organisations (RTOs). These organisations focus on intense networking, aligning and exchanging knowledge, in order to achieve higher European potential. They contribute to a more innovative and competitive European economy. Out of EARTO, AERTO (short for Associated European Research and Technology Organisations) was created. It goes one step further and aligns the research programmes of the largest European RTOs ('joint programming'). It does so for societal challenges that are too complex or too big for one single RTO. One of the challenges is the transition to a bio-based economy. In this area, VITO is a crucial player and has been cooperating with AERTO since December 2014. In particular, VITO is playing a leading role in the chemical isolation and valorisation of lignin and lignocellulose, work that reinforces the impact of its research programme on sustainable chemistry. Roger Dijkmans, manager at VITO: "The technology developed by VITO or other RTOs is meant to have a societal impact. For that purpose, structural European collaboration is needed. Organisations such as EARTO and AERTO offer a lot of support."
- Represents 350 European RTOs and 150 ,000 researchers at the European Commission and other international organisations.
- VITO is one of three Flemish members (the others are imec and i-Minds). Other members include foreign institutes such as Frauenhofer, CEA, TNO, VTT, SINTEF, SP and Technalia.