Current professional activities

Current professional activities (also available in AND )

Since 1985, Frank Robben is a continuous driving force behind administrative simplification, process optimization and computerization in the Belgian social, health care and public sector. Frank thereby pays particular attention to the implementation of security by design and privacy by design principles.

Since 1991, Frank is general manager of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security, an institution he conceived and founded. The Crossroads Bank for Social Security elaborates the eGovernment strategy within the Belgian social sector, stimulates process optimization, coordinates the implementation of eGovernment projects (such as the social security portal), and organizes secure electronic data exchange between all actors in that sector, companies and citizens. The Crossroads Bank for Social Security received a first Belgian eGovernment Champion Award in 2004, a prestigious United Nations Public Service Award for eGovernment in 2006, a European Public Service Award in 2007, a second Belgian eGovernment Champion Award in 2008, a Good Practice Award for Europe by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in 2019, and was elected Federal Public Service of the Year 2014.

In consequence of the experience and success in the social sector, in 2000 Frank was asked by the Belgian government to elaborate a federal eGovernment masterplan and to prepare the launch of a new Federal Public Service for Information and Communication Technology (Fedict), transformed in 2017 into the Directorate-General (DG) Simplification & Digitalisation. This DG is responsible for the coordination of eGovernment projects within the Belgian federal administration. In that context, Frank developed the concepts of the electronic identity card, of the company register, of the federal service integrator and of the federal portal

In 2004, Frank was appointed CEO of Smals, the most important (not-for-profit) ICT-service provider in the Belgian social security sector, and rated Belgian Top Employer 2024 by the Top Employers Institute.

In 2007, Frank was again called upon by the Belgian government, now to conceive the eHealth-platform. The eHealth-platform is a public institution that organizes and supports well-secured electronic information exchange between all actors in the health care sector in order to optimize quality of care, patient safety and scientific health research, and to reduce administrative burden for patients and health care providers. Since 2008 Frank is also general manager of the eHealth-platform. For privacy protection reasons, the eHealth-platform is strictly separated from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security. The eHealth platform was rewarded with a Sharing & Reuse Award from the European Commission in 2019.

In 2014, along with a number of colleagues, Frank initiated the development of a government cloud (G-Cloud). The G-Cloud initiative received the Belgian eGovernment Champion Award in 2016.

In 2020, Frank was asked by the Belgian federal and regional governments to coordinate the development of information systems needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to elaborate their legal framework. Three of the applications developed were rewarded with a Belgian eGovernment & Smart City (Champion) Award at the end of 2020.I

In 2023-2024 Frank co-directed the development of the eIDAS-2 compliant Belgian digital identity wallet and in particular its use in the social and healthcare sector.

Furthermore, Frank is a member of the board of directors of Familiehulp, of the steering committee of the Belgian Federal Public Service for Administrative Simplification and of the advisory board of Passwerk, a company that employs the qualities of people with autism spectrum disorder in software testing activities.

Frank is the Belgian representative in various commissions and working groups of the EU relating to eGovernment, ICT, social security and eHealth.

Frank teaches the course ‘Electronic data management in social security’ in the Master of European Social Security at K.U. Leuven. He is a member of the editorial board of the Belgian Review of Social Security and wrote more than 120 publications relating to eGovernment, eHealth, management, ICT-law and social security.

Frank was elected Flemish public manager of the year 2005.