Better Flemish research Information

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31 January 2014

By approving the new agreements between the Flemish universities and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, the Flemish government supports a new form of stimulus funding for the exchange of research information.

In the past, the six Flemish universities received an annual grant to deliver biannually their research information (projects , researchers, research ... ) to  the FRIS research portal (, where the information is online available for the general public. So the actuality rate was rather low and the data were collected ad hoc from the various systems which demanded a lot of extra work for the universities.

With the new form of stimulus funding, the universities are funded once to build a service oriented architecture, so the data can be retrieved directly from the processes and become visible almost contemporarily. To build this architecture, the institutions must follow a predetermined route. By achieving interim milestones they get paid a portion of the total grant. This represents a major administrative simplification: the information comes directly from the original source and data are not requested frequently again. More actual and better data make measuring of research output easier: the ratio of the budget that the government spends on research and its output.

The Flemish government is strongly in favor of the 'open data' principle. Research financed by public funds, must be totally accessible in public.

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