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Creative media in Flanders

From talent in programming, hardware development, VR and game design, incubation options and key enterprises to some of the best ICT infrastructure in the world – Flanders has exactly what creative media companies big and small need to craft mind-bending new experiences for audiences anywhere.

Creative media aren’t simply entertaining; they can provide novel insights into our understanding of the brain, and lead the way to novel therapies to disorders and illnesses. Creative media also play a critical role in ICT, developments in the Internet of Things and hardware and software innovation, among many more technological niches.

Flanders is home to a rich ecosystem of enterprises, researchers, institutes and associations that breathe life into cutting-edge creative media. Companies in this sector have everything they need to thrive in a dynamic and competitive sector, from the people, the resources, the information and the support. With half of the region’s population gaming on a monthly basis, Flanders is also the perfect place for market research.

Building blocks for creative media success

From knowledge and research institutions to leading industry players: in Flanders, your business finds all the creative media expertise it needs to thrive. Discover our region’s assets and strengths pertaining to gaming and other creative media:

Dedicated research and development at imec

Imec, Flanders’ strategic research center for nano- and digital technology, is also engaged in gaining new insights into game design, virtual reality and relevant phenomena:

  • wireless communication;
  • CMOS development and scaling;
  • image sensors and vision solutions;
  • and more…

All the talent at hand

Several university colleges in Flanders provide practical bachelor’s and master’s degrees relevant to creative media and digital communication. Some of these include:

  • Digital Arts & Entertainment at Howest – this prominent university college offers several courses of study, both bachelor and master’s degrees, relevant to different elements of the creative media industry.
  • Media, Arts & Design at MAD Faculty – another university college of Flanders that offers various bachelor and master’s degrees covering sectors of the creative media industry.
  • Multimedia Technology at Karel de Groge Hogeschool – this university college’s offering covers web, audio, video, 3D, mobile games and other diverse programs of study.

The animation industry in Flanders is exploding with talent.

The animation industry in Flanders is exploding with talent. Ambitious producers take on any project - 2D, 3D or stop-motion - and turn it into an artistic film. What sets Flanders’ animators apart is their unique sense of humour and ability to collaborate with an international team. Flanders’ studios also play important roles in international, Oscar-nominated films

Creative media and digital art incubators

In Flanders, there are 3 main incubators responsible for helping new game development or middleware providers find their feet in Flanders, providing them with affordable office space, administrative services and even development tools:

Ghent – Flanders’ indie gaming hub

The city of Ghent, the capital of East Flanders, has become not only a startup sensation, but the home of successful new indie games companies that are taking the market by storm. Some of these studios have expanded internationally, opening satellite offices in different places around the world.

But what drives this creative storm? The bright minds and innovative thinking of Flanders’ creative media pioneers combined with excellent access to technology, hardware and software development talent and the financial support they need to thrive.

KU Leuven and imec team up to breathe life into game characters

As part of their research into human reactions to the Internet of Things, ICT heavyweights KU Leuven and imec led a recent research study on children’s perceptions of online and offline characters. Unlike adults, the boundaries between game characters and real-life individuals is much blurrier. In the course of their research, they discovered paths to potential new therapies for autism.

Specific incentives

Flanders offers incentives that are relevant to research-intensive domains like encryption, computer science and data security. Examples include:

  • innovation income deduction – up to 85% of a firm’s net earnings from innovation is tax exempt;
  • 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.

Did you know…

  • …  There are 71 video game studios in Belgium, almost exclusively in the relatively small region of Flanders?
  • …  The games industry achieves a total turnover of EUR 43 million per year in Belgium, and Flanders as a region?

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