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Flanders’ biomass ecosystem

Discover how Flanders opens up a bustling biomass ecosystem.

By setting up operations in Flanders, you will gain access to a close-knit business and knowledge ecosystem ideal for your biomass activities. How? By tuning in to these sector-specific organizations for know-how, research, industry clustering, business incubation, and more. 

Know-how and research

Research and knowledge centers

  • VIB – Flanders’ Institute for Biotechnology conducts basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications.
  • VITO – Flanders’ Institute for Technological Research, a leading European independent research and technology organization in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development.
  • Biorizon – Together with 9 partners, Flanders’ shared research center Biorizon works on scaling up the technology for the production of aromatics from biomass, within the cross-border ‘BIO-HArT-project’.

Universities and university colleges

  • UGent – Ghent University is a strong player in biotechnology research. Its Faculty of Bioscience Engineering concentrates its research efforts on the use of renewable resources, industrial biotechnology and biorefining. The University also houses Flanders’ Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).
  • KU Leuven – The academic training offered by the University of Leuven’s Faculty of Bioscience Engineering takes place in three different departments (Earth & Environmental Sciences, Biosystems and Microbial & Molecular Systems).
  • UHasselt & PXL – Together, the research groups ‘Applied and Analytical Chemistry’ from Hasselt University and ‘NuTec’ from Hasselt’s university college PXL conduct cutting-edge research on the reuse of biomass waste. 

Cluster and key organizations

  • ILVO – Flanders’ Government Institute for Agriculture and Fishery (ILVO) supports four research units in Animal Sciences, Social Sciences, Plant Sciences and Technology & Food Science.
  • OVAM – Flanders’ Public Waste Agency: strives for efficient and sustainable management of waste, materials and soil in Flanders.
  • VEA – Flanders’ Energy Agency: independent agency of the Environment, Nature and Energy Department of the Government of Flanders.
  • ANB – Flanders’ Agency for Nature and Forests.
  • VMM – Flanders’ Environmental Agency.
  • VLM – Flanders’ Land Agency.
  • VLAIO – Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Business incubators

  • Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant – Flanders’ Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is an independent, state-of-the-art service provider for process development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of biobased products and processes. The plant serves as an international example of how to combine several KETs (Key Enabling Technologies) to boost Europe’s competitiveness.
  • CINBIOS – CINBIOS connects industrial biotech companies and knowledge centers in a single network. It is a shared initiative of FlandersBio, Ghent Bio-Economy Valley and ESSENSCIA.
  • Flanders Biobased Valley – Non-profit organization supporting the development of biobased activities. It is a joint initiative of the City and Port of Ghent, the Development Agency of East Flanders and industrial companies.
  • Ceebio – Data and knowledge platform providing an overview of the knowledge, expertise and activities in Flanders’ biobased economy, both of companies and of researchers.

Case study: VITO on lignocellulose

Together with Flanders’ universities and several international industries, Flanders’ Institute for Technological Research (VITO) is currently researching several production possibilities of aromatic chemicals, which should be ready for commercialization by 2025. 

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