Optimism in Belgian companies is rampant: this is the conclusion of a new study released by Fiabilis Consulting Group. The Fiabilis/Dedicated observatory for innovative companies surveyed 94 firms, 55% of which are located in Flanders, with the goal of gaining insights into R&D recruitment stats. In this sample, Fiabilis interviewed 42% small, 35% medium-sized and 23% large companies active in a broad range of industries, from chemistry and textiles to IT.
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Belgium remains on the crest of the innovation wave
Riding on the winds of optimism, companies in Belgium and Flanders keep their wings wide open to welcome new workers into their R&D departments. This is the result of a favorable local economic climate and the government’s R&D-specific financial stimulation efforts.
Almost half of the respondents indicated recruiting extra personnel in 2017 to reinforce their R&D departments. This trend was even stronger in enterprises with fewer than 50 employees: 56% of these smaller companies claimed to have recruited more R&D personnel in 2017 than in the years before. Employment in R&D in Flanders-based innovative companies has been on the rise for 3 years in a row, regardless of company size.
The positive conditions for R&D in Belgium and Flanders can be easily explained. A favorable investment climate and comprehensive government funding are the key drivers of sectoral growth. 70% of the responding companies stated relying on tax incentives and government support to finance their R&D programs. 73% of them claim utilizing a key incentive: withholding tax exemption for researchers.
With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.