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Flanders invests record EUR 6.7 billion in innovation

In 2016, the private, public and academic sectors in Flanders invested no less than EUR 6.7 billion in research and development. Confirmed by the Center for R&D Monitoring, this new record accounts for 2.7% of Flanders’ gross domestic product (GDP), and is well above the European average of 1.94%.

A joint effort

All European member states have agreed to spend 3% of their GDPs on research into new technologies and product development by 2020. More specifically, the business community must account for 2%, while the universities and the authorities together have to contribute 1%.

Government efforts in Flanders rose to 0.84% of the region’s GDP in 2016 from 0.59% ten years earlier. The private sector's efforts rose to 1.86%.

Chemistry, pharma and ICT

Traditionally, the chemical, pharmaceutical and ICT industries invest heavily in research and development in Flanders. “However, the financial sector is increasingly investing in innovation through digitization as well,” says Koen Debackere, author of the study executed by the Center for Research & Development Monitoring.

Future investments

Starting from 2017, the government of Flanders is investing an additional EUR 195 million in scientific research and innovation each year, which adds up to a new total of EUR 758 million. The intention is to add another EUR 280 million to the budget preparation in September. “Our goal is to reach the 3% norm by 2020,” says Flanders’ Minister for Economy, Philippe Muyters.

More info

Center for Research & Development Monitoring
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
29 August 2018

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