TRILateral research for optimal Investments in Adequate cross-border infrastructure (TRILATE)


In the region that unites Belgian, Dutch and German industrial clusters, the density of energy demand is very high, while spatial options to deploy renewable energy technologies are limited. Hence, an analysis of the required energy transport infrastructure for industrial clusters is crucial in view of security of supply. TRILATE aims to develop scientific models at the level of processes, industrial clusters and cross-border energy systems, linked to an integrated energy infrastructure.


TRILATE investigates the need for transport infrastructure in order to guarantee the security of energy supply to industrial clusters.

UGent role

The ECM research group leads the task related to industrial system integration and cluster management.

In short, ECM will define symbiosis interfaces based on process models of varying typology and detail, enabling the connection of micro-scale process models such as the sector blueprints (developed in the H2020 EPOS project) with macro-scale system models such as TIMES. A matchmaking methodology is developed and validated to lever existing models with the new-developed models in the project. Ultimately agile models are generated, suitable for deep process understanding, but also capable of linking symbiosis options and assessing sustainability gains. A key result is the ability to identify interface opportunities and detail the corresponding data needed for launching synergy potential across urban-industrial clusters.

Watch the videopitch to appreciate the importance of industrial symbiosis and in particular the sharing of crucial infrastructure for enhancing sustainability in the process industry.


The TRILATE consortium is coordinated by VITO with partners EnergyVille, UGent, ULiège, KULeuven, Fluxys and Elia, and subcontractor EPFL in Switzerland. TRILATE benefits from partner projects in the Netherlands (Hy3+) and Germany (Kopernikus), as well as from an industrial advisory board with representatives from large industrial companies.


prof. dr. ir. Greet Van Eetvelde
prof. dr. ir. Lieven Vandevelde
Joannes Laveyne (supervising researcher)
Nienke Dhondt (PhD researcher)