There are several types of projects that can be submitted within the framework of an approved vertical research program. The most specific types for a Cluster organisation are highlighted here.

cSBO: Strategisch Basisonderzoek voor Clusters

cSBO is short for strategic basic research for clusters. This type of project is for long term research, relatively far from market introduction, carried out by research institutes.

A cSBO project concerns long term innovative research that offers a prospect for later economic and social applications in the event of scientific success. The research is relatively far from market and is carried out by research institutes. cSBO projects fit in a broader trajectory within the cluster and are not stand-alone projects.

A cSBO project is demand driven and meets the needs that are identified and subscribed by the target group companies from the cluster. The accumulated knowledge contributes to realize the strategic objectives of the cluster and its target groups.


The assignment of a cSBO is rather exceptional. The need for this type of project will be part of the evaluation process. The project period is maximum four years, reflecting the time needed to complete a PhD assignment.

ICON: Interdisciplinair Coöperatief Onderzoek

ICON is short for interdisciplinary cooperative research. An ICON is essentially the combination of an SBO and an O&O project (see below). Basic research is performed but with a less generic character (meant for a specific application domain) and further downstream towards the market.

This research is carried out by a combined consortium of companies and research institutes and has a maximum duration of three years. There are at least three industrial partners, of which preferably one SME. The industrial budget has to be at least 50% of the total budget. The valorization potential and tracks in Flanders should be clear.

Often the research and development in such an ICON project builds further on the results of an SBO project in the same research program.



A trajectory is a combination of two or more of the available types of projects.


Other types of projects

  • O&O Haalbaarheidsstudie
  • Coöperatief Onderzoeksproject
  • Coöperatief Ontwikkelingsproject
  • Demo/Pilootproject
  • COOCK: Collectief Onderzoek & Ontwikkeling en Collectieve Kennisverspreiding

More info & templates

More information and templates for project applications can be found here on the VLAIO website.