25-05-2021

At the initiative of Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits, the Flemish government is strengthening the Flemish top research center EnergyVille with an additional funding of 3 million euros per year. EnergyVille has been in existence for 10 years and is a leader in the field of research into solar energy, battery storage, electric grids, energy efficient buildings and neighbourhoods... Around 400 researchers are linked to the research collaboration and another 20 will be added. "This strong research center has everything it needs to become the European innovation hub around sustainable energy, and we want to fully support that." said Minister Crevits. 


EnergyVille, based in Genk, is a research collaboration between KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the field of renewable energy and intelligent energy systems. EnergyVille was started in 2009 and now has about 400 researchers in its ranks. Minister Crevits is strengthening their sustainable energy research with 3 million euros annually. EnergyVille will thus receive its own allocation in addition to the funding from KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt.

The future will be sustainable. As a top research center in Europe, EnergyVille works on solar energy, battery storage, electric grids, thermal systems and energy for buildings and districts, among other things. We are now reinforcing that energy research with three million euros to scientifically underpin the necessary sustainable energy transition. - Hilde Crevits

Flemish top research center in the field of renewable energy

EnergyVille has set ambitious goals to position itself even more strongly as an excellent research center for the energy transition in Europe. Cooperation with research partners, companies and governments is central. In this way, important European funding can be attracted to Flanders. EnergyVille will thus become a pole of attraction for Flemish and international top researchers. The additional funding from Minister Crevits will provide some 20 additional researchers. The close collaboration with the Flemish spearhead clusters will strengthen the innovative power of Flemish companies and ensure economic growth and sustainable value creation in Flanders.

The energy system of the future will rely on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy and will also increasingly be produced, stored and consumed locally. Digital technologies are needed to better coordinate the supply and demand of sustainable energy. For example, energy services can be digitally controlled and smartly linked to each other. EnergyVille will therefore also invest in the expansion of a digital platform that companies can use to test and further optimize their business cases.

In addition to technological innovations, the energy transition also needs the necessary support in society. EnergyVille also wants to take on an important social role here by regularly communicating about the new developments in the energy transition to both professional organizations, the media and the general public. Training and retraining of the necessary employees for the industry is a final important point of attention.

Jubilee and new General Manager

The boost in research comes just on the 10th anniversary of the EnergyVille research collaboration.

We have evolved over the last ten years into a real research collaboration that unites most of the energy research in Flanders - current General Manager Ronnie Belmans.

Belmans will be succeeded as General Manager by Gerrit Jan Schaeffer in early June. Schaeffer is one of the founding fathers of EnergyVille and has been Group Director Energy at VITO for eight years. Schaeffer: "Innovation and technological developments play a key role in achieving the climate objectives. EnergyVille wants to roll out these innovative technologies together with interested partners at Thor Park."

In doing so, EnergyVille hopes to accelerate the energy transition together with companies, industry and the government to achieve an energy efficient, CO2-neutral and sustainable society where comfort and affordability for citizens are central. "We have a lot of assets in our hands to lead the way in the energy transition together with industry and government. Let's make the most of them," concludes Gerrit Jan Schaeffer. "With this new investment from the Flemish Government, I want to ensure that we will be able to leverage our strengths even more in the field of energy research and innovation," concludes Minister Crevits.

We have a lot of assets in our hands to lead the way in the energy transition together with industry and government. Let's make the most of them -  Future General Manager Gerrit Jan Schaeffer