How is a project proposal evaluated?

Project proposals within SIM programs are essentially evaluated according to standard procedure at Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen.

Evaluation criteria

All projects are evaluated on two sets of criteria: the scientific/technological quality and the valorization potential in Flanders. The precise evaluation criteria, and the weight of the criteria in the evaluation, depend on the type of project.

  • In case of an SBO project, the research subject should be much more generic, with a broad valorization potential
  • For an ICON or O&O project, the valorization potential / business case(s) should be much better defined and easier to express in specific numbers.

For more information on the O&O evaluation criteria, we refer to the website of Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen ( and to the SIM documents box, selection "project submission".

Important remark: a SIM project is part of a bigger picture, the research program. Therefore the industrial roadmap of the program is taken into account when evaluating the project proposal. The project proposal has to make clear how this individual project will contribute to the industrial roadmap of the program.

Evaluation procedure

Eligible project proposals are reviewed by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen, acting on behalf of the Hermesfond, and SIM. As described above, evaluation criteria are conform the SBO and O&O criteria of Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen. The project consortium is invited to orally explain the project proposal and answer questions from the experts, appointed by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen. Instead of a live discussion, Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen can opt for a written evaluation procedure.

Based on the advice and input of the experts, the Hermesfonds decides whether the proposal is acceptable for funding or not.

Within the project portfolio accepted for funding by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen, the SIM Board of Directors makes a final selection based on the SIM strategic objectives (Key Performance Indicators) and the available budget.