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About the BSI

The BSI plays an integrating role in the scientific knowledge of Brussels. It is the driving force behind an ever-expanding network. Its members and partners constitute an ritical mass in a relatively small territory.

The Brussels Studies Institute (BSI) was born in 2012 from the desire of academic circles to work together to better understand and make known the complexity of the Brussels reality to researchers but also to field actors and the general public.


The BSI is a unique partnership around the theme of urban knowledge.


It supports scientific research in Brussels and encourages an integrated, multilingual and multidisciplinary approach to it.

  • The research platform on Brussels since 2012
  • 5 universities
  • 57 research centres
  • More than 350 researchers
  • An interdisciplinary approach

The BSI is involved in all components of the knowledge chain in and for Brussels: from bringing stakeholders together to develop integrated knowledge, to disseminating and promoting it.

To carry out its activities, the BSI invariably mobilizes teams of researchers with diverse profiles (in terms of universities, disciplines, languages) to analyse an urban/metropolitan societal challenge or problem from different angles, with a common reference framework. Not only does this multi-perspective approach enrich the content produced, but it also makes it possible to extend the dissemination of results by mobilizing different networks:


The BSI conducts researches on Brussels

It brings together multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research groups to answer the many questions raised by the societal challenges of the city-region.


The BSI centralises and develops reference resources in Brussels

Its mission is to enable as many people as possible to obtain easy and reliable information on the assumptions and real facts prevailing in the Brussels-Capital Region.


The BSI organizes public events

It organises a series of events focusing on issues that are relevant in the academic sphere, the political agenda and the societal debate.

The BSI leads a research ecosystem on Brussels


The BSI works hand in hand with its two sister organizations: the electronic journal Brussels Studies and the Brussels Academy, an urban and civic university.

The BSI is the privileged partner of the Brussels urban studies networks: Ebxl (ULB), BCUS (VUB), l'IRIB (USL-B), LUSI (KUL) and Louvain4city (UCLouvain).


The BSI brings together 57 research centres linked to eight higher education institutions, representing more than 350 researchers from a wide range of disciplines.

Key Steps

In the creation of the BSI

BSI projects

2 April 2019
BSI has in its portfolio some 45 projects (completed or in progress), financed by more than 30 public, parapublic and private donors.

1 March 2019

The Government of the Brussels-Capital Region and Innoviris award a new three-year management contract.

The BSI today

1 January 2019

The BSI is today a network of 29 affiliated research centres, from 8 higher education institutions (ULB, VUB, USL-B, UCL, KUL, Odisee, ICHEC, UQAM).

1 March 2016

The Government of the Brussels-Capital Region and Innoviris award a three-year management contract. Chair

1 February 2016

Launch of the very first inter-university chair with Prof. Patrick Le Galès (Sciences Po) as holder.

BSI synopses

1 August 2013

The scientific journal Brussels Studies and the BSI are launching the very first issue of the “BSI Synopses” series. These notes are written by a group of authors gathered around a Brussels issue. In the first issue, the theme was education in Brussels.

Creation of the Brussels Academy

1 January 2013

In 2013, the Brussels Academy is created as a spin-off of the BSI to promote non-academic training in Brussels. The Brussels Academy offers a series of free off-campus courses and conferences, including at the Molenbeek Cultural Centre (one of the 19 municipalities of the BCR). In addition, a number of (fee-based) on-demand training offers are also available. Together with Brussels Studies, it is one of the sister organisations of the BSI.

Night of Knowledge on Brussels 2012

1 November 2012

In collaboration with the Kaaitheater (much appreciated for its support), the BSI is organising the very first edition of the Night of Knowledge on Brussels, a carousel of presentations with short speeches of 14 minutes on Brussels. Debates and music bring variety.

Let’s do it !

1 January 2012

The BSI really starts with a very small team, thanks to a start-up grant from the Brussels-Capital Region and Innoviris.

Creation of the BSI : ULB, VUB et USL-B

1 December 2010

With the signing of a framework agreement by the rectors of the Université libre de Bruxelles, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Facultés universitaires St. Louis (currently the Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), the Brussels Studies Institute is officially created.

Creation of the journal Brussels Studies

1 January 2006

In 2006, the Brussels Studies, the open access scientific journal for research on Brussels, was launched. Brussels Studies offers researchers a specific dissemination channel for the presentation of results and offers its readers articles accessible to a non-specialist audience on important topics studied and discussed in the world of research. Together with the Brussels Academy, it will become one of the BSI’s sister organisations.

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