Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel


New projects at SMIT (October 2022 – December 2022)

Between October and December 2022, several projects where launched in imec-SMIT, VUB. Are you curious what these projects are about? Read more in this blogpost.


PSM-AP: Comparative research project on Public Service Media in the Age of Platforms across six countries.

Public service media (PSM) organisations have to compete with global streaming services (e.g. Netflix and YouTube), for audiences, revenue and talent. They have had to develop new on-demand services and online content that can only be delivered through the online systems owned by global platforms such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

The PSM-AP project asks how PSM organisations, and the regulators and policymakers that legislate for and enforce their remits, are adapting to this new platform age, and how their responses might be altering the social and cultural values of PSM and its ability to operate in the public interest. It focuses on television, which remains at the heart of PSM. It asks how the new environment within which PSM organisations are operating might affect the values that underpin the production and distribution of TV programmes by PSM organisations, and the policy debates and regulatory structures that shape the remits and structures within which PSM organisations operate.

The project will compare data gathered within and across six countries and 12 PSM organisations: Belgium (RTBF, VRT), Canada (CBC), Denmark (DR, TV 2), Italy (RAI), Poland (TVP), UK (BBC, Channel 4, S4C, ITV, Channel 5).

Tim Raats of imec-SMIT, VUB is part of the consortium of the PSM-AP project, together with Catherine Johnson (project leader, University of Huddersfield, UK), Hanne Bruun (Aarhus University, Denmark) and Michal Glowacki (University of Warsaw, Poland).

Read more about the project on the website of


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

Bram Lievens, Carina Veeckman, Dorottya Varga and Laura Temmerman of imec-SMIT VUB have been awarded a EU grant as part of the new consortium entitled: Urban ReLeaf.

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.

Curious to see how Urban ReLeaf will show the pathway to the 3 D’s ‘data-driven decision-makings’ in support of the European Green Deal and Sustainable Development Goals keeping CITIES resilient, liveable, and accessible for all?

Read more about the project on the website of


FWO SBO project Serendipity Engine

Last month, the SBO project Serendipity Engine has been launched. This is a four-year research project funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), coordinated by SMIT and a collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Ghent University, University of Antwerp, and imec. The aim of the project is to support societal stakeholders in designing recommender systems to foster serendipity in public contexts.

More information can be found on the project website.


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