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The digital industry in Flanders
From the imec research center for nano- and digital technology to numerous cluster organizations and incubators: Flanders is home to a cutting-edge business and knowledge ecosystem to support the development of a digital society.
Flanders offers extensive know-how in several strategic digital domains, including nanotechnology, banking solutions, telematics & geo-ICT, telecom & network equipment, digital audio, video & printing solutions, and software products.
Discover what Flanders can mean for your business in these specific spheres:
Flanders’ higher education system is world-renowned, with engineering programs in Flanders considered some the world’s finest. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the region boasts dedicated, highly specific education and training programs to foster promising talent in the digital field. These include:
- Bachelor, master and research programs at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University;
- Broad academic training at the University of Leuven’s Faculty of Bioscience Engineering;
- Education and research programs at the VUB’s Faculty of Engineering Sciences and at its Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO);
- ICT research programs at Hasselt University’s Expertise Center for Digital Media (EDM).
For businesses looking to establish or expand their digital activities in Europe, the region of Flanders provides an ideal location. Its capital, Brussels, is home to the headquarters of the EU, NATO and a large number of international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Brussels is one of Europe’s most prominent IT hubs and among the continent’s high value-added service regions. It owes its position to the strong concentration of American and European IT multinationals in Brussels and Flanders, especially in the fields of integration and business process outsourcing.
The numbers clearly tell the tale: 10% of Brussels’ GDP is generated by IT. 68% of the people working in the Belgian IT sector work for an IT multinational.
Companies with or deciding to set up 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. 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.
- … Dr. Robert Cailliau – who invented the World Wide Web (WWW) together with his British colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee – was born in Tongeren, Flanders?
- ... Belgium, and Flanders as region, is one of the leading performers in connectivity?
- … The basics of broadband internet (ADSL) were invented in Antwerp, Flanders?
- … Belgium’s network coverage is nearly complete? 99% of the country is covered by fast networks (up to 1 GB).
- … According to Netflix, Belgium (Flanders) has the highest average download speed of all countries where the streaming service is available?