Sector(s) of expertise
Climate change, food security, resource scarcity, sustainable energy, ageing population… VITO’s research agenda focuses on the major societal challenges we are facing today. The fields of expertise of VITO initiate a societal transition. That is why VITO combines sustainability and transition throughout its research programs, and is committed to maximize the valorization of VITO’s research results.
As an independent and customer-oriented research organization, VITO provides innovative technological solutions and offers scientifically based advice and support to encourage sustainable development and to reinforce the economic and social structures in Flanders. VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organization in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today.
VITO provides innovative and high-quality solutions, whereby large and small companies can gain a competitive advantage, and advises industry and governments on determining their policy for the future. VITO has 750 highly-qualified employees who work on international projects all around the world. VITO’s headquarters are located in Mol, Belgium, and the company has a subsidiary in China. The total turnover of VITO amounted to about 140 million euros in 2014.
VITO focuses on five different research programs: sustainable chemistry, energy, health, materials management and land use. Each programme builds up a strong base of knowledge and skill, with added value for industry and society. The result is new and innovative research and a comprehensive range of scientific services. In VITO's five areas of expertise, a societal transition is taking place or is urgently needed. Smart grids, intensive re-use of resources, a bio-based economy, all these developments require new and better sustainable technologies, as well as a change in mindset. That is why VITO is working hard on sustainability and transition thinking as binding factors between the five research programs.
More and more companies are finding their way to eco-efficiency: they combine environmental profits with company profits. They achieve that by, among other things, re-evaluating their product design, optimizing their processes, and re-using their waste products. Independent advice from VITO supports them in all these domains. As an expert in energy, environment and materials, VITO (co-)developed important innovations and follows up on all international innovations. VITO combines profound knowledge with a multi-disciplinary approach. Collaboration among different research fields often leads to unique solutions that would otherwise never become visible from a one-sided approach.
VITO is an important research partner for local, Flemish, federal, and European governments. It delivers the necessary input for scientifically sound decisions by governmental decision takers. It gives government institutions the resources to put their policies in place in an efficient and goal-oriented way. It also develops barometers that measure the results of a policy and that quickly reveal where adjustments are necessary.
VITO works closely together with companies, governments, universities and other research institutions, both in Belgium and abroad. This leads to various common international research programs, publications and communications at international conferences and symposia. VITO also plays an active part in Europe such as in the Framework Programs of the European Union. In this way, VITO brings the most authoritative scientific position of Flanders into the entire European knowledge economy. Besides all this, VITO carries out its own strategic research in different technological fields.