Durable & Sustainable Structural Materials

To define priorities and directions for Flanders in the research theme Durable and Sustainable Structural Materials, a work group was put together with a well-balanced composition of academic and industrial players:

  • Knowledge institutes: KULeuven, Sirris/SLC, UAntwerpen, UGent, VITO and VUB
  • Industry: Agfa, Bekaert, LMS, OCAS, Recticel

The following three domains were identified as clusters:

  • Hybrid structural materials
  • High performance structural materials with multi-functionality
  • Sustainable processes (for manufacturing, processing and recycling of structural materials)

The proposed scientific themes within this research area match the interest and specialization of material related industry and research organizations in Flanders and allow Flanders to specialize within strategic important themes for the future. Flanders has top-level capabilities related to structural materials, both in the research world (universities, research centers) and in industrial R&D.

Achieving significant progress and breakthroughs in durability and sustainability of high-performance structural materials is clearly of high relevance for a number of sectors:

  • Transport (automotive, rail, ship, but also aerospace)
  • Construction (residential, infrastructure)
  • Energy and Power Systems (wind energy a.o.)
  • Consumer Products
  • Machine Building

There is a clear correlation with European efforts and focus in the following Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s):

Horizon 2020 also recognizes in the theme “Smart, Green and Integrated Transport” the importance of low weight materials and structures to contribute to the European transport policy target of achieving 60% CO2 reduction by 2050.




SIM Materials Forum 2021 19/05/2021

Discover material innovations and meet up with the materials community in Flanders and beyond!
Antwerp Expo, Belgium


Next generation nano-engineered polymer hybrids: developing structural composite materials with increased durability, improved recyclability and low weight.


The SIM research program STREAM is an acronym for STRuctural Engineering materials through Additive Manufacturing: 3D printing of structural materials by increasing the knowledge base about additive manufacturing of polymers and metals, with emphasis on the material properties.

VITO Clean Vision Summit 18/02/2020

Clean chemistry, waste valorization, energy efficiency, battery management, drone technology, 3D-printing technology, preventive health, artificial intelligence and more: the innovations for making processes and products smarter and faster are appearing at a record rate.

SIM Call 16 - Call for projects

SIM Call 16 is open for project proposals fitting within the framework of any approved and/or running vertical SIM Program (see links below). This is an OPEN Call in 2018.

Call 14 - Call for Projects

This project call aimed at submitting project proposals fitting within the framework of any approved and/or running vertical SIM program. Deadline for submission was May 2nd, 2017. THIS CALL IS NOW CLOSED.

Call 13 - Call for Projects

Call 13 has been closed. 7 projects (3 SBO, 4 ICON) have been submitted and evaluation procedure is ongoing. Decision is expected in October 2016.

Synthetic by nature 02/04/2015

Exhibition "Synthetic by nature", from 2 till 26 april 2015 at Design Museum Ghent. The exhibition is an organised by LUCA School of Arts, the Composite Materials Group of the Materials Department at KULeuven and Design Museum Gent.
Design Museum Ghent

Call 12 - Call for Projects

This project call aimed at submitting IBO (ICON, Cooperatief or Cooperatief-PLUS) and SBO project proposals fitting within the framework of any approved and/or running SIM research program.

Meeting Materials: High-performance products with lightweight materials 27/05/2014

Meeting Materials 'High-performance products with lightweight materials' is organised by the Bond voor Materialenkennis, Automotive NL, M2i and SIM.
Helmond, the Netherlands