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Life sciences and health in Flanders
In Flanders, your life sciences business gains access to an innovative ecosystem of top-class universities, academic hospitals, research centers and (bio-)incubators. The region also opens up a dense network of pharmaceutical, biotech and other major industry players to your company.
Flanders is ideally situated between the UK (more specifically, the London-Oxford-Cambridge triangle), France, Germany and Switzerland. Each of these four nations has significant strengths in life sciences.
In addition, four cities in Flanders – Ghent, Leuven, Antwerp and Hasselt – are home to life sciences research parks that offer highly specialized services and resources.
Learn more about Flanders’ strategic location.
Flanders is a hotspot for life sciences talent and connects your business with top managers, scientists and technicians. Apart from dedicated life sciences education at its five universities, the region also enables access to:
- the MBI Life Sciences & Health academy, an entrepreneurial training course in both the Netherlands and Flanders;
- life sciences internships at biotechnology SMEs, as part of the OPINNO program;
- the Flanders Training Network Life Sciences (FTNLS) – an initiative of Flanders’ universities and the VIB life sciences institute;
- a broad range of training programs at VIB for life sciences researchers that cover emerging research domains and technologies.
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 several incentives that are particularly relevant to research-intensive sectors like the life sciences industry. 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.
- … Flanders is home to the largest R&D hub for plant biotech and emerging industrial biotechnology, and boasts the biggest integrated bio-energy production complex in Europe?
- … Belgium (Flanders) is #2 in Europe when it comes to clinical trials per capita, and boasts one of the world’s fastest approval time for clinical trials?
- … In Flanders, biotechnology ranks 3rd when it comes to R&D investments?