How does SIM work?

SIM works with integrated research Programs consisting of several projects, within well-defined material research themes. The research Programs are carried out by a combined consortium of industrial and research partners working in close collaboration.

The decision process is a two-step evaluation. In the first step, the Program level is evaluated. In the second step, projects can be submitted in approved Programs. With some more detail:

  • Firstly, a Program Call is opened for submitting Program proposals. The Program proposal contains the general outline of the technology roadmap, the valorization potential, the composition of the consortium and a brief summary of the projects in the pipeline. Eligible Program proposals are evaluated by a group of international experts and a decision is made by the SIM Board of Directors whether or not to proceed.
  • When the Program proposal is approved, the consortium can submit detailed project proposals that follow the regular VLAIO (previous IWT) procedure, after which again a decision is made by the SIM Board of Directors to fund the project or not. A project proposal contains a detailed work plan and task schedules for all participants, the detailed budget and the valorization route of the results specifically obtained in this project.

Calls are launched regularly. As a general rule of thumb, SIM will launch one project Call per year. The frequency and type of Call depends on

  • the available budget
  • the strategic need or demand for new projects
  • the strategic need for new research Programs


Important remark: companies that are partner in a research Program pay a yearly program contribution fee from the official starting date of the program, even if they are not yet actively involved in one of the ongoing projects.

The program contribution fee depends on the size of the company (SME's or large companies) and whether the company is a SIM member or not. These are the current contributions fees (2019)*:

  • companies that are not a SIM member:
    • large companies: € 9750
    • SME's: € 1200
  • companies that are a SIM member:
    • large companies: € 8250
    • SME's: € 825

*Please note that the SIM Board of Directors has the authority to change the contribution fees. We aim to provide the most up-to-date information on this website, but please contact us(link sends e-mail) if you have any question.