Assessing the Added Value of a Research Information Service Web in the Flanders Region

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About Assessing the Added Value of a Research Information Service Web in the Flanders Region

  • This project has been fulfilled.
  • This project fits in the following Bachelor programs: {{#arraymap:|, |xXx|bachelorproject within::xXx|,}}
  • This project fits in the following masterareas: {{#arraymap:Information and Communication Technology, Information Sciences|, |xXx|project within::xXx|,}}


The Flanders Research and Information Services (FRIS) Portal is one of the main objectives of the Flemish Ministry of Economy, Science, and Innovation (EWI). Doing so they want to (i) accelerate the innovation value chain by efficient and fast access to research information for all stakeholders; (ii) offer improved customer services; and (iii) increase efficiency and effectiveness of the R&D policy.

Currently they already published a portal ( <>) where you can visually browse and extract information about researchers, projects, and the involved institutes in the Flanders Region. The information is structured according to the European CERIF standard which will allow to integrate with similar portals in the European Union. This is essential as research is increasingly funded and conducted on a European level, see for example CERN.

On top of this information infrastructure, EWI wants to build a service ecosystem for various kinds of stakeholders from researchers to policy makers, and even publication editors and the media. For example, when researchers for different transnational research institutes decide to write a research proposal, a valuable service would be the delivery of "boilerplate" content (like people profiles, average labour cost per country for budget calculation) extracted from diverse online sources (like <>) that can be automatically inserted into the proposal. This saves the proposal writers a lot of time. A more advanced service would act as a "personal assistant" that monitors the whole life-cycle of a proposal not only during writing the proposal, but the assessment of the proposal by evaluators, up to the follow-up and review of the project itself after the proposal is accepted.

In this thesis you will interview people at the ministry and their stakeholders, identify business drivers, perform a SWOT analysis on the current service landscape, and analyze service requirements. Next, you will model and analyse the added value of this network of services using the e3value methodology and tools developed at VU's Business, Web and Media Group.

It is required to travel a couple of times to Brussels to visit the Ministry. Travel costs will be reimbursed.