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Sustainable materials in Flanders

Sustainability reigns in Flanders — especially thanks to the commitment and dedication of the region’s government to promoting innovative industry projects in this field.

When it comes to sustainable materials in particular, Flanders showcases unrivalled strengths. Did you know, for example, that the region is a world-leading hub for the circular economy, boasts solid biomass and biobased expertise, and is home to extensive know-how and cutting-edge infrastructure for the development of sustainable chemicals and polymers, and novel agribusiness applications?

A pioneering circular economy

Flanders is and always has been at the forefront of developing a circular economy. The fact that the region is turning into Europe’s leading recycling hub is, among other things, due to the presence and support of incubators such as CINBIOS, Ceebio and Flanders Biobased Valley; cluster organizations such as VITO and OVAM; and ground-breaking initiatives like the award-winning Flanders’ Materials Program.

From biomass to biobased

Flanders boasts unique expertise in creating a biobased economy and using biomass as a resource for materials and chemicals. Many innovative applications – the production of furan chemicals and furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from biomass, for instance – result from the steady cross-pollination occurring between biobased business and research in the region.

Feel the sustainable chemistry

Not only does Flanders have a strong foothold in sustainable chemicals and polymers research, the region is also home to some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies in the sector. With a business and knowledge ecosystem that focuses heavily on sustainability, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Agribusiness with a heart of sustainable growth

Agribusiness isn’t just big in Flanders, it’s also connected to a wide range of industries and research fields. Think of green biotechnology, food engineering and nutrition science, novel harvesting technologies... All of this and more comes together in a knowledge and business ecosystem that helps agribusiness grow in a sustainable way.

Specific incentives

Flanders offers incentives that are particularly relevant to industries that invest in research-intensive applications, like sustainable materials. Some 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.

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