Brussels is home to 3 large universities and 5 university hospitals. These institutions and the some 3,000 researchers in the life sciences associated with them constitute an ideal environment for the development of biotech companies.
Indeed, cooperation between universities and industry has resulted in the successful several start-up of numerous companies as well as the commercialisation of pioneering academic research.
- The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is composed of seven academic departments and institutes including several university hospitals. With its 18,000 students, three Nobel Prize winners (Jules Bordet for Medicine in 1919, Albert Claude for Medicine in 1974, and Ilya Prigogine for Chemistry in 1977), ULB enjoys an outstanding reputation in the academic world and is the Belgian university with the highest percentage of foreign students.
- The Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), located in two wooded campuses in the Brussels-Capital region (Etterbeek and Jette), offers a diverse curriculum with 33 first-degree programmes, 42 programmes leading to a second degree and 58 postgraduate specialisations, many of them taught in English. Its most important research fields include Molecular Biology, Food Technology, Human & Animal Health, Biological & Biotechnological Sciences, Applied Plant Biology & Nature Management
- Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL) specialises in research. Several centres of excellence enjoy an international reputation, such as the International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology (ICP) founded by Professor Christian de Duve, winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, and the Centre for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) created by Professor Jacques Drèze. A large science park on the edge of the university is home to high-technology companies wishing to take advantage of the university's infrastructure. Its primary research areas include Bioengineering, Microbiology, Cell Biology (animal and plant), Immunology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology & Pharmacy.