The Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) is managing the Belgian Science Policy at the Federal level. It belongs to the Belgian Federal Administration. BELSPO has four main tasks:
- Through its own research programmes it offers reliable, validated data to the Belgian Government, allowing it to take decisions with full knowledge of the facts in areas such as sustainable development, the fight against climate change, biodiversity, energy, health, mobility and the information society.
- BELSPO manages the 10 federal scientific institutes. E.g. the Royal Museum for Central Africa, including its research programmes in Africa and the preservation and study of the ethnographic, historical and biodiversity collections. Other examples are the Royal Observatory, the Royal Meteorological Institute, etc.
- BELSPO manages BELNET, the Belgian National Research Network that provides high-speed internet access to Belgian universities, colleges, research centres and public services. STIS completes the system by offering an information brokerage service to the scientific community, the economic and social world and public services.
- BELSPO manages the Belgian Federal space policy. As such it manages the contribution to the European Space Agency, programmatically, industrially, scientifically and financially. It also deals with bilateral space programmes between Belgium and other countries, e.g. with France, Argentina or Russia. The space activities represent more than 40% of the budget. BELSPO is not a space agency, meaning that BELSPO does not do space research or space realisations on its own. ESA or e.g. CNES (France) and CONAE (Argentina) in the case of bilateral agreements, are doing this on behalf of Belgium, guided by BELSPO. This guarantees the complete independency of BELSPO.