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PhD position: Sustainable Business design & development



About the team, institute, and the project

VUB Business Development Academy

BUDA’s mission is to develop academic business development training, market research & customized workshops that ensure the future quality of academic business development activities. Furthermore, BUDA’s aim is to develop a business development community hence providing academic business developers both the tools as well as the social network that they can leverage to improve their academic valorisation efforts and the launching of new business.

The VUB Business Development Academy is financed through the Industrial Research Fund of the Flemish government and the European FEDER programme. The BUDA program is under the direct supervision of the VUB Vice Rector for Innovation and Industrial Relations: Prof. Dr. ir. Hugo Thienpont. The IOF board also acts as a sounding board for the board of directors of VUB BUDA.

European Digital Innovation Hubs

The European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs) act as one-stop shops that help companies respond dynamically to digital challenges, making them more competitive.

By providing access to technical expertise, as well as the ability to ‘test before you invest’, EDIH’s help companies improve their business/production processes, products and or services using digital technologies. They also provide innovation services, such as financing advice, training and skills development necessary for a successful digital transformation. Environmental issues are also taken into account, in particular regarding the use of digital technologies for sustainability and circularity.

The EDIHs combine local expertise with international expertise made possible through the European network. Local presence makes it possible to deliver the services that local businesses effectively need, in the local language and through the local innovation ecosystem. The European coverage of the network allows the exchange of best practices between hubs in different countries, as well as the provision of specialized services in regions where competences are not available locally.


Job description

The Technology & Innovation team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is recruiting a full-time researcher in the domain of Sustainable Business Design & Development. The ideal candidate has a strong interest in business development and sustainable entrepreneurship. Candidates must be familiar with the UN SDGs and have a master’s degree in Applied Economics, Commercial Engineering or equivalent. A clear passion for innovation and entrepreneurship is a must.

You will be a member of the VUB Business Development Academy (BUDA).

BUDA’s mission is to develop training in academic business design & development (ABDD), market research and tailor-made workshops that ensure the future quality of academic business development. In addition, BUDA’s goal is to develop a community for ABDD to provide academic business developers with both the tools and social network they can use to enhance their academic valorization efforts and launch new businesses.

In parallel, you willl act as an important liaison with the European Digital Innovation Hub financed within the Digital Innovation Hubs program of the European Union. In this program, a specific action is foreseen to support local Brussels companies during their digital transformation and implementation of artificial intelligence. This program will view the sustainable transformation of these companies.

  • Within BUDA/FARI, you will be responsible for carrying out sustainability assessments, guiding Brussels companies and research in the field of ‘Technology and Innovation management: Sustainable Business Design & Development’ with a goal to obtaining a PhD.
  • In addition, we also support the goals of BUDA: educating and coaching academics to become effective entrepreneurs.

You will conduct applied research into the role of sustainable business design & development in contemporary universities. You will support the continuous improvement of the BUDA program, the day-to-day business, the administration and the outreach. You will also contribute to the development of specific training modules, in this case aimed at sustainable entrepreneurship.

You will also participate in the daily activities of the Technology and Innovation team. The team is a research group of the Department of Business Technology and Operations of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and consists of five PhD students and four professors. The focus of our research activities is on technology transfer and academic entrepreneurship.

Your Profile
  • MSc in Management, Commercial Engineer, TEW or equivalent, preferably in the field of Technology Transfer or Innovation Management.
  • A passion for sustainability, business & technology.
  • Proven ability to interact with external stakeholders
  • Fluent in English; knowledge of Dutch is considered an essential asset.


Our Offer
  • A competitive salary
  • 35 vacation days per year
  • Flexible working hours
  • Reimbursement for public transport (home-work)
  • A stimulating working environment on the green VUB campus in the heart of Europe


Starting date




36 months



Brussels Humanities, Sciences and Engineering Campus, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium


Equal opportunities

We know we have a lot of work to do to accelerate our commitment to inclusion and diversity in our workplaces and communities. But we are committed to fostering an environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential and be heard and valued, regardless of visible or invisible differences.


Interested in joining our group? Please send fill out the form below or send your CV to .