Frequently asked questions

Select a question to expand the explanation below
Is the university subject to VAT ?
The VUB is subject to VAT since July 1st 2007, when the Tax Code was amended and all public authorities became subject to VAT. This means that the universities public by law are also subject to VAT for their contract research, both with industry and with public authorities. The anti-competitive element between the public and private universities is no longer of application. This means that the VUB has to charge 21% VAT on the total project costs (including overhead) for its services rendered to third parties. There are certain exemptions from this tax obligation for which we refer to the guidelines of the Financial Service (
Is the rector the only person empowered to sign an agreement or is a researcher also authorized to sign?
All agreements must be signed by the rector, since only the rector is authorized to represent the university. Researchers are not authorized to conclude contracts in the name and on behalf of the university.
What is a patent?
A patent is a government-granted exclusive right to create and sell an article or to exploit an invention. Through the patent law, inventors are protected against unauthorized use of their invention.
Who owns an invention?
The research results, including the property rights on it, are owned by the institution, except as otherwise provided in regulations and/or agreements approved by the institution.
Who owns the publication rights when collaborating with the industry?
There should be a balance between the concerns of the company to protect its confidential information and the right of academic researchers to publish the research results. One can elaborate a procedure in which the company has the opportunity to look into the design of the publications for a short term. If the company has not formulated comments after the closing date, the researcher can proceed to publish.
What is valorization?
Valorization or "technology transfer" is the provision of (intellectual) property rights on university knowledge by sale or grant or consent to its use to third parties (including government and businesses). In this way, these third parties are allowed to use such knowledge to develop a product (in the broadest sense of the meaning) that is then commercialized, whether or not by the same partner.
What does PCT stand for?
PCT stands for “Patent Cooperation Treaty”. By using the PCT, an applicant needs only to submit one application that indicates in which countries he would like to obtain a patent.