Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

About us

What we can do for you

SMIT stands for Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology. Our research group is part of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and imec. We offer the following services.

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Living Labs

Involving people in innovation and introducing innovations outside the lab

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Market & Policy

Making digital innovations compliant with existing policies and informing policy for sustainable innovation

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Privacy, Ethics & Literacy

Integrating public values into the design and use of innovations

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Citizen Science

Involving citizens in scientific endeavours

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Organizational Structure

In addition to the methodological expertise mentioned above, our researchers are dedicated to 3 smart application domains: Media, Cities, and Health & Work.

Highlights in our history

A not so exhaustive series of events in the history of SMIT

1990 — SMIT is born!

SMIT is founded by Jean-Claude Burgelman.

1996 — Caroline Pauwels becomes director ad interim Jean-Claude Burgelman takes on a position at the European Commission.

2000 — Caroline Pauwels becomes director

Guiding SMIT safely through wild rivers, and fascinating passes for many years to come.

2004 — SMIT joins IBBT

The Institute for Broadband Technology makes it its mission to join academic research groups, authorities, companies and non-profit organizations in doing research and development together.

2005 — Before there were new offices, there were containers..

SMIT is temporarily ‘stored in containers’, as our new offices in the Pleinlaan are being prepared, which we later occupy in 2007!

2011 — Welcome, Digital Society, and New Media and Society in Europe

SMIT teams up with research groups MICT (UGent) en Mintlab (former CUO, KULeuven) to form the Digital Society Department at iMinds as partners in social science. In the same year, the international master, New media and society in Europe, is started at the VUB.

2012 — IBBT becomes iMinds

Technology alone is not the answer to tackle societal challenges. The new name iMinds wants to clearly convey that message.

2013 part 1 — Transitions at the VUB

The department of communication sciences, which SMIT is part of, becomes part of the Faculty of economic sciences.

2013 part 2 — Sharing media wisdom

The knowledge center for media literacy ( becomes a reality.

2016 — Great changes, great expectations

Caroline Pauwels is elected VUB University Rector. Pieter Ballon becomes our new director. In the same year iMinds merges with imec.

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