Pieter Ballon

Pieter Ballon

Director SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology)



Pieter Ballon is Director of the research centre SMIT (with currently more than 60 researchers), as well as Scientific Director of Living Labs at imec, the internationally leading research institute for ICT innovation. The research group SMIT-VUB is part of imec and specializes in socio-economical research concerning digital innovations in digital media, digital health and smart cities. Pieter was recently appointed the first Brussels smart cities ambassador and is also the international secretary of ENoLL, the European Network of Living Labs. In his capacity, Pieter leads various national and international programmes on Living Labs, Smart Cities, and Business Models for new media services and platforms. Clients and partners of his work include Alcatel Lucent, Sony, IBM, SAP, Nokia, France Telecom, Telefonica, Belgacom, Telenet, VRT, the European Commission and the World Bank. Since October 2016, Pieter holds the academic Chair on Smart Cities / Leerstoel Smart Cities at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Before joining SMIT, Pieter spent nine years as consultant and researcher at TNO, the Netherlands Institute for Applied Sciences (1998-2007). Within TNO, he dealt with innovation strategy and policy advice for industry and policy makers, specifically in relation to the so-called ‘mobile internet’. After moving back to Belgium, he started up a completely new team for applied research into new business models for ICT services, expanding the team to around 15 researchers, and founded and led another team of the same size, composed of Living Lab experts.

Pieter Ballon has a publication record of well over 100 peer-reviewed papers published in scholarly books, academic journals and conference proceedings. With a current expertise in smart cities, he recently published the book “Smart Cities: hoe technologie onze steden leefbaar houdt en slimmer maakt". Pieter was a speaker in the Entrepreneurial Challenges track at iMinds The Conference 2014. He also launched the iMinds FIWARE challenge at Net Futures 2015.

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