Cluster Tours

Materials Tour

Cluster or IBN Description


SIM contributes to the competitive position of the materials industry in Flanders by means of:

  • strengthening the scientific base and building technology platforms in relevant areas, and

  • by generating an open innovative environment for close collaboration between industry & academia.

Therefore we do:

  • Focus on world class, demand driven precompetitive materials research.

  • Focus on a limited number of research themes: innovative materials technology for applications in energy, in durable structural materials and recyclable materials.

  • Developing Nanotechnology and Advanced Modelling and Characterization Technologies as important enablers.

  • Maximize interaction between industry and knowledge centers within the research programs in which the projects are executed in an open innovation environment.

  • Install unique technology platforms with scientific excellence with increased valorization potential in different market sectors.

Therefore we organize SIM as:

  • A non-profit organization.

  • A virtual research center supporting existing research groups.

  • A strategic research center governed by industry and academia.

For more information: see here.


09:00: departure from FMCCA, Antwerp

10:15: arrival Zwijnaarde Sciene Park (SIM)

10:15-12:00: visits on site

12:00-13:30: lunch, acquaintance and matchmaking (Link21)

13:30-14:30: transfer to Antwerp

14:30-15:30: visit on site

  • Umicore Hoboken

15:30: departure to Antwerp, FMCCA


The matchmaking event is organised by Enterprise Europe Network, in collaboration with Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), Flanders Investment and Trade and TCI Network. The matchmaking event with bilateral B2B meetings during 12 cluster tours. Participants are free to register for a cluster tour or only attend the matchmaking.

More info and registration for the matchmaking:


Case of SIM: the Mares program

The MaRes Program is about recycling of Materials from solid and liquid industrial process Residues and aims at creating and demonstrating an operational, flexible toolbox to recover metals and valorize residual matrix into building materials.

The Supermex project (finished in 2018) developed knowledge for two target areas:

  • an effective model for the plasma fuming process of Nyrstar’s goethite and Umicore’s lead blast furnace slag.

  • the process of inorganic polymerization and the subsequent foaming/aeration of the cleaned slag resulting in a novel building material with high strength and insulation value.

The project built a demo staircase made of very strong inorganic polymer (aka: geopolymers) made of purified slags. 

This success, together with the growing push for more eco-friendly alternatives for Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) triggered the start of 3 other Mares projects on applications of geopolymers made from metal slags

  • GHRANTE: geopolymers for roads and tunnels

  • TOGETHER: corrosion resistant geopolymers for applications in agriculture and industry

  • 3D2BGREEN: geopolymers for (3D printed) breakwater units

Other Mares projects also contribute to a more circular economy:

  • ASH-CEM: Novel Cements & Building Materials from Incineration Ashes.

  • Get-A-Met: Extraction technology for critical Metals and Metalloids from industrial wastewaters

  • DUSC: Concrete with partial replacement of OPC with modified iron slag.


Members of SIM / Companies



Early 2005 Flamac was founded by three leading industrial companies with important research and development activities in Flanders together with Agoria Vlaanderen. Financial support was provided by the three companies and by the Flemish government.
In the meantime Flamac has become a top research centre in high-throughput methodologies. Our mission is to keep developing top competences in HTE, give technological advice and perform collective as well as contract research towards the materials and chemical industry. In this way, innovative research for new materials, their properties and applications can be accelerated and broadened for our customers.

In 2009, Flamac has been integrated in the Strategic Initiative Materials in Flanders (SIM), showing the importance of high-throughput technologies in materials research.

Since 2013 Flamac is also ISO 9001:2008 certified.

For more information: see here.

UMICORE NV – Research

Today Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group with about 10,400 employees and revenues (excluding metal) of € 3.3 billion (turnover of € 13.7 billion) in 2018.

Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean technologies, such as emission control catalysts, materials for rechargeable batteries and recycling. Umicore ’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.

For more information: see here.

Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research - Ghent University

Our research institute is embedded within the Department of Structural Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University. Our expertise is related to concrete structures: structural aspects, concrete technology and environmental aspects.
The Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research is involved in

•     teaching and tutoring of civil and architectural engineering students

•     fundamental and industrial/practical oriented research

•     research and testing for the construction industry, certification organisms and public authorities

Moreover, the laboratory has a quality control system according to EN ISO 17025 (BELAC no. 220) and is recognized by the Federal Government.

For more information: see here.

Laboratory for research on Composites - Ghent University


Research areas: Impact , Fatigue, Inspection and Monitoring, Mechanics, Advanced Finite Elements Modelling

For more information: see here.

Dress code

Safety shoes needed for Magnel Laboratory (several pairs available on the spot, if you have safety shoes of your own, please bring them).