The Industrial Research Fund (Dutch abbrev.: IOF), just like the University Research Fund (BOF), is an earmarked university fund that is annually fed with a block grant from the Flemish government. The distribution of this fund among the different associations occurs according to an annually calculated distribution key, whose components (parameters) are oriented primarily towards valorisation (industrial revenues, patents, spin-off companies).
IOF projects and grants are allocated on the advice of the Industrial Research Fund Council (IOF Council), which is composed of the university, the high schools of the Antwerp University Association (AUHA), as well as a number of business representatives.
Allocation of IOF resources is subject to a set of conditions imposed by the government. As such, the Association appropriates IOF resources for the following purposes:
- appointment of IOF research and innovation managers, who are integrated in a consortium of research groups that have proven successful in carrying out application-oriented research and in valorising the results of this research for the benefit of industry. The aim is to increase the valorisation/research portfolio of these groups;
- bench fees (start grants) for these managers;
- proof-of-concept projects with the aim of making a finding market-ready;
- one-year (or longer) projects of strategic research.