Open Science in Belgium


The story of Open Science projects and initiatives in Belgium

  • 2007
  • Berlin Declaration on Open Access
  • A national conference was held in February 2007, bringing together the major stakeholders in Belgium regarding research. Fourteen university rectors, the Ministers of Science of Flanders and Wallonia and the president of the Flemish Council of Schools for Higher Education signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The President of the Science Policy Office signed the Declaration the following year

  • 2006-2009
    The DRIVER projects

    The DRIVER projects have been instrumental in developing OA awareness across the Belgian scientific community.It expanded the development of a distributed infrastructure that would enable enhanced interoperability of metadata and, to establish a cohesive, pan-European infrastructure of Digital Repositories.

  • 2007 and onwards
    Immediate deposit – optional access mandates

    In 2007 the Université de Liège adopted the first Belgian ID/OA mandate (immediate deposit – optional access). Ghent University followed in 2009.  L’Université Catholique de Louvain has adopted this model as well as from January 1st 2013, other universities followed.

  • 2010 and onwards

    In 2010 the DRIVER projects were succeeded by OpenAIRE: Open Acces Infrastructure for Research in Europe. OpenAIRE supports the Euopean Commission’s Open Science policies with a technical infrastructure and a human network. Ghent University becomes the national open access Desk for Belgium (NOAD) and coordinates region west.

  • 2011 Open Access Belgium

    Open Access Belgium is the informal network of Open Access enthusiasts in the Belgian research organisations. Since 2015 Open Access Belgium is a working group of Open Knowledge Belgium.

  • 2012
  • Brussels Declaration on Open Access
  • On 22 October 2012, the government representatives sign the Brussels Declaration on Open Access, signed by Ministers Paul Magnette, Ingrid Lieten and Jean-Marc Nollet (English, French and Dutch version). Following the Brussels Declaration on Open Access the EWI organized two follow-up workshops, one with the focus on Open Access and one focussing on Open Data.

  • 2019
    Flemish Open Science Board

    In 2019 the Flemish Open Science Board emerged: it will unite Flemish stakeholders in a shared vision for the future with regard to Open Science and EOSC, and, supported by technical working groups, advises the policy on steps to be taken to fully integrate Flanders into the international Open Science landscape

  • 2019
    First EOSC event

    On the 21st of November 2019, the first Belgian EOSC event “Belgian Open Science EOSC Initiatives” was organized by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Flemish and Federal Authorities. Bringing these different stakeholders together and provide a platform for discussion is important for the connection of Belgian research to EOSC. The main objective of this seminar was to promote exchanges between all Belgian partners in EOSC projects and the Executive Board Working Groups.

The Belgian Research landscape

Major research funders

  • : BELSPO Belgian Science
  • FNRS Fonds (National) de la Recherche Scientifique
  • : FWO, the Research Foundation Flanders
  • INNOVIRIS: Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation
  • : IWT, the government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology
  • : IMinds is Flanders’ digital research & entrepreneurship hub.
  • : investments in research infrastructure
  • Koning Boudewijnstichting
  • BOF “Special Research Funds” are allocated annually by the Flanders Government to the universities, supporting fundamental research activities.

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