Business and Economics

Research & innovation

Research vision

FBE contributes to knowledge development by fostering fundamental as well as applied scientific research, in the field of business administration, engineering management and economic policy. Our research activities include high-quality doctoral research, externally funded research (both theoretical and applied), and publications. Valorising this research within both society and education is an important part of our mission. 

We have a long tradition of strong links with the private sector and society in general, which is facilitated by our location in the economic heart of Belgium, and more specifically in the multicultural city of Antwerp. We welcome socially responsible entrepreneurship and new trends pervading society. Therefore, our research community also disseminates their expertise to the business community and policy makers, leading to a societal impact. Furthermore, research results are integrated into the course content, giving students insight into the latest evolutions in the field. 

All this is demonstrated in the Best School Teaching Power Ranking where our faculty, together with the Antwerp Management School, ranks highest of all Flemish universities.


Research groups

These are the most important research fields and/or research units within the departments:

The research conducted leads to publications and research papers.


Research blog

The Faculty of Business and Economics is a frontrunner when it comes to international economic research and education. Because we want to share professional and academic expertise, we launched the FBE blog.

FBE Research blog

Research projects

Selected new research projects

Department of Accountancy and finance

  • Capital market effects of information dissemination on social media - Principal investigators: Kris Hardies, Wannes Heirman
  • Dividend policy: a long term investigation - Principal investigators: Marc Deloof, Jan Annaert. Fellow: Leentje Moortgat
  • Impression management in performance commentary in annual results press releases of listed companies and institutional context - Principal investigator: Walter Aerts

Department of Economics

  • Cooperative real options games in environmental economics - Principal investigators: Peter Kort, Steven Van Passel. Fellow: Hans Cools 
  • The economics of balancing mechanisms in electricity markets - Principal investigator: Jan Bouckaert. Fellow: Geert Van Moer

Department of Engineering Management

  • Economic assessment of demand response programs: a behavioural approach - Principal investigator: Steven Van Passel. Fellow: Aman Srivastava

Department of Management

  • Cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: motoric, cognitive and linguistic aspects of sentence production - Principal investigators: Mariëlle Leijten, Sven De Maeyer. Fellow: Catherine Meulemans 

Department of Marketing

  • Communicating about co-creation with multiple stakeholders: the role of the stakeholders' network and the impact on consumer adoption - Principal investigators: Annouk Lievens, Nathalie Dens 
  • Consumers' responses to advertising in social network games - Principal investigators: Patrick De Pelsmacker, Nathalie Dens. Fellow: Shana Verberckmoes 

Department of Transport and Regional Economics

  • Co-operation cost impacts at seaport container terminals - Principal investigator: Thierry Vanelslander
  • Oil spill response information collection - Principal investigators: Thierry Vanelslander, Christa Sys

Research chairs

BNP Paribas Fortis Chair 'Ethics & Finance'

Today we witness a rapid transition towards a more sustainable economy. Long-term strategies by government institutions as well as private business all point in this direction. Finance is a keystone in this transition movement. It assists governments and companies in their changeover effort and guides institutional as well as retail investors in their search for sustainable investment. We witness rapid growth in the field of sustainable investment, yet when it comes to research that situates itself at the nexus between sustainability and finance, there is little to show in the Belgian context. This chair aims to fill this void and accompany financial institutions on their drive towards sustainability.

By 2020 the BNP Chair on Ethics & Finance should be the reference chair in Belgium on any question about ethics and finance.

In order to attain this leading role the chair will:

  • conduct fundamental and more applied research on ethics and finance, in cooperation with other academic partners as well as the chair partner;
  • share research insights with investors, students and the general public alike through presentations and online material;
  • increase societal awareness about sustainable finance through external presence.

The chairholder is prof. dr. Luc Van Liedekerke. 

BNP Paribas Fortis chair in Transport, Logistics and Ports

The University of Antwerp (Department of Transport and Regional Economics) and BNP Paribas Fortis have teamed to set up a Chair in transport, logistics and ports. Through the Chair, the University and the bank want to be able to react quickly and efficiently to new developments in the sea and logistics world. That world is constantly changing, and that is also true for the port and logistics sector. Large, new powers like India and Brazil will influence the transport sector.

This Chair will respond to such issues, as well as to new trends in the field of logistics. There are also issues to act on at the micro level. For instance, once e-commerce gains strong ground, it will have consequences for the transport sector,  the type of commodity flows, and  the route that they follow. In the frame of this Chair, conferences and seminars will be organized to tackle these issues. The chairholder is Christa Sys.

More information

Chair Dennie Lockefeer

Dennie Lockefeer

Dennie Lockefeer was highly appreciated in the port community, and in particular in the world of inland shipping, for his insights and expertise. He often collaborated with the Port of Antwerp, the Flemish Government and the University of Antwerp. He was often consulted by academics and was frequently asked to share his knowledge with students and professors. On the initiative of Prof. dr. Christa Sys, the port and inland shipping sector established a chair for fundamental research on intermodal transport at the University of Antwerp, carrying his name in memory. 

The chair can be used for research (e.g. to support the inland shipping sector, innovative inland shipping concepts), education (e.g. to award a biennial award for best thesis/doctorate) and services (e.g. for a colloquium, to organize a series of lectures).

Sponsor packages

The sector developed three sponsor packages in collaboration with the University of Antwerp, each involving a threme-year commitment:

  • 'gold' package of 10,000 euros/year for three years
  • 'silver' package of 5,000 euros/year for three years
  • 'bronze' package for 1,000 euros/year for three years

 The return for the formulas consists of logo entry, invitations to the launch and closing event, attendance at interim events, amongst others. The 'golden' sponsor also receives exclusive involvement as a member of the steering comittee of the Dennie Lockefeer chair. The Chair is founded by the Department of Transport and Regional Economics (TPR) and chaired by Prof. dr. Christa Sys.

More information

Francqui Chair Siem Jan Koopman

The Francqui Foundation encourages the prestige of disinterested fundamental research. Its objective is to further the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium.  Each year, the Francqui Foundation grants several Chairs to Belgian scientists, proposed by the universities. The goal is to create the possibility to invite professors of other Belgian universities, for a series of courses of 10 teaching hours. For the academic year 2019-2020 the University of Antwerp and the Faculty of Business and Economics welcome Prof. dr. Siem Jan Koopman as one of the two laureates. 

Prof Siem Jan Koopman will give the inaugural lecture ‘The Econometrics of Time-Varying Parameters’.

AGEAS Chair Sustainable Insurance

The recent events, such as the floods in Europe and the Corona pandemic have once again highlighted the crucial role of insurers in our society. Helping people in need. Coming to the rescue when things go wrong and thus guaranteeing the continuity of our daily lives,... And there are even more challenges ahead: climate change, cybercrime, social inclusion and diversity in a polarized society,... Moreover, tomorrow is not today and changes in the world are unpredictable and come at an incredible pace.

Insurers create impact in several ways. They pursue investment policies through insurance products and related services they offer. They also have the tools to make a difference in terms of increasing financial inclusion and solidarity and encouraging sustainable behaviour. 

The Chair of Sustainable Insurance, a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and Ageas, will be established to conduct research on sustainable insurance.

Hans De Cuyper, CEO Ageas: "Corporate social responsibility is in Ageas's DNA and is present in everything we do as an insurer. I am therefore particularly pleased with the establishment of the Chair of Sustainable Insurance in cooperation with the University of Antwerp, chair holder Luc Van Liedekerke and researcher Kristien Doumen. I am certain that this partnership between the academic and business worlds will allow us as insurers to play an important role in solving the problems of society today and tomorrow."

More info about the chair and the inauguration in Dutch.

Chair Crisis Governance

Crisis management is crucial and that is why the University of Antwerp, Antwerp Fire Brigade Zone, PM. Risk Crisis Change and Port of Antwerp-Bruges decided to join forces and jointly establish the 'Crisis Governance Chair'.

The 'Crisis Governance Chair' aims to create and disseminate knowledge on the broad subject of 'crisis governance' through a holistic, process-based approach. Both researchers and professionals are supported in how effective crisis governance can contribute to research and practice, both at a strategic and operational level, in order to adequately develop, manage and adapt to changing circumstances.

The chair not only aims to study how insights from different fields challenge existing paradigms and theories, but also wants to valorize that knowledge for organizations and their members. The ambition of the chair is on the one hand to act as a center for research and regulation and on the other hand to become a reference center for researchers and professionals interested in this multidisciplinary field of crisis governance. 

Chair holders: Hugo Marynissen & Sascha Albers

Fellow: Arne Cobben & Magali Jaspers

Partners: Antwerp Fire Department, PM - Risk Crisis Change and Port of Antwerp-Bruges

More info about the chair

Chair SDG Transition

The chairholder is Luc Van Liedekerke. Björn Mestdagh is fellow of the chair.

Inauguration of the research chair

on Sustainable Insurance


An academic spin-off is a company whose activities, products and/or services are based on knowhow, technology and/or research results generated at the university or at one of its university colleges (AUHA).

These are the spin-offs of our Faculty of Business and Economics:

DigiTrans (2019): Data-driven logistics solution for the transport sector

The innovative technology of DigiTrans enables transport and logistics operators to benefit from any data or information at their fingertips, in their own working environment, in the format they require and at the moment it is most useful for them. According to own estimations, the manual bundle of data for daily planning purposes costs a middle-size transport company up to EUR 150.000 per year.

Normalized Systems Venture (2011): Software architecture

NSX is a consultancy company focused on the implementation of Normalized Systems in industrial environments. The increasing architectural complexity and size of software results in an ever increasing test and analysis time when new functionality is added to  existing software. Normalized Systems Theory aims at reducing this time, its associated cost and reduced usability by creating evolvable software architecture for enterprise IT systems.

Predicube (2014): Big data technology

PrediCube is a new tech startup that uses advanced big data technology to predict which online users are interested in a product, allowing targeted advertising on premium websites. 

Status: exit in 2018. 

CareerCoach (2014): Career management tools

CareerCoach offers a particularly complete, validated and cloud-based toolkit for self-directed career management, based on the most recent scientific models. The tools provide insight into personal career path motivators and pitfalls, into the person-organization fit and relationship, and into the psychosocial balance between the energy and stress levels at a specific career path stage. The tools are primarily intended for individuals on a crossroad in their careers as well as for organizations building a career management policy that addresses the issues of today’s and tomorrow’s employment reality.