UCL (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN)
Map Place de l'Université, 1
Phone: +32 10 47 24 97
Fax: +32 10 47 48 30
The Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) has a longstanding world-renowned expertise in Life technologies.
ILLUSTRATIVE RESEARCH TOPIC AT UCL
Health and life sciences are considered by UCL to be one of the areas of strategic research. The research projects are conducted jointly by several Institutes, in which teams of outstanding quality collaborate around a core field of research. Furthermore, UCL institutes are supported by technological platforms and facilities. This particular organization optimizes the coordination between research groups, which thereby increases their chances of success.
Many UCL research projects in life sciences are developed both in Louvain-la-Neuve and at the UCL biomedical campus in Brussels. The fields of investigation of UCL teams range from the molecule to the organism. Research projects in Health sciences are led in collaboration with the UCL academic hospitals “St-Luc” (Woluwe-St-Lambert) and “Mont-Godinne”, and through a network of 35 healthcare institutions.
At the Brussels campus, the multidisciplinary biomedical De Duve Institute (http://www.deduveinstitute.be), which also hosts the Brussels branch of the Ludwig Institute, gives priority to basic research in several domains like cancer immunology, biochemistry or signal transduction. The research teams, however, give special attention to medical benefits potentially resulting from basic findings. The Institute of Neuroscience (http://www.uclouvain.be/ions.html) aims to improve the knowledge of our nervous system and neurological illness. Their skills range from functional imaging, in vivoelectrophysiology and functional tests tobasic animal, cellular and molecular approaches. The Experimental and Clinical research Institute(http://www.uclouvain.be/irec.html) gathers clinical and fundamental research to better understand diseases and to set up new therapies. The major goals of the Louvain Drug Research Institute (http://www.uclouvain.be/en-ldri.html)are to develop fundamental and/or applied research projects in the field of drugs. The research axes include complete drugs development, from the conception of active molecules to their formulation, and optimization of their use. The Institute of Health and Society (http://www.uclouvain.be/irss.html) deals with health issues, known to be complex, in regard to some social aspects, and tries to integrate them.
At the Louvain-la-Neuve campus the Institute of Life Science (http://www.uclouvain.be/en-isv.html) has been exploring the basic mysteries of life in the fields of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, microbiology, genetics and physiology. At the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics (http://www.uclouvain.be/en-352437.html), an outstanding level of competence in bioengineering has been developing. Several research teams have been investigating the computational biology and bioinformatics (high-throughput technologies like high-density DNA micro-array and next generation sequencing). Research projects, with priority given to healthcare development, also focus on biomedical data analysis, medical imaging, development of new biosensors, and on the modeling of biological and physiological systems. In addition, the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering (http://www.uclouvain.be/en-immc.html), through developing new biomaterials, biomechanics and surgical robotics, contributes to the evolution of medicine and surgery. Eventually our Earth and Life Science Institute (http://www.uclouvain.be/eli.html) studies agronomy, applied microbiology, environmental science and biodiversity.
UCL research institutes are also supported by state-of-art facilities, which bring together technical and administrative staff around a coherent set of scientific and technical equipment (http://www.uclouvain.be/373687.html). Platforms do not only transversally help research institutes, but can also support teaching and services to the society.
This broad approach to the UCL research potential can be supplemented with booklets detailing the research projects by themes. To date eight themes in relation with life/medical science have been published: biomedical engineering, biotechnology and biomedical applications, cancerology, food science and nutrition, applied biology, agriculture and environment, materials, ICT and nanotechnologies (http://www.uclouvain.be/349.html).
TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFERS AT UCL
Beyond teaching and research UCL fulfills a third mission, known as “Services to the Society”. Economic exploitation of knowledge and technological transfers are as crucial for UCL as for the Society. However, despite their common interest in innovation and economic growth, the processes of innovation are lengthy, very complex and expensive.
To meet these challenges the Louvain Technology Transfer Office or “LTTO” (http://ltto.com/) has been set up, which associates the teams of the UCL Research Administration Department of UCL and Sopartec, the UCL technology transfer company. As a result the LTTO is a single desk where academic researchers and UCL partners can find a full range of integrated services in the field of technological transfer. The LTTO aims to help UCL researchers to find funding, to adopt the best approach in terms of economic exploitation of their research results and, last but not least, the LTTO is intended to be a guide and a significant support for the researchers in the field of intellectual property. The LTTO also collaborates with the entrepreneurial world with an aim to developing innovation inside companies. The LTTO helps them to know what UCL technologies may best meet their need for development and which UCL team is the best to work with.
UCL takes part in an impressive economic exploitation of knowledge by supporting the creation of spin-off companies. The development of research spin-offs is a longstanding success story at UCL. To date 45 spin-offs have been built up following technologies developed at UCL, which represent over 2,400 jobs created. Several of these spin-offs are related to life/health sciences, such as IBA (sterilization-radiotherapy), Viridaxis (pest management through parasitoids) or Polymedis (bioinformatics tool for healthcare management at hospitals). In order to favour the continuous development of spin-offs the UCL has set up two company incubators. These structures host and support young entrepreneurs and researchers in their efforts to build innovative companies. The Brussels Life Science Incubator (http://www.blsincubator.be/) located at the UCL biomedical campus, is dedicated to life/health science. It benefits both from the top-level expertise of a number of UCL specialists and of the activities of several scientific platforms. The second incubator, known as the “Centre d’Entreprise et d’Innovation” (http://www.ceilln.be/) is hosted at the Louvain-la-Neuve campus.