Cooperation agreement between Ghent University and ArcelorMittal Belgium renewed for 5 years
17 Feb 2022
On 8 February, the framework agreement between Ghent University and ArcelorMittal Belgium was renewed for a period of five years (until 1 January 2027). This framework agreement is aimed at long-term cooperation between the two parties, with a focus on knowledge sharing, training, research and development.
Both partners are science and technology engines in Flanders and far beyond and, with this extension, want to continue to play a role in sustainable innovation and talent development. As a major player in the steel sector, ArcelorMittal Belgium is continuously innovating and automating its production process, but also developing the latest generation of steel products. The transformation of steel production into a carbon neutral activity is the most important challenge for the coming decades, and the strengthening of cooperation will contribute to this, both by participating in innovative research activities and by intensifying efforts to have graduates of Ghent University find their way to ArcelorMittal Belgium.
The past five years have led to several bilateral and multilateral research projects and several doctoral studies. Various topics such as material efficiency, energy optimization, big data, well-being at work and the elaboration of a CO2 roadmap towards carbon neutrality are part of R&D. These initiatives reinforce the attractiveness of the steel industry and ArcelorMittal Belgium and show that Ghent University highly values research and innovation with a social added value.
The University of Gent considers it very important that students already during their studies think about the real industrial needs and complex issues of our society and economy. By extending this cooperation, ArcelorMittal Belgium wants to guarantee the necessary influx of new insights and motivated knowledge workers into the future.
ArcelorMittal Belgium employs 5,100 people, including 534 engineers – 240 masters in industrial sciences and 294 masters in engineering sciences – and 144 masters from various disciplines: economic, computer science, exact sciences… Just over half studied at Ghent University. At ArcelorMittal we are committed to reduce our CO2 emissions in Europe by 35% by 2030 compared to 2018 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. In order to achieve these objectives, several state-of-the-art projects are started in parallel. To further build our climate neutral future, we are looking for bioengineers, civil engineers, … and many other profiles. It is clear that the University of Ghent is an important source of new talent for ArcelorMittal Belgium.
Manfred Van Vlierberghe (CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium): “ArcelorMittal Belgium aims to build a better world with smarter steels. Steel made using innovative processes that consume less energy and emit significantly less carbon. Steels that are used to produce electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. Ghent University shares this same passion for innovation and sustainability. The continuation of this unique cooperation will give a significant boost to value creation through innovation. A win-win situation for both parties.”
Rik Van de Walle (Rector Ghent University): “Research and innovation are among UGent’s core missions. With their knowledge and expertise, our employees are committed every day to helping solve the complex problems of today and tomorrow, and to exert socio-economic impact at an international level. We are delighted that no fewer than 22 professors and 16 research groups, spread across three faculties, are involved in this collaboration. Through such multidisciplinary research, and this with a strong industrial partner, we can achieve even better results. With this collaboration, ArcelorMittal Belgium has chosen a strong partner who “dares to think” and “dares to dream”. It is up to both of us to continue to turn these dreams into actual innovation in the years to come, with a critical eye.”