Flemish investments in innovation at a high

13th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

In keeping with the Lisbon Strategy, EU member states are urgently requested to invest 3% of their GDP in research and development, of which governments must contribute 1 percent and business 2 percent. After years of struggling to meet this objective, recent figures suggest that Flanders is finally moving in the right direction, increasing its investments from 2.12% in 2009 to 2.4% in 2011. At 1.91%, private financing was only marginally below the required 2% in 2011, with state-financed investments in R&D standing at 0.80%. These were the results of the biennial survey conducted among 5 000 businesses that were approached by the Flemish government’s Expertise Centre for Research & Development ECOOM. The overall increase is largely due to private business investments, which grew from 2.6 billion euros in 2009 to 3.4 billion euros in 2011. One should add here that a third of this increase could be attributed to the fact that this was the first time a number of leading players in the innovation arena responded to the survey. Their investments in R&D proved to be higher than previous estimates. The survey further concluded that the total number of staff employed in research and development grew from 34 000 in 2001 to 39 000 in 2011, with both public and private institutions contributing to this increase. Flemish innovation minister Ingrid Lieten SP.A believes these figures confirm that the Flemish government’s innovation policy is showing results, saying: “The Flemish government and businesses continued to invest in science and innovation even in times of crisis. Flanders is way above the European average. That gives me hope for the future. With these results we will finally be able to meet the European standard.”

0 Comments To This Article