Philippe Mettens, doctor of neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bergen (Mons), has among other things worked at the Mc Gill University of Montreal and as principal private secretary to several ministers. His position as chairman of the Federal Science Policy Office allows him to combine his managerial abilities with his passion for science. His favourite pastimes are reading, writing and sports.
Helping to progress towards the Barcelona objective (devoting 3% of the GDP to research and development), participating in job creation and well-being through innovation, optimising the running of the Belgian research area, fighting against climate change: such are the major stakes Belgium has to face. With its 2,800 employees, the Federal Science Policy department contributes significantly to meeting these objectives.
Through the major research programmes we manage, we also offer the government reliable, validated data, allowing it to take decisions with full knowledge of the facts in areas such as sustainable development, the fight against climate change, biodiversity, energy, health, mobility and the information society.
We also manage the Belgian contribution to the European Space Agency. Since Belgium is the fifth net contributor to the ESA, this participation is strategic for our country and crucial for our companies. At the same time, we offer R&D aid to companies with the desire to participate in various AIRBUS programmes, which is essential to their positioning in the ruthless battle raging in this sector on a global level.
The 10 federal scientific Institutes offer scientists an exceptional framework and research materials. They also house artistic and historical collections, which are visited by more than 1.2 million people every year.
BELNET, the Belgian national research network, provides high-speed internet access to Belgian universities, colleges, research centres and public services. STIS completes the system by offering an information brokerage service to the scientific community, the economic and social world and public services.
The Federal Science Policy also co-ordinates the research effort lead by all the country’s authorities and is responsible for introducing our researchers into international research networks. In this sense, it lies at the heart of the Belgian research space and represents a major centre in the European Research Area.
The Federal Science Policy alone represents almost 30% of the entire Belgian public budget in terms of research.
The Federal Science Policy is also a network of prestigious institutions such as the Academia Belgica in Rome, the Biermans-Lapôtre Foundation in Paris, the Junfraujoch in the Alps, the Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, the Royal Belgian Film Archive, the Euro Space Center and the Institut Von Karman. Through these infrastructures, the Federal Science Policy offers our researchers an international reputation.