In terms of direct employment the university, with its teaching hospital, is the largest employer in Brussels, with over 7000 full-time equivalent employees, with 4000 in the university itself and 3000 in the teaching hospital. In terms of indirect employment, the ULB plays a major role with its 24,000 students and the large number of international scientific conventions held there.
Yet most of all, ULB plays a pivotal role in innovation in the major sectors defined by the Brussels-Capital Region: healthcare, information and communication technology, and sustainable development. ULB takes part in ERDF 2014-2020
The Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels, (IB)2 is an interdisciplinary research initiative supported by ULB and VUB, aiming to bring together research groups of the VUB and ULB specialized in bioinformatics analysis of large scale omics data, into an interuniversity, cross-faculty (Medicine, Sciences, and Applied Sciences, of ULB and VUB) laboratory.
Collaboration between ULB and VUB goes further by the set up of joint projects such as "joint research groups". A new strategic collaboration within a ULB-VUB JRG should enable both partners to strengthen their position in their individual core competence domains and deliver disciplinary or cross-disciplinary strengthening research contributions.
In the health sector in general, and particularly in clinical research, ULB coordinates the Clinicobru strategic platform that supports professionalism and improvement in the clinical research carried out in a network of three Brussels teaching hospitals (Erasme, UZ Brussel, Sain-Luc).
In social sciences, ULB researchers join those of the VUB and FUSL at the Brussels Studies Institute, where they influence political decision makers and socio-economic players on the challenges faced by the Region, especially in terms of demographics, and they contribute to defining strategic priorities.
ULB also launched the Maison des Sciences Humaines (MSH) in March 2016, a interfacultary hosting and supporting structure for research in human and social sciences. The MSH counts more than 100 researchers, focused on a the relationships between citizen and society. Active in fondamental research, the MSH aims to be responsive to the news and problems in our society and to provide advice to political, socio-economic or culturel actors.