Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel


New projects at SMIT (January 2023 – March 2023)

A new year starts at imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel starts with the launch of new projects.  In this news item, we summarize new projects from January 2023 till March 2023 for you. Enjoy the read!


CRESCINE: Increasing the international competitiveness of the film industry in small markets

CRESCINE’s overall objective is to enhance the competitiveness and cultural diversity of the European film industry. This will be achieved by understanding, engaging with, empowering, and ultimately transforming European small markets through original research and piloting the results in 7 countries. The countries within our specific scope are Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium (Flanders), Croatia, and Portugal.

Read more about the project

Go to the project website


Tim Raats participated in a panel on Crescine that was part of the Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) and provided an excellent opportunity to present the ambitious objectives and different angles of the project. You can read more about this panel in the article of cineuropa.


Urban ReLeaf: Citizen-powered data ecosystems for inclusive and green urban transitions

Urban ReLeaf aims at delivering citizen-powered data ecosystems to support cross-sectoral innovation and political agenda-setting for climate change adaptation and green infrastructure planning in urban environments. The innovation will be underpinned by co-creation efforts and inclusive citizen participation, cutting-edge technologies to support citizen observations, as well as robust and quality-assured workflows for the integration and visualisation of the data in authoritative data streams and platforms.

Read more about the project and the role of SMIT


CLIMAS: Climate change citizens engagement toolbox for dealing with societal resilience

Climate change is one of the most critical issues to tackle today as it is foreseen to have detrimental social, environmental, and economic impacts in the near future. The ambition of the CLIMAS project is to support a transformation to climate resilience by offering an innovative problem-oriented climate adoption Toolbox, co-designed together with stakeholders by applying a values-based approach, design thinking methods and citizen science mechanisms. It is expected that the use of the Toolbox will anticipate possible tensions, points of controversy and dilemmas vis-a-vis the adaptation to resilience – therefore enabling empowerment and engagement strategies that produce a society “resilient by design”.

More information on the project and the role of SMIT


UP2030: Urban Planning and design ready for 2030

UP2030 aims to guide cities through the socio-technical transitions required to meet their climate neutrality ambitions. It will do so by enabling a quantum leap from a ´business as usual´, project-by-project decarbonisation approach to a vision-driven, strategy-based approach that is anchored on sound projects and renewed policy development. The approach uses urban planning and design as a vehicle to create better connected, more compact, net-zero neighbourhoods in the city pilots – i.e. neighbourhoods that promote liveability and, through designing with intent, promote mitigation action.

More information on the project and the role of SMIT


Scientific monitoring and research of the ‘Everyone Digital’ action plan

This research assignment covers the scientific monitoring and research within the framework of the ‘Everyone Digital’ action plan. The objective of the assignment, which was commissioned by ABB (the Flemish department of domestic governance), is threefold:

  1. The annual monitoring of the various pathways within the Everyone Digital action plan and measures the outcomes of the rolled-out pathways.
  2. Set-up of a short-term policy studies in response to the questions that arose during the corona crisis, e.g. regarding the safeguarding of the right to education, work, care and, related to this, the equal opportunities of everyone in the digital Flanders and Brussels of today and tomorrow.
  3. Inform local authorities and organizations working on digital inclusion in Flanders.

More information on the project and the role of SMIT


Study on the Digital Inclusion in the City of Brussels

The City of Brussels wants to strengthen and expand existing digital inclusion efforts by developing a structured action plan based on a diagnosis of the situation on its territory.  With the aim to support the City of Brussels with this objective, SMIT was awarded a research study with as main objectives:

  • Understand the extent of digital inequalities in the City of Brussels, its different facets, causes and consequences;
  • Identifying ways for the City of Brussels to combat digital inequalities;
  • Developing a concrete action plan with guidelines for 2030.

Read more about the project and the role of SMIT a new knowledge centre to support Brussels businesses to think more digital and sustainable

Brussels is now home to its own European digital innovation hub: The urban initiative should help Brussels businesses in their transition to using innovative technologies and artificial intelligence. VUB, ULB, Sirris, Agoria and BeCentral will collaborate in this project to guide companies with advice on finance, education, skills training and improving processes and products or services by applying AI or other emerging technologies. Sustainability and the environment are central. SMIT will work on the creation of a Twin Transition (digitalization & sustainability) framework, impact estimation and measurement tools and a dashboard tool.

Read more about the project and the role of SMIT

Photo by Eden Constantino on Unsplash