“As a citizen and academic, I am fully committed to assume responsibilities within Flanders Make.”
Jeroen De Maeyer works since 2008 as Business Development Manager at Ghent University. Here, he supports a cluster of research groups that are all working on sustainable energy technologies. In this role, he acts as an intermediary between university and industry, a task that he also assumes in a larger context within Flanders Make.
“As an intermediary between the academic world and the industry, I have a double part to play. On the one hand, I listen to the needs of the industry and give feedback to the researchers. On the other hand, I listen to what the academics have developed and consult with companies whether these developments could mean something for them. Before Jeroen took up his job at Ghent University, he worked in the private sector. He considers this as a benefit for the job he is doing now. “When Flanders Make was incorporated, they needed someone from Ghent University who was familiar with the ins and outs of the industry. Because some of the research groups connected to Flanders Make fall within my area of expertise, I was asked to think about how Flanders Make could offer added value to companies. Considering my extensive knowledge and experience in both the research community and in business, I decided to commit myself for this. After all, Flanders Make is an industry-oriented initiative.”
Within Flanders Make, Jeroen De Maeyer takes up two roles. Project management, from project definition to execution and follow-up, and networking or the marketing of Flanders Make. He gets his motivation for playing these parts both from his capacity as academic and as citizen.
“As an academic, I think it is important to create links and partnerships with other research institutions. Together, we can signify more in a European context than we would be able to when acting each separately. I also find it important that this is done sufficiently close to companies without turning into a mere service provider. There should be a good balance between more fundamental research and the applicability of results, and this is absolutely the case here. As a citizen, I very much value the fact that Flanders Make recognises the importance of the manufacturing industry. I am convinced that the manufacturing industry in Flanders must be supported so as to ensure interesting short- and long-term job opportunities for both workers and salaried employees.”
“Together, we can signify more in a European context than we would be able to when acting each separately.”