iMinds’ Human Capital Strategy (2015 - 2018)

iMinds owes its internationally acclaimed role as knowledge center for digital research and entrepreneurship to the know-how and results of its 900+ researchers at 5 Flemish universities. Through a dedicated Human Capital Strategy – in compliance with the EU’s HRS4R requirements – we wish to foster, support and permanently extend our research expertise.

Therefore, we create a stimulating work environment for researchers and (industry) partners, offering opportunities to develop creative ideas, new collaborations and entrepreneurial initiatives, and to get professional coaching. Our strategy has been granted the 'HR Excellence in Research' label by the European Commission.

Professional and Personal Growth

Driven by open innovation, we welcome creative ideas and facilitate collaboration with new partners. In parallel to that, we strive for the highest standards of research, stimulating our researchers to further develop themselves as domain experts. We also mentor and coach our people in their professional development and do this with academia and industry partnerships.

iMinds’ Human Capital Strategy (2015-2018) is an absolute asset for researchers to grow both professionally and personally, and for them to help build and enhance iMinds’ international authority.

European Charter & Code

The iMinds Human Capital Strategy incorporates the European Charter & Code and was developed in compliance with the principles of the HR Strategy for Researchers - HRS4R.

Three Focus Domains

iMinds’ permanent efforts to increase quality in research and innovation involve serious investing in its research community. Its Human Capital Strategy – in collaboration with academic and industry partners – plays an important role in achieving this goal. 

A community-driven human capital strategy exercise (2014) consisted of a gap analysis, focus group discussions, management interviews, and the iMinds Convenant (2012-2016). Building on the outcome, the iMinds committee agreed to focus the iMinds Human Capital Strategy on:

  1. Internationalization: International exchange of researchers must be further encouraged and supported, while attracting new, international research talent will become a priority.
  2. Entrepreneurial Competencies: Leveraging iMinds’ successful Entrepreneurship & Incubation program additional initiatives will be launched (trainings, tools, knowledge sharing platforms, social training, ...) with a focus on the development of management skills and personal competencies required in the context of demand-driven and strategic ICT research and the IT industry.
  3. Industrial Mobility: Existing programs for exchange between research and industry must be reinforced, and – if possible – new programs must be set up to offer new career opportunities in ICT for iMinds researchers (via knowledge exchange, network development).

Seven Key Activities

In order to fullfill these strategic objectives, iMinds will develop seven concrete action plans in the next two years to:

  1. Attract the right talents to achieve international excellence in digital research and technology.
  2. Create an iMinds Training framework and program for the professional development of iMinds researchers, with special attention to young researchers and postdoc researchers to develop their entrepreneurial competences.
  3. Research in Residence: Inform and stimulate participation in exchange programs between research institutes and industry. Explore means to stimulate this in the iMinds research programs and set up long-term partnerships with international RTO’s.
  4. Build a community of iMinds Alumni to connect with the iMinds ambassadors in industry.
  5. Offer career guidance and support to researchers for a career either inside or outside the organization.
  6. Develop an iMinds Human Capital System that allows the identification of the human capital dimension of the organization’s performance. The system leads to tools to measure, monitor and analyze the impact of the Human Capital Strategy.
  7. Create a strong iMinds Community through the development of a collaborative and appreciative iMinds organization culture. This with a strong bottom-up involvement, making sure to see iMinds researchers act as true iMinds ambassadors.

Reporting on Progress

From 2016 onwards, a dedicated webpage will report on a quarterly basis on the progress made in the roll-out of the action plans and pilot projects. This report will focus on the results (deliverables and milestones) and impact when data become available.

Internal Evaluation

After 2 years, an internal assessment will be set up. The results of this assessment will be published on a separate corporate webpage (Q1 – 2017) and will certainly lead to an update of the Human Capital Strategy document as such. This updated strategy document will also be made available on this webpage.

External Evaluation

After four years, an external assessment with involvement of the EC, will take place. The execution of the action plans and the results and impact achieved will be evaluated. The follow-up actions demanded by this assessment will also be publicly announced in this online platform.