EU Projects

KU Leuven in EU projects

General KU Leuven information

KU Leuven is currently by far the largest university in Belgium in terms of research funding and expenditure (EUR 455.1 million in 2015), and is a charter member of LERU. KU Leuven conducts fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines with a clear international orientation. In the Times Higher Education ranking KU Leuven is ranked as the 12th European university, while in the Reuters Top 100 of the World’s most innovative institutions, KU Leuven is listed as the first European university. Leuven participates in over 540 highly competitive European research projects (FP7, 2007-2013), ranking sixth in the league of HES institutions participating in FP7. In Horizon 2020, KU Leuven currently has been approved more than 210 projects. KU Leuven takes up the 9th place of European institutions hosting ERC grants (as first legal signatories of the grant agreement). To date, the 93 ERC Grantees (including affiliates with VIB and IMEC) in our midst confirm that KU Leuven is a breeding ground (48 Starting Grants) and attractive destination for the world’s best researchers. The success in the FP7 and Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions is a manifestation of the three pillars of KU Leuven: research, education and service to society. In our 199 Actions, of which 96 Initial/European Training Networks, hundreds of young researchers have been trained through research and have acquired the necessary skills to transfer their knowledge into the world outside academia.

SIM² KU Leuven in EU projects

The KU Leuven success in the MSCA-ITN programme is to be partially explained by the extended range of projects won by the interdisciplinary SIM² KU Leuven cluster. SIM² KU Leuven coordinated the recently completed project FP7 MC-ITN EREAN, H2020 MSCA-ETN REDMUD, DEMETER, NEW-MINE and SOCRATES. On-going MSCA-ETN coordinated by SIM² KU Leuven are COSMIC, SULTAN and CHARMING (full list of H2020 ETN & R/IA projects:

SIM² KU Leuven hosts the Belgian-German-Dutch colocation centre for the prestigious EIT RawMaterials and coordinates several KAVA Training, Upscaling and Network-of-Infrastructure projects. KU Leuven is the lead EU partner in the US NSF-supported I/U Cooperative Centre for Resource Recovery and Recycling (

SIM² KU Leuven hosts two ERC Grants (Prof. Koen Binnemans & Prof. Simon Kuhn)

SIM² has two ERC Grantees among its ranks: Prof. Koen Binnemans (Advanced Grant, SOLCRIMET) & Pro. Simon Kuhn (Consolidator Grant, MICRODISCO).

SOLCRIMET’s aim is to successfully apply a ground-breaking metallurgical approach – solvometallurgy – to the extraction of specific critical metals, i.e. rare earths, tantalum, niobium, cobalt, indium, gallium, germanium and antimony, which are key enablers of the required transition to a low-carbon, circular economy.

MICRODISCO aims to provide fundamental understanding of ultrasound resonance modes and targets a theoretical tool for their prediction, leading to innovative and intensified electro- and photochemical reactors promoting green and sustainable chemistry.

SIM² KU Leuven coordinates several EU H2020 Marie-Curie Training Networks and participates in regular EU projects

SIM² KU Leuven has made the strategic choice to coordinate MSCA-ETN projects. It has secured funding for 8 MSCA-ETN projects in 6 years: FP7 MC-ITN EREAN H2020 MSCA-ETN REDMUD, DEMETER, NEW-MINE, SOCRATES (all recently completed) and the on-going COSMIC, CHARMING and SULTAN projects.

Concurrently, SIM² KU Leuven is also a key partner in regular Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Actions (IAs and RIAs) and COST Actions. Examples are PLATIRUS, CROCODILE, NEMO, TARANTULA, Sea4Value, REMOVAL, COST NORM4BUILDING.

Overview ETNs @ KU Leuven:

Involve KU Leuven in your EU project?

As a leading partner in both EIT RawMaterials, CR³ and the European Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium (EURELCO:, SIM² KU Leuven has key assets to participate in EU projects. These flagship domains are:
  • Hydro- and solvometallurgy (leaching & solvent extraction, with a strong track record in rare-earth metals and cobalt, (cf. Advanced ERC Grant SOLCRIMET))
  • Pyro/plasma and electrometallurgy
  • Development of innovative building materials from secondary resources (with a strong track record in inorganic polymers))
  • Demanufacturing of End-of-Life complex products and licecyle engineering
  • Process intensification of metallurgical processes
  • Enhanced Landfill Mining (cf. ELFM and EURELCO Consortia co-led by KU Leuven:
  • Sustainability assessment of recycling processes (cf. LCA, MFA etc.)
  • Risk assessment of metals in (primary) mining environments (excellent track record in cobalt and cadmium)
  • Transition management, multi-actor approach to the Social License to Operate issue
  • Professional communication and dissemination

To involve SIM² KU Leuven in one of your project proposals, contact:

Dr. Ir. Peter Tom Jones Director SIM² KU Leuven

IRF Research Manager KU Leuven
+32 486 83 64 94