Victoris stands for ‘Valorisation Centre for Technological Optimization, Research and Innovation in Sport’. It is one of the valorisation centres of the Industrial Research Fund (IOF in Flemish). The IOF manages the fundings for valorization oriented research at Ghent University and its associated University Colleges. The fund is subsidized by the Flemish Government.
What's the history of Victoris?
Victoris was founded in 2008 as an Industrial Research Fund consortium with the objective to facilitate transfer of knowledge between the Ghent University Association and the field of sports. It was managed by Roel Vaeyens. Its major accomplishment was the spin-off SpartaNova, a spin-off of Ghent University in collaboration with the Brussels University. The main goal of the spin-off is to combine the knowledge and expertise of internationally leading scientists in sports injury prevention and performance monitoring in an online application, thereby bringing the latest scientific insights into practice.
Is Victoris a commercial organization?
It is not. It´s a cluster of researchers managed by a sports technology & business developer that is paid by the Flemish government. The main goal is to connect science with sports and business in order to create win-win-win situations: research leading to practical applications that benefit the sports sector and has the potential to create jobs.
What is the Industrial Research Fund?
The Industrial Research Fund provides a supporting framework for collaboration between the Ghent University Association and industry, through the Industrial Liaison Network. This consists of a number of business development centers that group complementary research departments by application area or domain of expertise. Victoris is the one operating within the sports sector. Check a video about this here.
Each center is responsible for technology transfer within its area of competence. A center is administered by a business development manager who can act as your direct point of contact for industrial partnerships: research, services, collaborative research, or IP licensing.
The governing body of the fund is the IOF-council. This council consists of expert-members from Ghent University, the University Colleges and the industry. It advises on the allocation of financial means for strategic research with an economic outcome.
What are possible ways to collaborate?
This can be done in various forms. On the level of research: we set up industrial collaborations or partnerships from short-term contracts to long-term projects. Concerning valorization projects that are based on Ghent University know-how, we seek partners and investors in order to translate these insights into new products and services. On the level of direct services to athletes, clubs, etc., we offer professional advice and testing for both performance, rehab as injury prevention purposes. We do this in close collaboration with the Sports Medical Centre of the Ghent University Hospital. We are also open for collaborations on the level of event organization in the area of sports innovation and technology.
What costs should I take in mind when collaborating with Victoris?
This is very dependent on the type of collaboration, the amount of time needed, etc. Different collaboration schemes are available. Victoris will help you to define and choose the best framework to come to the most cost- and time-efficient solution. We prefer to individualize each offer based on your needs.
How is dealt with confidentiality and intellectual property (IP) rights within collaborations?
We take this very serious. Although we strongly believe in trustful relationships between partners, we are used to work with non-disclosure forms to guarantee full protection of the IP. Furthermore, we are in close contact with our universities´ Tech Transfer office.
What´s the relationship with the Tech Transfer department of the Ghent University?
The Ghent University Tech Transfer office manages the intellectual property of the university, drives the use of that intellectual property through the creation of spin-offs and licensing, and supports the Ghent University research community in creating research collaborations with industry. A team of specialists (business lawyers, IP advisors and attorneys, business developers and investment managers) all work together to offer a one-stop shop office that facilitates collaboration between the Ghent University and the business community. For Victoris, Kristof De Mey acts as the direct link between the researchers, the company or start-up and the Tech Transfer department.
What´s the link with other Industrial Research Fund consortia at Ghent University?
For others than Victoris´ focus activities, we collaborate with related consortia and business developers from e.g. Composites and Chemtech (on materials, Ilse Christiaens and Bart Hommez), e-poly (on microsystems, sensors, etc., Frederik Leys), Food2Know (on food, Benedikt Sas), i-Know (on camera and video technology, Sidharta Gautama), Bimetra (on medical applications, Sofie Bekaert), Fusion (on the internet of things, Wouter Haerick), … An overview of all consortia and business developers can be found here.
What's the difference between Victoris and SpartaNova?
Victoris is the single point of contact for all sports related research and development at Ghent University. It serves as the Valorization Centre for Technological optimization, Research and Innovation in sport. SpartaNova is a spin-off company launched from Ghent (and Brussels) University – Victoris. The previous business developer of Victoris, Roel Vaeyens, was the driving force behind SpartaNova. So, SpartaNova is a ‘good practice’ example of how to valorize research results to the field (from research into practice).
Do people within Victoris test and train athletes and clubs (or do they only work on innovation projects with companies and start-ups)?
Our consortium is focused on sports research and innovation. For all routine testing and training of athletes, we have a close collaboration with the Sports Medical Centre of the Ghent University Hospital, where athletes, clubs, patients, etc. can go to for testing, training, rehab, etc. The Centre is an integral part of our consortium. For special issues (e.g. in elite athletes), we create tailor-made solutions at various departments of our university, with our Sport Science Laboratory – Jacques Rogge as the central place to be for in-depth analysis.
Where is Victoris located?
Research groups are spread out over the city of Ghent, Belgium. However, the central hub of the consortium is the Sports Science Laboratory – Jacques Rogge located at the Watersportlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.