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BrIAS temporary webpage

About BrIAS

The newly founded Brussels Institute for Advanced Studies (BrIAS), co-founded by the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), aims to expand upon the mission of other IASes as an incubator of ideas and research by focusing on current and urgent themes with a great societal impact. 

Located in the heart of Brussels, it aims to attract the very best scientists, artists or designers, coming from various fields or countries and with no philosophical or political restriction, and provide the opportunity to work in an atmosphere of complete freedom, collaboration, mutual emulation and cross-fertilisation. In this context, BrIAS aims to facilitate collaborations with countries facing critical challenges pertaining to sustainability.

Click here for more information about the mission statement and vision of BrIAS.

Follow us on this page and on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates!

About the BrIAS research theme 

In 2021-2023, BrIAS has chosen as its first interdisciplinary research theme The past, present and future of food, climate and sustainability. BrIAS will approach this topic from a wide array of viewpoints, with the input of scholars from agricultural sciences, anthropology, archaeology, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, ecology, economic botany, economics, ethnography, history, hydrology, law, medicine, political sciences, sociology, and urban studies. In addition, BrIAS will involve policy makers and NGOs at a national and supranational level as well as start-ups and companies from Brussels and beyond. Attention will also be given to legal aspects of future agricultural and food technologies, and to medical and nutritional aspects of food.

The academic program has been sub-divided into different sub-themes based on the expertise and research excellence of our teams at the VUB and ULB:
•    Climate change and society over the past two millennia
•    Food for plants - waste for food?
•    Food systems and green deal policies in and beyond Europe
•    Agriculture and food consumption in North-East Africa (6000 BC – present): 8,000 years of resilience, adaptation and innovation in the face of drought stress and climate change

Click here for more information about BrIAS main theme and sub-themes.

Some past events organized by CPBL

  • 16 March 2022
BrIAS Workshop : Biostimulation & Plant Protection

For the official announcement click here.

  • 16 February 2022

BrIAS forum:  The past, present and future of food innovation

For the official announcement click here

  • 11 February 2022

BrIAS workshop: Mineral nutrition of plants - implication for human health
For the official announcement click here

  • 09 February 2022

BrIAS workshop: Photosynthesis and primary production
For the official announcement click here

  • 08 February 2022

BrIAS workshop: Upcycled food: challenges and opportunities 
For the official announcement click here.

  • 31 January 2022

BrIAS forum: FUNtastic food hemp: big opportunities from an ancient weed
For the official announcement click here

  • 26 January 2022

BrIAS workshop: Climate-smart agriculture for food security 
For the official announcement click here

  • 19 January 2022

BrIAS workshop: Transdisciplinarity in agricultural and food sciences 
For the official announcement click here

About the BrIAS Team

The BrIAS Directors

Franck Deconinck

Frank Deconinck is professor emeritus of medical physics at VUB. In the nuclear field, he is honorary chairman of the board of governors of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN), honorary president of the European Nuclear Society and he coordinates Rad4Med.be, the Belgian network for radiation applications in healthcare. In the socio-cultural field he organised, together with Mrs. Deconinck-De Ries, the exhibition “Tactile Graphic Art”, accessible by all, including blind and visually impaired persons, and selected in 1989 by UNESCO for the U.N. World decade for cultural development. He specialises in medical physics, image processing, nuclear research and application, nuclear waste management, and technology for blind people.

Serge Jaumain

Professor Serge Jaumain (ULB)

See Staff page.

Belgian and North American contemporary History, Tourism History at ULB

  • BrIAS Administrative Support Manager

Annette Hansen

ir. Annette M. Hansen, MSc (Oxon.) coordinates the day-to-day activities, logistics, website, and finances of BrIAS. She is an archaeobotanist and agricultural and food historian and conducts archaeological and ethnobotanical fieldwork in Jordan, Israel, and Sudan.

Availability: Monday 9am-5pm.

  • The BrIAS Program Directors

Christian Hermans

Professor Christian Hermans

See Staff page.

Crop genetics at CPBL, ULB


Paul Erdkamp

Professor Paul Erdkamp

See Staff page.

Ancient History at FOST, VUB

  • The BrIAS Program Team

Nel Demuelenaere

Professor Nel de Mûelenaere

BrIAS Academic co-director

See Staff page.

Contemporary History at FOST, VUB

David Cannella

Professor David Canella

BrIAS Academic co-director

See Staff page.

Agrobiotechnology at CPBL, ULB



Dr. ir. Frits Heinrich

BrIAS Academic co-director

See Staff page

Ancient Agricultural and Food History and Archaeobotany at FOST, VUB

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Questions about BrIAS? Contact us here!

Mis à jour le 21 mai 2022