SIM provides funding for materials R&D to demand-driven projects with the aim of advancing the materials industry in Flanders. Our focus lies on identifying opportunities and assisting consortia in establishing innovation projects, as well as on support and valorization opportunities. We work with integrated research programs consisting of several projects, within well-defined materials research themes. The research programs are carried out by a combined consortium of industrial and research partners working in close collaboration.


You have a project idea for a new development in the materials domain? Contact us! Here's how we proceed to help you:

SIM diagram project genesis

Important remark: companies that are partner in a research program pay an annual program contribution fee. Knowledge institutions do not have to pay the program fee but need to be a SIM-member.

The program contribution fee depends on the size of the company and whether the company is a SIM member or not. These are the current contribution fees (2018)*:

Large companies € 9750 € 8250
SMEs € 1200 € 825

*Please note that the SIM General Assembly has the authority to change the contribution fees. We aim to provide the most up-to-date information on this website, but please contact us if you have any question.

Why participate in SIM programs?

  • Access to SIM earmarked budget for program related projects
  • Build-up of knowledge and access rights on that knowledge in a domain relevant for your business
  • Networking with the program parties
  • Program management carried out by program coordinator in collaboration with SIM
  • Representation & vote in the Program Steering Committee and Program IP Board
    • steering/selection of future project domains
    • roadmap exercises
    • front row seat on newest developments & innovations in program domain
  • Scouting and road-mapping assisted & coordinated by program manager & SIM

Good to know

In case an interesting materials related project idea does not fit into an existing SIM program, SIM can check if it can be submitted as an intercluster project (which requires support by another cluster).

If the project idea fits in with a completely new direction for material innovation, SIM may consider launching a new PROGRAM. Please note that this is not a simple process. Should you have such an idea, please contact SIM. The process then occurs as follows:

How we work_4_web_long

The decision process for supporting research programs consists of a two-step evaluation. In the first step, the program level is evaluated. In the second step, projects can be submitted in approved programs:

1. A program Call is opened:

A program call is opened for submitting program proposals. The program proposal contains the general outline of the technology roadmap, the valorization potential, the composition of the consortium and a brief summary of the projects in the pipeline. Eligible program proposals are evaluated by a group of international experts and a decision is made by the SIM Board of Directors whether or not to proceed.

2. The program proposal is approved:

The consortium can now submit detailed project proposals that follow the regular VLAIO procedure, after which again a decision is made by the SIM Board of Directors to fund the project or not. A project proposal contains a detailed work plan and task schedules for all participants, the detailed budget and the valorization route of the results specifically obtained in this project.