KU LEUVEN is one of the oldest and well-known universities in Europe. It counts 56.000 students (41.000 in KU LEUVEN), of which more than 10.000 are international (6.000 in KU LEUVEN) and 11.544 staff members (excluding the University hospitals). The University provides academic education at the Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral levels (PhD). KU LEUVEN conducts research in all academic disciplines. The technology transfer office KU LEUVEN Research & Development (KU LEUVEN R&D) supports researchers in their interaction with industry, government and society at large, and actively supports the creation of innovative spin-offs (more than 90 so far). Consultancy and scientific support is provided as well.
Within KU LEUVEN, two entities will be involved in the project: the Spatial Applications Division (SADL) and the Public Governance Institute (PGI). The mission of SADL is to transfer academic knowledge to society in the geospatial field through policy support studies based on spatial analyses and the development of geo-ICT applications and databases. SADL conducts applied research, offers consultancy and provides training in geomatics at large and GIS, SDI and geo-ICT in particular. Various application and policy domains are covered, among which: agriculture and environment, forest, nature and landscape management, agriculture, mobility and transport, urban and regional planning and tourism. SADL is one of the 70 R&D divisions of KU LEUVEN in Belgium: www.sadl.kuKU LEUVEN.be. The mission of PGI is to gain knowledge and insight regarding politics, administration and public policies on local, regional, federal, European and international levels. PGI intends to make scientific contributions to an improvement in the policy-making, organization and management of public administrations. PGI is an internationally oriented and interdisciplinary research institute that focusses on different aspects of public governance. Both fundamental and applied research is part of the activities, with special attention for theory, empirical research and practice. Comparative research in particular is one of the core competencies. Through the public service PGI wishes to transfer knowledge and insight to administrative and policy practices.
KU LEUVEN is actively promoting the creation of innovative companies that transmit the results of research into operational spinoffs able to become successful companies in the market: e.g. Luciad, an SME in the geospatial sector was created based on activities at the Department of Computer Sciences. Many other spin-offs saw light as well. KU LEUVEN also supports initiatives to transfer knowledge to other stakeholders in the academic, private and public sectors in other parts of European and even globally.
KU LEUVEN, and in particular SADL and PGI, is very active in the field of the implementation of geospatial innovative technologies in organsations. KU LEUVEN pursues a multi- and interdisciplinary approach with this respect. The implementation of new technologies is never a matter of technology alone: institutional, governance, legal and other aspects are equally important.
SADL and PGI were both involved in the project “Spatial Data Infrastructures for Public Sector Innovation” that was specifically dealing with the topic of how geospatial technologies can be successfully integrated in governmental processes (2007-2011). SADL has been involved in more than 150 projects at the national, European and global levels. Several projects were dealing with transfer of know-how in the geospatial field, as well as with the scientific and technical support to implement advanced geospatial technologies in government. Currently several scientific collaborators are working in the field of 3D-mapping, while others or working on advanced items such as Linked (Open) Data, secure access mechanisms, the development of data specifications, etc. SADL is also very active in CEN/TC 287 and OGC. Currently SADL is leading an LLP-ERASMUS project ‘Geographic Information – Need to Know (GI-N2K)’ that is developing a new version of the Body of Knowledge for GIScience & Technology (BoK). PGI has been involved in many projects dealing with among others governance, performance management and data policy. It is actively promoting and supporting the implementation of new technologies in governmental organisations and also deals with the transfer of knowhow to public administrations. Both SADL and PGI are supporting organisation worldwide to implement new geospatial technologies through the development of (geo-ICT) strategies.
In WP1 KU LEUVEN will provide support to capacity building among the RTD community. During WP02 they will contribute to definition of the state-of-art in the domain of the land management and planning as well as to the identification of best practices both regarding technical and regulatory aspects, which in turn will be used to define the innovative scientific strategy for the future Centre.
Most notably, during WP03 KU LEUVEN will have a leading role in the management of the education plan and will contribute to the definition of mobility program. Further contribution is expected in WP04 for the definition of SWOT analysis.