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In addition to education, the Applied Computer Science program also includes applied research and services involving both professors and students.

The themes being worked around are innovative Web platforms, Cyber and Industrial Security, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Augmented Reality, Privacy Preserving techniques and 5G.

Blockchain projects: trust between organizations based on technology


At the local, regional level have seen large-scale digitization of services. In many cases, the introduction of digital processes was not accompanied by a reduction of administrative (paper) red tape for the citizen, trader, SME,... (government stakeholders).

The BLING project aims to bring the benefits of digital transformation to the stakeholders. A consortium of knowledge and government institutions has been set up, through the use of blockchain technology, to transform public sector innovation into customer-oriented services.

BLING will:

  • provide models to develop services with blockchain
  • identify legal constraints and policy obstacles
  • provide deeper insight into the right use cases to develop services with blockchain
  • focus on security, safety, privacy and data protection together with consumer protection
  • create awareness through events, tools and services

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Blockchain4SME is a project approved by the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship under the TETRA program. TETRA projects aim to translate recently available knowledge (new technology, recently completed research or existing knowledge from another domain or other sector) into concrete, useful information so that in the short term after the end of the project the target group can innovate faster and more efficiently.

The SME has experienced and endured the first Internet revolutions (Web 1.0 and Web 2.0). The SME has learned about the Internet from EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), B2B and B2C. The SME knows that it can connect its database with other databases but in practice this is not so easy or practical. However, there is also a problem with instant availability of data. Data is constantly changing. SME business processes are not simple and require a lot of processing of data. Automating this processing, improving it and making it faster is a big challenge.

The main goal of the research is to pass on the knowledge of blockchain technology to Flemish SMEs so that they can further digitize, improve, renew, secure and provide data privacy for their business processes. Flanders has approximately 300,000 SMEs. These companies are the connective tissue of our Flemish economy. The SME must be able to use the new technology.

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Nyala Blue – Transparency by tracing stories

With Nyala Blue, we are helping to normalize, communicate and ultimately valorize sustainability initiatives and the cradle to cradle principle. What if you could simply take your smartphone, scan a QR code on the coffee packaging, and track the entire cycle of your coffee: from primary raw material to coffee and from coffee grounds to new product? That way, with one click on their smartphone, consumers can find out who made their coffee, who they are and even how much they earned.

To solve the problem of transparency, Nyala Blue is building a platform that relies on blockchain technology. We work with the farmer, trader, roaster and residue processor to make the entire coffee chain transparent, and inform consumers. Trust is crucial in e-commerce or Direct Trade. Blockchain can address this by providing certainty about who the counterparty is or how the product originated. From that automatically flows a shorter supply chain.

Many smaller coffee roasters and coffee bars have a passion for their work. They have good contacts with the farmer, pay a fair price, deliver quality, .... However, they don't have a label like organic, fair trade. They do more. First of all, let's communicate this to the consumer. By communicating to the consumer, companies automatically adjust their process (environmental, ethical, cost-oriented to life cycle). Matches can be made between demanders and providers of materials. Matches that are not obvious in the first place. In this case, consider growing oyster mushrooms from coffee grounds. After a few harvests, the substrate is composted. On the compost obtained, microgreens can be grown, such as radishes and watercress. Through transparency and matching demanders and providers, we bring parties together, thus creating clusters and partial systems. Residual streams and products are valorized.

With Nyala Blue, we offer a technological platform for companies to track the goods. To consumers, we offer an app/website. This app, based on data, tells a simple story.

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Blockchain4Prosumers - BC4P

The project name Blockchain4Prosumers - BC4P connects two elements: On the one hand the blockchain technology and on the other hand the prosumer. The blockchain makes it possible to make locally generated energy available through trading platforms or directly to other consumers and users. One of the, probably, most media-effective potential applications of blockchain in the energy industry is the so-called Peer-2-Peer trade.The concrete results of Blockchain4Prosumers will be:

  • Development of a concrete, innovative blockchain technology for a secure, innovative energy market using renewable energy;
  • Expansion of market opportunities for blockchain and energy system transformation for SMEs in the Euroregion;
  • Creation of new jobs in the manufacturing (equipment installation), IT and energy sectors;
  • Strengthening the innovative power of start-ups in the EMR;
    Accelerating and increasing acceptance of energy system transformation in the EMR;
  • Strengthening existing EMR knowledge infrastructure and developing new knowledge areas.


With the support of the Interreg Euregio Maas Rijn and the European Regional Development Fund. The European Union is investing in your future.

Partners: Howest, Hogeschool PXL, Open Universiteit, Climate-Cities SPRL, Université de Liège, Cluster CAP Construction, Coöperatie TIORC U.A., Zuyd Hogeschool, FH Aachen

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Future Flemish Pig

Future Flemish Pig is a cooperative business project (ICON type) in which different companies in the chain cooperate with different research institutions to achieve a common goal.

This project aims to align and combine innovations in genetics, animal nutrition, slaughter and processing in Piétrain crossbred fattening pigs to provide answers to the diverse and interrelated challenges of the pig production and processing chain in Flanders. Related to this, knowledge is gained on how data sharing can be implemented via innovative federated blockchain technology (a decentralized system managed by a collaborating consortium). Moreover, through a multidisciplinary research approach, insights are sought that can contribute to the role of meat pigs in circular agri-food systems in the longer term.

Specifically, the project aims to

  1. develop strategies that improve animal welfare,
  2. reduce losses, both at the animal level (before slaughter) and at the carcass level (after slaughter),
  3. improve taste and quality of fresh pork and dried ham to a level perceptible by consumers,
  4. obtain new, mechanistic insights into the resilience of Piétrain sired fattening pigs to significant fluctuations in feed, especially when that feed is built primarily from variable and high-fiber side-stream ingredients (feed resilience),
  5. unlock the potential of blockchain technology in the pig production and processing chain based on improved transparency and automated traceability.

The project is being developed by a consortium of companies and research partners: Bivit, Debra Group, Dekeyzer-Ossaer, Flanders' FOOD, Howest Security & Privacy, ILVO (Animal Unit), KU Leuven (Livestock Genetics Research Group), Ghent University (Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Quality of Animal Products (LANUPRO)), Flemish Piétrain Breeding, Meat Products Corma

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AI: Artificial Intelligence in a professional environment


With the growth in IT infrastructure and increasing digitalization, the volume and complexity of network traffic is increasing. Increase in size of computer network creates a larger attack surface. This makes it easier to penetrate such a network. On the other hand, security experts are struggling with an abundance of data. Moreover, cybersecurity is a dynamic field in which new strategies for attacking are constantly being developed. An unprecedented attack is also called a zero-day attack.

The main objective of the research is to apply techniques from artificial intelligence to the data of a computer network in a typical today's medium-sized company (SME) and thereby detect at what point an attack occurs. Furthermore, the speed of such an application is tested from data capture to analysis execution. The robustness against simple parts of the attack (e.g. Ddos, portsweep, ...) or complex forms (Botnets, False content injection, ...) are tested. The main information used by the AI system is also reported at the end.


In the AI4Cast project, Howest, Sirris and VIL together aim to explore how the deployment of modern technologies such as blockchain, new data encryption methods and Artificial Intelligence can contribute to the sharing and analysis of data to achieve chain-wide, real-time and proactive supply chain prediction & planning.


The overall goal of this project is to make Flemish SMEs aware of the potential and provide a foundation of the combination of AI and Robotic Process Automation ("software robots").

With this, one can, in a relatively simple way, have a program independently perform the repetitive and often numbing work of entering and processing data in an enterprise. This can relieve the burden on employees, reduce the risk of errors and increase efficiency.

Howest, Arteveldehogeschool and Agoria are working on an integrated guidance program that names and supports the impact on people from the start in combination with an in-company data & change training.

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Cyber Security: security in a digital environment

ICI4 (Living Lab Project)

This living lab will be a central point of contact for the Flemish industry for all matters related to cybersecurity.

Companies will be introduced to the various aspects of securing an industrial facility through a physical demonstration setup. They see these innovative systems and the potential to evaluate their specific situation.

Here, attention is paid both to existing regulations and standards related to industrial installations and to the implementation of security measures.

Existing security best practices are complemented with own applied research to provide answers to the concrete questions of the Flemish industry.

The objectives of this living lab project are threefold:

  • To translate the existing regulations concerning industrial network and information systems, in particular the new NIS directive, into concrete and practical action points tailored to Belgian companies.
  • Using the test facility to explain and evaluate the technical security measures. This includes extensive attention to the impact on performance, robustness and possible consequences for safety.
  • Demonstrate innovative network monitoring techniques within industrial networks through integration within the test facility. Where traditional detection systems use fixed rules, innovative systems offer the possibility to use machine learning to detect and report any abnormal and potentially dangerous behavior.

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Preparing businesses and their employees to implement and use Cybersecurity. In partnership with Skilliant and Portilog.

A lot of technical courses are being developed i.e. cybersecurity. But if you do not have an IT background, it is almost impossible to start one. However, cyberattacks are in the small corners and no one is free from them. That's why Howest, Skilliant and Portilog are joining forces to make companies completely cyberproof. We want every employee to acquire the right competencies regarding cybersecurity and data protection. In a first phase (this can still change) the business world is divided into 12 profiles[1] of employees, who are vulnerable and for whom the necessary awareness/training does not currently exist. For these 12 profiles, training courses have been developed, each consisting of different topics.

Not every company has these 12 profiles in-house. At the start of the training, a CS maturity scan and an intake interview are held. The first step is to find out through an (existing) maturity scan how cyberproof the company is. So this is a scan on data type, data sensitivity and a scan on data security (both technical to security via systems and knowledge gaps among employees). But a step further is taken. An intake according to the type of company is very important. A small company will need different modules/topics than a medium-sized company. One company has a lot of knowledge and is a more attractive company for hackers than a company without secret information. In other words, we need to get a feel for how a company works. You can only know a company when a thorough intake has been held. This will be done using questionnaires. Do the employees have the right knowledge adapted to their level?

Smart city projects: getting started with data


Vital Cities investigates to what extent the physical and social environment stimulates people consciously and unconsciously to exercise in a low-threshold manner.

The Applied Informatics research group is investigating what technologies are relevant for data capture, what data can be transformed into relevant information and how it can be visualized effectively.

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Innovative web platforms


With Sharing Logistics, VIL will apply the principle of the sharing economy to the B2B logistics market through a virtual platform. The aim is to develop a system whereby companies can use each other's unused assets and services without any profit motive. In other words, the rental price of a particular asset/service cannot exceed the costs incurred. The idea is that the lessor can reduce part of the cost of downtime/abandonment.

The focus of this VIL project is to come up with an efficient, finished web platform to allow participating companies to contact each other in a clear and fast way and to establish a transaction. All this without much hassle and paperless with attention to the legal and insurance aspects of the business.

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Krachtnet is committed to developing a digital toolbox that supports informal and formal caregivers in taking stock of the (active and dormant) social network of older people and in working with their qualities and talents. In addition to the toolbox itself, accompanying manuals, instructional videos and training can be developed (target groups: IT companies, caregivers, executives, students in training...).

As a result of this project, we will arrive at a Proof of Concept that will be made available to IT companies focused on care and welfare.

Krachtnet builds on previous research on leveraging internal and external forces to combat social isolation and loneliness.

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Roeselare vrijwilligt is an open, autonomous platform that encourages and supports cooperation in Roeselare. Roeselare vrijwilligt:

  • supports citizens to show, develop and socially share their interests and talents.
  • Supports organizations in the search for human capital.

The platform was developed by Howest.

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Erasmus+ Project brandY

Starting in September 2020, the bachelor programs Business Management and Applied Computer Science of Howest are involved in an international project, concluding end of August 2023. The project is financed by the Erasmus Plus Strategic Partnerships program called "Experiential education. Interactive / Intensive course of European Brand Management (brandY)".

The main goal is to design, implement and test an innovative tool for experiential teaching. This tool will allow for the education of students Marketing and International Business Management to make them more attractive for the employment market. By combining interdisciplinary expertise and experience, the project partners will develop materials for a training program in the field of International Branding, including:

  1. an e-book containing innovative materials and educational tools, as well as ready-to-use procedures for its application.
  2. handbooks for both students and lecturers.
  3. an internet platform in the form of an interactive game giving access to the materials developed.

The target group is mainly students. The knowledge and competences gained throughout the course will make them more attractive on the labor market. However, lecturers are also part of the target group. They will get the opportunity to implement ready-to-use solutions regarding Brand Management in their classes. Finally, all organizations interested in leveraging experts in International Brand Management are potential beneficiaries.

The project foresees in the organization of 7 transnational meetings with representatives of institutions of higher education from different European countries, as well as 4 intensive programs for students and lecturers. The project is an opportunity to establish interdisciplinary cooperation between international experts in the fields of Marketing, International Brand Management, new technologies and gamification.

The support of the European Commission for the creation and publication of these teaching materials do not entail approval of the contents, which only reflects the opinion of the authors. Therefore, the Commission cannot be held accountable for the information in this publication.

Logo Erasmus+ Project brandY