Although Flanders is only a dot on the world map in terms of size and population, the region has a world reputation when it comes to biotechnology. Almost ten percent of the industry is related to the bioeconomy, accounting for five percent of employment.
The Flemish biotech sector is strong internationally, with many biotech pioneers and the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (FIB) as a world-renowned research institute. The institute, which focuses on pioneering, strategic basic research in the life sciences, was founded in 1995. Since then, it has worked closely with the five universities in Flanders: Ghent University, Catholic University of Leuven, Antwerp University, Brussels Free University and Hasselt University.
Scientists working for the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology study the molecular mechanisms that determine the functioning of the human body, plants and micro-organisms. This research leads to innovative insights into normal and abnormal life processes, which can then be used to develop new therapies, diagnostics, agricultural applications and technologies.