Collaboration opportunities and services

As Metals Consortium, we are experienced with various project types and funding opportunities from diverse funding bodies, including IOF, VLAIO, Horizon Europe, ... Next to these R&D Collaborations, we also offer services to our industrial partners.

R&D Collaboration Opportunities

The Metals consortium searches for the most optimal way to collaborate with our industrial partners. This requires in-depth discussion and insight in the complexity of your questions and needs. We are actively involved in different project types and are experienced with funding opportunities from diverse funding bodies. 

National and regional projects

R&D projects with industrial applications can be performed with support of the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen or FWO).

These are typically projects of the type Strategic Basic Research (Strategisch Basisonderzoek or SBO):

  • individual PhD fellowships;
  • general SBO projects: The focus lies on strategic research which has valorization potential towards different companies or industries. Industrial partners can be part of the advisory committee and their interaction is crucial to steer the research and generate added-value to industrial development in Flanders.

Logo VlaioThe majority of valorization-driven research in Flanders is supported by het Vlaams agentschap voor innoveren en ondernemen (VLAIO), formerly known as IWT.

A plethora of project types are available. The Metals consortium is primarily interested in:

European projects

We are constantly looking to actively participate in large projects funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe work program.

We have a high success rate for participation in projects of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS), which supports the competitiveness of the European Coal and Steel industries.

The Metals consortium or individual Laboratories of the Metals consortium can be a valuable partner in multi-partner projects given our in-depth knowledge and expertise of the material properties and behavior.

Master dissertations and internships

Master dissertations

We typically have over 40 thesis students a year working on a dissertation topic related to the activities of the Metals consortium. We encourage students to choose topics directly linked with industrial problems. Students find it motivating and are eager to get to know the industrial environment.

In a nutshell:

  • A master dissertation lasts a full academic year: start in October, defence in May-June.
  • Possible dissertation topics are made public beginning of March. Information between Ghent University and an interested company must be exchanged in January-February.
  • Results may be kept confidential.


All master students of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture have the possibility to perform internships. Internships are a low-barrier mean to address a concrete and well-defined research problem by a trainee. Good guidance by the company is essential.

In a nutshell:

  • An internship takes place between July and September. Duration of an internship is minimum 4 weeks.
  • Possible internship topics are made public no later than May. Information between Ghent University and an interested company must be exchanged in February-April.
  • Results may be kept confidential.

More information on internships can be found here.

Proof-of-concept projects

All Ghent University researchers of the Metals consortium have access to proof-of-concept funding via the Industrial Research Fund of Ghent University. This funding aims to support valorization-oriented activities originated at Ghent University.

Five project types are available:

  • ConceptTT project (budget up to 100 kEuro; duration 1-1,5 year) for the exploration of an innovative concept.
  • StarTT project (budget up to 200 kEuro; duration 1-2 years) for the transition from scientific research to a valorization project with proven added-value potential.
  • Advanced project (budget up to 350 kEuro; duration max. 2 years) for the maturation of technology or knowledge to enter the market.
  • Stepstone project (budget up to 650 kEuro; duration max. 3 years) preferably for the incubation of spin-off projects.
  • ConnecTT project (budget up to 100 kEuro per partner; duration 1-2 years) for projects connecting Arteveldehogeschool, HOGENT, Howest and Ghent University.

IOF proof of concept funding

More information is available on the website of the Industrial Research Fund.


The Metals consortium can assist its industrial customers and partners during the whole manufacturing and design stage. We can help to select the most optimal material and can analyse material, machine or component failures. With our infrastructure and know-how, we can offer services in the following areas:

  • In-depth microstructural characterization
  • Durability of materials, machines and components
  • Material behavior under high impact conditions
  • Fatigue of metals and structures   
  • Small and large scale testing
  • Design and analysis of machine elements eg. roller and plain bearings, gears, axles, etc.
  • Bridge and tunnel monitoring

 We have experienced teams to perform these services within agreed timings and under agreed conditions.