In 2014, VITO started an internal valorisation programme, which helps researchers successfully develop and launch business concepts.
The new training programme starts with an innovative idea, which VITO researchers present to their colleagues during an ideas fair. Throughout 2014, researchers were offered several opportunities (Bootcamp@VITO, INSEAD Bootcamps or an opportunity recognition workshop) to develop their ideas into market-oriented projects. Where possible, the projects were then developed into valuable spin-offs.
Those selected for the first initiative, Bootcamp@VITO, were prepared during spring 2014 by a group from Vlerick Business School and the VITO Venture Development Team. iFlux was selected as the winner of this first initiative. In this project, researchers developed an integrated measuring instrument that measures and charts the changing flow of surface water. iFlux's purpose: more efficient and better remediation of polluted land. Other initiatives were supported by the Antwerp Management School, the French INSEAD Business School and the Flemish digital research centre iMinds. Moreover, researchers had their ideas evaluated by a jury of business experts (Deloitte Innovation, UHasselt, Microsoft Innovation Center, iMinds, ...) and venture
capitalists (Qbic, Capital-E, ...).
VITO wants to give innovative ideas and concepts all the chances they need. In addition to the new valorisation programme, it has appointed eight 'innovation spotters'. They are the first point of contact to explore possibilities for valorisation within VITO.