Scientific breakthroughs are often preceded or paralleled with developments in tools and technologies that drive the field forward. The VIB Tech Watch initiative was founded in 2008, with the aim to provide VIB a competitive advantage in life sciences, by facilitating early access to these tools and technologies in an early stage.
The Tech Watch team is continuously scouting for new, emerging technologies that can have an impact on the research of our scientists and which will boost the research and IP output at VIB. Their unique screening system allows the discovery of new technologies and start-ups early in their development. Technologies that can have a scientific impact on research performed at VIB are subsequently communicated to the VIB scientists. As such, they are privileged to have early-access to stealth technologies in their prototype phase and recently commercialized technologies. Moreover, the Tech Watch team also teams up with the VIB BD department to handle the set-up of agreements with the companies.
Funding is also available for the VIB scientists to lower the threshold to implement these new technologies in their research. Funding is subdivided in three different categories: ‘early-access fund’ for non-commercialized technologies, ‘new technologies fund’ for recently commercialized technologies and ‘Tech Development Fund’ for in-house development of new technologies within VIB. Additional information on the funding types and a model template to submit your project can be found on SPOC (VIB scientists only)
The ‘Innovation Lab’ setup has been introduced to further increase the uptake of new instruments within VIB. Additional information on the Innovation Lab and an overview on the running projects can be found here.
The Tech Watch team consist of 11 full-time team members, and an extended team including 8 group leaders (1 of each VIB department), 4 Core facility leaders, 1 BD manager and 1 IP manager. New technologies are frequently exchanged within the team, which leads to dispersing of the information across the whole institute. The Tech Watch team meets each quarter of a year to review the project applications submitted by the VIB scientists.