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The digital industry in Flanders

Flanders has a reputation as a pioneer in high-tech industries. The region is not only an early innovator in broadband, wireless and satellite communication; Flanders also excels in strategic digital domains and is home to several leading developers of a broad range of cutting-edge technologies. A supportive government and a tight network of private companies and independent research centers drive the industry forward

Flanders’ digital ecosystem

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.

Expertise in numerous digital domains

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:

All the digital talent at hand

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:

A digital gateway

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.

One of Europe’s biggest IT hubs

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.

R&D incentives

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.

Did you know…

  • … 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?

Interested in doing business in Flanders?

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  • Tax system explained in-depth.
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  • Discover the benefits of Flanders (in addition to the chocolate).

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