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Belgium and Flanders rank 3rd in ZEW’s Innovation Indicator

Belgium and its northern region Flanders rank 3rd in the 2020 Innovation Indicator, ahead of R&D powerhouses such as Germany, the US, the UK, France and more. This result pays testimony to Flanders’ efforts in fostering an interconnected R&D ecosystem where public, private and academic players innovate together.

cleanroom at imec, Flanders-Belgium

3rd out 35 leading economies

Referred to in German as the Innovationsindikator, this classification is published by the ZEW – Leibniz Center for European Economic Research, which is headquartered in Mannheim (Germany). The study ranks the innovation systems of 35 countries worldwide based on a variety of performance indicators, and pays special attention to 5 subdomains: economy, science, education, state and society.

Steady performance through the decades

Over the past two decades, Belgium has accounted for a steady performance in the Innovation Indicator. In 2005 and 2010, for example, the country claimed 9th and 10th place, respectively. Now, in 2020, Belgium has obtained a total of 60 points, placing it 3rd in the list – a position it has held unremittingly since 2017.

Innovative track record

The Innovation Indicator is not the only R&D ranking where Belgium and Flanders secure a high position. The country and region also performed well in the most recent European Innovation Scoreboard (2019 edition). Highlighting just three results from this study by the European Commission, Belgium ranked:

  • 4th for firm R&D investments;
  • 3rd for enterprises providing training to develop or upgrade the ICT skills of their employees;
  • 5th for SMEs introducing product or process innovations.

About Belgium and Flanders

With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the autonomous northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.

More info

Reported by
ZEW – Leibniz Center for European Economic Research
4 June 2020

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