In order to best carry out two of their three missions, respectively research and service to society, universities and universities of applied sciences have set up administrations in charge of the link between scientific research and civil society. In concrete terms, these administrations have the mission of facilitating collaborations between the academic world and external partners, in all their diversity: companies, associations, foundations, public services… They generally act as a one-stop shop that acts as an interface: on the one hand, they guide researchers by inviting them to meet the non-academic world; on the other hand, they receive requests from the latter and direct them to the relevant researchers. This movement is regularly characterized by strong interdisciplinarity. In addition, universities also work on the valorization of research results through various processes, including the creation of spin-offs. Through these administrations, universities contribute to local and regional development.
These administrations have various names depending on the institution concerned. For the Brussels universities, they are the Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) of the Université Saint-Louis – Brussels, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Université libre de Bruxelles, the TechTransfer of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Louvain Technology Transfer Office (LTTO) of the Université catholique de Louvain.
In the Brussels universities, this function is ensured by SynHERA on the French-speaking side and by the dedicated administrations of the Erasmushogeschool and Odisee.
The Brussels TTO-KTOs are grouped within the Research2B network, which is also a single point of contact designed to facilitate exchanges and collaborations between academia and society. Research2B is supported by Innoviris.