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Flanders’ booming biotech ecosystem starts in Ghent

The life sciences industry in Flanders is growing faster than ever. This fact is reflected in Obelisc, a new bio-accelerator and Tech Lane Ghent Science Park’s newest addition. “Obelisc is our response to a maturing ecosystem and will support companies in their next steps towards growth,” says Stefan Mariën from Biovest, a prominent stakeholder in Flanders’ biotech scene. 

Secure life in Tech Lane

The city of Ghent is home to one of Flanders’ largest science parks: Tech Lane. This exciting hub for cutting-edge technology is where several Ghent University departments, life sciences research center VIB and numerous biotech firms are based. Obelisc – the latest investment of the Mariën family, which also founded Innogenetic, the very first biotech company in Flanders – fits right in.  

“This new bio-accelerator caters to larger companies and thus complements the other parties already present in the science park,” explains Mariën. “The needs of small start-ups are different from those of larger companies, not just in scope and size but also in the type of facilities they require. With Obelisc, we anticipate the future needs of the local biotech ecosystem.” 

A growing biotech landscape

“Ghent is the city where Flanders’ life sciences ecosystem first originated about 40 years ago,” continues Mariën. Thanks to the growing success of the biotech industry, the city has attracted numerous start-ups and spinoffs, inspiring the Mariën family to establish the Bioscape campus in 2015.  

“With a total surface area of 16,000 m², the campus has the capacity to host over a dozen growth and start-up companies in need of more space after receiving funding to step things up a notch,” says Mariën. Today, Flanders hosts one of Europe’s leading life sciences hubs, with cities like Leuven and Hasselt adding to Ghent’s allure.

Flanders' calling card to the world

Many companies have since then found their way to this exciting hub in Flanders. Examples include ArgenxPrecigen ActoBio TherapeuticsMyCartisSequana Medical and Eurofins, to name a few. For Mariën, the benefits of the region are clear: “Flanders has a worldwide reputation as a knowledge center full of experienced scientists, top research, motivated entrepreneurs and excellent infrastructure.”  

Thanks to its strategic position, Flanders is also the ideal location for companies that want to strengthen their commercial ties with the EU. Mariën: “There is definitely interest from international companies looking to move their headquarters to Flanders. With Obelisc, we are more than ready to cater their needs.” 

More info

Science Park Ghent
Reported by
24 August 2020

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