The number of applications from Belgium was 3.2% higher than in 2018. This is a significantly larger increase than the EU average (+0.9%). It was the second increase in a row for Belgium, after a decrease in applications in 2017. “The solid growth seen over the past two years shows the strength of the local R&D infrastructure,” says EPO president António Campinos in a press release. “This innovation ecosystem is based on an extremely diverse mix of companies, research institutes and universities.”
Over 1,500 of Belgian patent applications came from Flanders. With 409 applications, Flemish Brabant is the new frontrunner among the region’s provinces, closely followed by Antwerp. Chemical company Solvay was the most active last year (306 applications), followed by imec (174) – Flanders’ strategic research center for digital innovation and nanotech – and materials technology firm Umicore (89). The largest increase (51%) was recorded in Flanders’ transport sector, including the automotive industry.
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.