VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, is an independent and customer-oriented research organisation, providing innovative technological solutions as well as scientifically based advice and support in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development. VITO focuses on five research programmes: chemistry, energy, health, materials and land use. With a staff of 750 highly qualified collaborators in a diversity of disciplines, VITO is in these domains a major player internationally.
VITO is an important research partner for industries as well as for governments and institutions at the local, regional, national, European and global level. It provides scientifically sound input required by governmental and institutional decision makers for putting policies in place in an efficient and goal-oriented manner. It also develops indicators measuring the results of policies, that quickly reveal when and where adjustments are needed.
VITO works closely together with companies, governments, universities and other research institutions, both in Belgium, Europe and beyond. More details on VITO can be found at www.vito.be.
The work on GeoFleX is carried out by the Team Spatially-Dynamic Modelling, supported by colleagues from the Environmental Modelling Unit as well as the Smart Energy & Built environment Unit and the Separation and Conversion Technology Unit.
The Spatially-Dynamic Modelling (RDM) team develops spatially explicit decision support systems based on integrated spatially-dynamic models operating at high resolution as well as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The main activities include:
The policy instruments developed by the RDM team are intended to provide policy makers, governments, businesses and stakeholders with scientifically rooted and immediately usable information in the field of land use, comprehensive planning, environmental management, emission modelling, energy modelling, watershed management, integrated coastal zone management, flood risk analysis and other topics requiring spatially-dynamic analyses.
In VITO’s structure, the RDM team is an integral part of the Environmental Modelling Unit.
In the Environmental Modelling Unit (RMA) some 50 researchers work on the exploration and prediction of the evolution of environmental resources that become increasingly scarce: air, water, energy and land. They use various types of foresight techniques and computer models to assess the state of the system as a function of time and place and to value it economically. The spatial aspect is central. The computer models are based on state-of-the-art expertise from various fields and on the latest developments in ICT. The investigations in the Environmental Modelling Unit focus on four themes, namely:
The Smart Energy & Built environment Unit (SEB) consists of some 50 researchers providing scientific substance to the transition to a sustainable society. The research mainly finds its application in policy advice to regional, national and international authorities amongst which the European Commission. The research focuses on four themes, namely:
The SEB unit has become an integral part of EnergyVille, which unites the research of KU Leuven, VITO and imec related to renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. Energyville examines the economic, technological and behavioural aspects of the current and future energy system and advices stakeholders with respect to expected changes on the short and long-term.
The team Biomass sustainable transition of the Separation and Conversion Technology Unit (SCT) focuses on the potential of using biomass in a transition to a more sustainable energy (bio-energy) and material production (bio-based economy / green chemistry). Replacing fossil fuels by bio-based sources remains a true challenge because of four important obstacles. These are the main lines of research of the team: