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Biotech & ICT
Flanders boasts a dense network of more than 135 biotech companies, in close physical proximity to and working closely with universities, research institutes and hospitals. In addition to wide array of life sciences projects, including an important focus on medical biotech, Flanders also houses the largest R&D hub for plant biotech and emerging industrial biotech. It is also home to the largest integrated bio-energy production complex in Europe. Together with the universities, research institutes and hospitals, the entire value chain is represented.

At the centre of this high-tech activity is Leuven. Home to more than 300 high-tech companies, the city’s technology platforms and knowledge institutes conduct pioneering interdisciplinary research in high-tech domains such as e-security, ICT, mechatronics, smart systems, nanoelectronics, materials research and cleantech. Thanks to this activity, the region in and around Leuven has developed into a dynamic, high-tech cluster in which world-class international and spin-off companies, technology platforms and knowledge institutes closely interact. A prime example is Leuven-based IMEC, Europe’s leading research centre in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. 

Did you know?

  • Flanders – with its numerous universities, academic hospitals, research centres, bioincubators, pharmaceutical & biotech companies – is a hotspot for the life sciences (more than 254 organisations are active in in healthcare, agro and bio-based applications). 
  • The concentration of biopharma firms is unique in Flanders, with companies such as Janssen Pharmaceutica (Johnson & Johnson), Pfizer, GSK vaccines, UCB, Roche Diagnostics, Novartis, Sanofi … all within 1 hour drive. 
  • Flanders contains one of the largest Ag-Bio clusters worldwide. Initiated by Prof. Van Montagu and Plant Genetic Systems, the first worldwide Ag-biotech company, Flanders is now home to Syngenta, Bayer and BASF with their strongly embedded R&D centres. There are also fruitful collaborations with local academic centres to enhance R&D investments, resulting in turn in new spin-offs such as AgroSavfe.
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