Researcher technical and economic feasibility of innovative technologies

Job description

As a Flemish, internationally recognised research centre, VITO aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.

The Technological Economic Analysis (TEA) team of VITO assesses the economic impact of a project/process/value chain using an integrated and transparent methodology and a multidisciplinary approach.

Are you interested in new, sustainable processes and are you particularly curious about their economic feasibility and broader sustainability impact? Then techno-economic analyses are for you. With new technologies, there are often still many uncertainties and ambiguities about which options are the most promising. Is the investment cost decisive or should we mainly reduce energy consumption or increase productivity? Which research goals need to be achieved? Our team tries to formulate answers to these questions in close cooperation with technology developers and searches for promising value chains with the help of techno-economic analysis.

In a techno-economic analysis, we simultaneously examine the processes from a technical and an economic point of view. We do these analyses on the basis of desktop research and through intensive communication with project developers and external experts. For example, we examine whether the CO2 originating from the steel sector can be converted in an economically feasible way into higher-value products via fermentation. In another project, we are looking into whether it is interesting for farmers to cultivate algae and further fractionate them into high-quality components given the specific conditions such as temperature in North-Western Europe. Other projects we are currently working on can be found here.

This is our plan for you:

You will deliver desktop research combined with intensive communication with internal and external experts and evaluate, communicate, and report results to our customers (Flemish and European) and the research community (i.e. scientific publications and conferences) in order to give advice on the research targets to be reached in order to achieve a commercial success

  • You take into account the valorisation possibilities of the technologies in order to provide relevant information, solutions, advice, processes or products to SMEs, authorities and industry;
  • You carry out (inter)national projects with a focus on the further development of the internally developed techno-economic analysis method;
  • In the long run, you will independently look for new research projects and trajectories for the further development of the in-house developed techno-economic analysis method. You will help write proposals and look for opportunities to finance the proposals.

Job requirements

  • You have obtained at least a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering, Bioengineering, Civil Engineering or Commercial Engineering;
  • You have at least 4 years of work experience or a PhD in a relevant field;
  • You have a clear affinity with (techno)economic analysis;
  • You also have a clear affinity with process techniques (chemistry, materials and energy);
  • You have a thorough knowledge of Excel;
  • Knowledge of ASPEN and/or LCA is a plus;
  • Speaking Dutch is a plus;

Furthermore, you are fascinated by technological innovations and their economic feasibility. You are someone who rather develops a helicopter view of the value chain than wants to specialise in specific processes. So you are a generalist rather than a detail-oriented person. Moreover, you like working in a team, but can also complete tasks independently. You have strong communication skills;


  • We offer you a challenging job in which a diversity of processes and value chains are evaluated from a broad, multidisciplinary perspective using our internally developed techno-economic analysis method.
  • If you are tired of frequent commuting, you have come to the right place. We work 'activity based', our activities take us to our location. Part-time remote working from home, our headquarters in Mol, or working from a satellite office in Antwerp-Berchem, Genk, Ghent or Ostend is one of the possibilities.
  • A front row seat to witness the development of technical solutions for a sustainable world
  • You will be part of an organisation with an international reputation, known for its advanced technological research and scientific consultancy
  • A competitive salary with a range of benefits including allowances, insurances and a modular holiday package
  • A team of fun colleagues, experts in their field, who will guide, support and interact with you
  • Interesting opportunities to interact with partners in the industry and academia
  • Innovation is our trump card, so it goes without saying that we offer our employees the opportunity to follow additional training courses and to stay up-to-date in their field of expertise