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Coming soon: brand-new research infrastructure in Flanders

When it comes to research and science, Flanders – Belgium’s northern region – is among the world's finest. From microelectronics and biotech to pharmaceuticals, Flanders is ranked as one of the innovation leaders in Europe. To maintain this strong position, the government of Flanders is investing EUR 120 million in new research infrastructure, including new laboratories, research centers, test environments and study equipment. The new infrastructure will be available to businesses looking to expand or start their activities.

Innovative tour de force

The new research infrastructure will be spread all over Flanders and cover various sectors such as construction, chemicals, life sciences and health, agribusiness, bio-economy and the manufacturing industry. The city of Antwerp, for instance, will acquire two new research centers, including the anti-infection unit ‘Vaccinopolis’, where candidate vaccines and anti-pandemic projects will be tested. The second center, called BlueApp, will act as an open innovation hub that brings industry and academics together to strengthen Flanders’ sustainable chemical industry.

Leverage for economy and employment

With the investment, Flanders is once again showing its ambition to maintain its leading role in the fields of innovation, research and development. An innovative region attracts new talents and companies and knows how to market its innovations internationally, which in turn creates more employment. The government is adamant that every citizen will reap the benefits, pointing out that by investing in R&D, sustainable and climate-focused solutions as well as other relevant innovations are created for society as a whole.

We don't realize enough how many groundbreaking innovations emerge and research happens in Flanders. It’s fair to say that we are world class. Leading companies like Johnson & Johnson, CNH Industrial and Nokia call Flanders home. 

Hilde Crevits
Flanders’ Minister for Economy, Innovation, Work, Social economy and Agriculture

Well-chosen focus domains

The investment entails 23 projects coordinated by Flanders’ universities, strategic research centers (Flanders Make, imec, VIB and VITO), the Institute of Tropical Medicine and other organizations. All partners and projects have been strategically chosen within the government’s general policy line, focusing on major social and economic challenges in the field of sustainability, digitalization and health

Some examples:  

  • KU Leuven builds 'TRANSfarm', a test farm for various types of research into new value chains.
  • KU Leuven also receives financial aid to develop a new technology for mapping cancer tissue cells in detail.
  • EnergyVille and UHasselt are building a 'Green Hydrogen Lab' for research into hydrogen technology.
  • With the MAXVR-INFRA project, UHasselt wants to contribute to the digital transformation of industrial companies in Flanders.
  • A new test environment for the faster production of medicines will be built on the site of the Ghent University Hospital.
  • VUB is opening a new training and research center for students, researchers and companies to retrain in photonics, a.k.a. light-based technologies.
  • Flanders Make is building a third center for top technological research with a focus on digitalization. 

More info

Government of Flanders
Reported by
website Government of Flanders
2 August 2021

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