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Cloud computing in Flanders
Already strong in all areas of ICT, it comes as no surprise that cloud computing innovation is strongly rooted in the region. With its excellent infrastructure, advanced networks and possession of all data-related elements that drive cloud computing, Flanders also attracts some of the world’s most innovative cloud companies.
Not only does Flanders boast a tightly collaborative ecosystem of research groups, incubators and companies actively changing the face of cloud computing; it also boasts an experienced and skilled ICT Welcome Team, courtesy of Flanders Investment & Trade, that assists ICT companies new to Flanders in taking advantage of every benefit the region has to offer.
As of January 2017, Flanders Investment & Trade offers the skills and services of a dedicated ICT Welcome Team to foreign companies interested in establishing themselves in the region of Flanders. Also charged with driving Flanders’ market approach, this team is comprised of experienced advisors with expertise covering many aspects of ICT.
Flanders has every resource, asset and source of information your company needs to innovate in the cloud – including industry leaders, universities, knowledge bases and research centers.
Companies, universities, municipalities and – they are all moving their data and their applications to the cloud. Why? Because cloud computing enables them the flexibility and cost savings they need to target their core business activities and focus on their customers’ needs. Cloud computing touches every aspect of IT related to big data, wireless networks smart systems and beyond – and impacts almost every industry. Some of these sectors tap into particular strengths of Flanders as a region:
Several university colleges in Flanders provide practical bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fields closely related to cloud computing, network design, data storage and wireless technology. Some of these programs include:
- Master in Electronics and ICT Engineering Technology at KU Leuven educates students on the analysis, design and implementation of a range of electronic systems, including information communication systems;
- Master of Applied Informatics at KU Leuven educates students on the design and management of data processing systems;
- Master of Computer Science: Computer Networks and Distributed Systems at UAntwerpen covers all aspects of software design and systems development;
- Master in Computer Science: Data Science at UAntwerpen covers all aspects of data science within the framework of computer science and network tech;
- Master of Computer Science: Data Management at UHasselt focuses on advanced studies in computer sciences and applications in networked and secure systems and human-computer interaction;
- Master of Science in Applied Sciences and Engineering: Computer Sciences at VUB provides students with a deep understanding of computer science applications in research and society;
- Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering at UGent trains engineers to apply IT concepts to real-life situations, including mobile solutions, embedded systems and scientific computing.
Companies setting up or managing their activities or headquarters in Flanders can reap the rewards of:
- various government grants and subsidies for transformation, ecological, R&D and growth investments;
- unique tax incentives for various types of business activities and investments;
- a set of employment subsidies to further reduce your salary costs as well as fiscal remuneration advantages;
- a number of funding options to help you get off the ground.
Flanders offers incentives that are relevant to research-intensive domains like ICT and cloud computing. Examples include:
- investment deduction for R&D – 13.5% of acquisition value/qualifying asset or 20.5% of the depreciated amount;
- exemption of payment of 80% – of the personal income withholding tax of researchers in certain scientific fields.
- innovation income deduction – up to 85% of a firm’s net earnings from innovation is tax exempt.
… the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO) awards up to EUR 8,000 to Belgian PhD students with original theses related to edge and cloud computing and other ICT topics in the form of the Nokia Bell Scientific Prize?