SIM (Strategic Initiative Materials) is a non-profit organization looking to strengthen the competitive position of the materials industry in Flanders.

We are at the service of companies, knowledge and research institutions interested in innovative materials technology for applications in the field of energy & light, durable & sustainable structural materials and nanomaterials. The recyclability and sustainability in general of these material developments are a prerequisite.

Since 1 January 2017, SIM has been recognized as one of the seven spearhead clusters in Flanders for materials.

VLAIO combilogo

We boost world class, demand driven (pre)competitive R&D funding materials research & development by strengthening the scientific base and building technology platforms with increased valorization potential in relevant areas. How do we achieve this?

Materials R&D Funding

We want to bridge the gap between basic research and industrial markets by funding demand driven projects. In fact, you can think of us as a virtual research centre supporting existing research groups.


We try to maximize the interaction between industry and knowledge centres by generating an open innovative environment for close collaboration.

One Stop Shop for Materials Related Questions

We offer a one-stop-shop service for all questions on innovative materials. We provide you with relevant info or contacts that can help you with your materials challenge.




The following document describes the principles SIM follows to ensure good governance: SIM Corporate Governance Charter


SIM is committed to a fair and inclusive working environment in which diversity is an asset. SIM nurtures a culture of mutual respect and equality, fairness and inclusion for all, regardless of background, characteristics, preferences ... SIM implements and monitors the overall diversity and inclusion plan, in line with Horizon Europe's eligibility criteria on gender equality.

Read more about our commitment here.


Philippe Vander Schelden

Philippe Vander Schelden

Program Manager

Background: innovation processes, project management, material knowledge                                                                             

(+32) 485/98.83.87

Fleur Maas

Fleur Maas

Program Manager

Background: materials research, product development, joining technology                                                                           

(+32) 473/69.53.80

José Spinnewyn - 200x300

José Spinnewyn

Program Manager

Background: materials research, industrial diamond, recyclable materials                                         

(+32) 474/55.38.58

Griet Van Cauwenberghe - 200x300

Griet Van Cauwenberghe

Program Manager

Background: Analytical Chemistry, Polymer Research, Circular economy                                                                                                               

(+32) 484/45.96.65

Dominique Joos - 200x300

Dominique Joos

Accounting Assistant

Background: accounting, events                                                                                                                                                                                                

(+32) 491/34.53.48

Sofie Rasschaert

Sofie Rasschaert

Director SIG Flam3D

Background: AM Specialist, Sales & Marketing, Product & Concept Manager                                                                              

(+32) 488/12.75.34

Fran Dendooven

Fran Dendooven

Marketing & Communications Manager SIG Flam3D

Background: Translation, Multilingual Communication

(+32) 475/66.58.67

Jorn Beeckmans

Jorn Beeckmans

Communications officer SIG Flam3D

Background: Education, Communication Science                                                                                   

(+32) 497/42.29.40

Kristof Nelis_FMV

Kristof Nelis

Coordinator Flanders Metals Valley

Background: Sales & marketing management

(+32) 484/63.00.20


The SIM Board of Directors is appointed by the General Assembly for a maximum of 5 years. Their mandate can be renewed without limits. The Board members are:

Companies involved in SIM projects and in the development of SIM’s strategy:

  • Karin Vercauteren - Agfa Materials: President
  • Christophe Liefooghe - Siemens Industry Software
  • Bart Van Der Schueren - Materialise
  • Sven Vandeputte - Ocas
  • An Van de Vel - Umicore 
  • Johan Pauwels - Deceuninck

Flemish knowledge institutions, collective centres and other (non-profit) organisations involved in SIM projects:

  • Dirk Torfs - Flanders Make

Flemish University Associations:

  • Marlies Van Bael - Universiteit Hasselt: Vice-President
  • Ann Aerts - Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Annick Hubin - Universiteit Brussel
  • Nele De Belie - Universiteit Gent
  • Karel Van Acker - Universiteit Leuven

Sector organization “Agoria”:

  • Kevin Poelmans - Agoria


  • Annie Renders - VLAIO - Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen