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Research at ULB
Across the whole Université libre de Bruxelles, over 4000 professors, scientists, PhD students, and lab technicians are at work in every field from science and technology to life sciences and healthcare, and humanities and social sciences.
Research forms the foundations of teaching at the ULB: the knowledge imparted to the students comes from the most recent research, and our students are trained in critical thinking and research from the first year of their undergraduate degree all the way through to their PhD.
ULB's annual research budget stands at €160m, approximately 75% of which comes from international, national, and regional research agreements, as well as the patronage of a range of Foundations.
The University distinguishes itself in a humanist approach to knowledge, through free, impartial research, and, in the words of Marie Curie, through its participation in fundamental research programmes. The university is proud to have won an array of awards that stand testament to its excellence, especially the four Nobel Prizes for science, 24 Francqui Prizes (out of 82), the highest honour in the sciences in Belgium, and 26 European Research Council (ERC) grants.
The ULB also plays a major role in economic, social, and cultural development: at ULB, research forms a continuum from fundamental research to applied research and research directed by industrial and social necessity.
The university participates in cooperative European programmes and is a key player in the regional development of Brussels and Wallonia. ULB is incredibly active in finding business applications for the results of its research, with a specialist Technology Transfer Office (TTO) forming part of its Research Department. The TTO manages a portfolio of 86 patent families, 35 active spin-offs, three incubators, and investment fund, and a biotechnology business park: Biopark Charleroi Brussels South.
The excellence of the research carried out by the ULB is rooted in the freedom provided to its scientists, and its international involvement. The ULB values freedom highly, and believes fully in the initiative of its scientists, preferring a "bottom-up" approach while avoiding dispensing decrees from above on which strategy to adopt or which fields of research should be avoided.
Located at the heart of Europe, ULB has always been an outward looking university, both in terms of recruiting its professors and scientists (33% of scientists, 63% of post-doctoral scientists, 46% of PhD students), and its involvement in international research networks.