Science pushes the boundaries of our knowledge. The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) is the agency that supports ground-breaking fundamental and strategic research at the universities of the Flemish Community. The FWO also stimulates cooperation between the Flemish universities and other research institutes.
Fundamental scientific research is focussed on expanding knowledge about human beings and their environment. As the level of knowledge of our society grows, so does the quality of life in general and the quality of training in particular. Young people are thus provided with every opportunity to deploy their talents in a broad array of disciplines.
Research financed by FWO, specially Strategic Basic Research, also contains an important step in the valorisation of scientific breakthroughs.
In the long term, such a high level of knowledge in combination with the resulting human capital pave the way for targeted and applied research, which has also a policy-supporting role. Decisions in economic or social domains can then also be influenced by the work of excellent research groups. This is not surprising, as ground-breaking research may lie at the heart of solutions to the key challenges facing our society today (environment, mobility, health, etc.). Science is the driver of innovation.
Fundamental research seldom leads to short-term economic or social valorisation. It is, however, essential for ensuring our welfare and well-being in the long term. That is why the FWO is dependent on government funding. A balanced distribution of resources between targeted and non-targeted research is required.
With the financing of strategic research in the broadest sense, the FWO takes an important step to valorisation.
Non-governmental 'research councils' are a tradition in Europe. The FWO, too, is a member of the European Research Council (ERC) and involved in various European research initiatives.
The Flemish Supercomputer Centre (VSC) is a virtual centre making supercomputer infrastructure available for both the academic and industrial world. This centre is managed by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) in partnership with the five Flemish university associations
More information can be found on the FWO website