Smart Hub Flemish Brabant is a concentration of tech clusters in Belgium. It is the intellectual home of eight Belgian Nobel Prize winners, including the co-discoverer of the Higgs boson. Our hallmark technologies focus on health, food, logistics, cleantech, media and creative industry.

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Knowledge region

Smart Hub Flemish Brabant is a knowledge region in the centre of Belgium encircling Brussels, the capital of the European Union. The local economy relies more on intellectual capacity than on natural resources or physical inputs. To illustrate, 56% of the population works in science and technology with innovative companies mainly concentrated in five clusters or Smart Hubs. These pools of talent and bright ideas have such an agglomeration effect, they can even be seen from space!

Discover our new Smart Hub brochure here.

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5 Smart Hubs

Health

Health

Health is a human right. But even in the 21st century, global killers such as AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer are still running rampant. Luckily, people now become aware of their quantified self, have better access to health care and increasingly take care of each other as we all grow older.

Smart Hub Health supports this evolution with clusters in biotech, medical devices, bioelectronics, regenerative medicine and e-health. This is enabled by advancements made in nanotech, ICT, 3D printing, new materials, photonics and a healthcare-driven society.

Star Trek’s Medical Tricorder might just energize here.

Food

Food

Belgians are true gourmets, so better take our word for it when we say that your well-being starts with good food. Although our reputed beers, waffles and chocolates mainly feed the soul, we nonetheless believe that healthy food should be simple, fresh, sustainable and delicious.

In Smart Hub Food, techies, companies and foodies prepare new creations such as gluten-free nutrition, improved sugar beet seeds, photonics-driven sorting technology and food quality sensors.

The current construction of a thematic research campus “Feed Food Health” in the city of Tienen serves as the cherry on the cake.

Taste a smart, savory side of Belgium and help us eradicate obesity and food waste.

Logistech

Logistech

Innovation is born out of necessity. Congestion, sensitive hi-tech as well as the trade needs of world’s most open economy gave birth to some of the smartest innovations in Belgian logistics.
Smart Hub Logistech flattens our world with breakthroughs in expediting perishables, pharmaceuticals, biotech, car parts, animals and diamonds, as well as expertise in airport technology, RFID and multimodal transport.

Whether you are eating Brussels sprouts in Arkansas or Belgian chocolates in Tokyo, discover the underlying supply chains and technologies developed in and around Brussels Airport.

Cleantech

Cleantech

Saving the planet is no longer the sole province of tree huggers. Cleantech has grown into a multibillion dollar industry which now contributes to a company’s added value and cost-efficiency, a country’s resource independence and society’s living environment.

Smart Hub Cleantech has blossomed into cutting-edge technology used for sustainable energy production, smarter energy consumption, circular materials , mobility and industrial processes.

Explore the possibilities of Cleantech in the province of Flemish Brabant.

Creativity

Creativity

No innovation without a dash of quirky creativity. The gentrifying Vaartkom of Leuven or the media strip of Vilvoorde, for example, are two hotbeds where cool cats lurk. They create an experience economy for the entire globe to enjoy. From stage design at Atlanta’s TomorrowWorld to HD footage at Brazil’s FIFA World Cup, these sophisticated cosmopolites of our Smart Hub Createch make for some sophisticated entertainment.

Follow the trail of chai lattes and skinny-jeaned hipsters and immerse yourself into the experience.

MediaGeniX wins Export Lion award 2016. Discover more about this innovative company.

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Ideas, our most precious raw material

The most important factor input for these Smart Hubs are neither labor, capital nor oil. Disruptive ideas are. Our clusters are brimful of them, but all too often these ideas stay underexploited.

That is where Smart Hub Flemish Brabant steps in as an organization. In a concerted triple helix effort, we put some of the most promising ideas on steroids, filter them through an innovation funnel, and then bottle them into projects that create very messy knowledge-spillovers indeed.

Bottom(s) up!

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You complete us!

Not all ideas make it through the funnel. Sometimes we lack the technology or a suitable actor. This is where our pursuit for international cooperation starts.

Imagine a gap-analysis which maps opportunities for foreign investors. Sort of a local inventory of missing links in a cluster. A tool that would allow an investor to embed himself or herself in the right spot, make impact, and most importantly, a profit. Wouldn't that make a big difference? Someone should really come up with that.

Spoiler: we did. More info? Contact Geert Regelbrugge. T: +32 16 26 72 41 or  geert.regelbrugge@vlaamsbrabant.be

Or read the summary of our Gap Analysis Medtech/Biotech/Combitech

Live and study for expats

Live and study for expats

Each year thousands of international students and expats with a certain je-ne-sais-quoi infuse our local knowledge economy with exotic and out-of-the-box ideas.

They work and play in casual and rewarding team settings, and meanwhile, their kids are at one of twenty international schools within a radius of 30 km. On off-days, expats indulge themselves with a jet set lifestyle by attending cosmopolitan events or going on day-trips to Bruges, Amsterdam, Paris and London.
But best of all, they are welcomed in a multilingual and secure habitat with excellent health care.

Living in Flemish Brabant also means joining a community of foodies.

Have a taste of food innovation in Flemish Brabant.

Even if you are staying only for a short while, the region offers rich cultural heritage and relaxing lodgings. Coupled with modern infrastructure, creative services and short travel distances from anywhere in Europe, why not consider the region for your meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions?

Discover the highlights of Flemish Brabant.

Vivid Visuals

Photographers and graphic design artists pair up to take you on a tour through Smart Hub Flemish Brabant. Have a look & discover.
 

Locations

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Brussels

The capital of the European Union and Belgium. It is home to the European Commission, European Parliament, NATO and a myriad of international organisations. Nowhere in the world you find more diplomats and accredited journalists. Here you also have the second highest density of lobbyists, after Washington DC. Flanders Smart Hub is therefore home to a great number of European corporate headquarters.

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Leuven

An old university town where twenty-somethings wander in an Oxfordian altmosphere. The city harbors 21st century knowledge institutes, research parks, academic spin-offs, incubators and venture capitalists. Not surprisingly, the European Commission calls it Belgium's most innovative city. We just call it our knowledge pearl.

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Brussels Airport

The national airport is Belgium's main gateway by air and second economic engine. The cargo area specializes in pharmaceuticals, perishables and automotive logistics. Plus... nowhere else they sell more chocolate.

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Vilvoorde

Everyday, millions of Belgian iPads and TVs tune in to Media City Vilvoorde. Near the city's 'media strip' you will find a dense concentration of Belgium's main audiovisual media companies and specialized entertainment services.

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Brussels Free University

Brussels Free University is a comprehensive university with a strong emphasis on progressive research. 'Free' is the motto, i.e. to set tradition and conservatism aside and to continually challenge ethical traditions. This scientific attitude has led to great strides in biotech, nanotech and photonics.

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KU Leuven

The oldest and most reputed university of the Low Countries. KU Leuven is a research-intensive and internationally oriented university. Its technology transfer office has created +100 spin-offs over the past 40 years and was recently voted best in the world.

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Photonics Innovation Center

Built by Brussels Free University on tremble-free underground in the rolling hills of Gooik. Here Prof. Thienpont and his world-renowned B-Phot team develop tomorrow's lasers, lenses and LEDs to be used in space, ICT, displays and medical applications.

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University Hospitals Leuven

A city within a city. Belgium's largest hospital counts +2000 beds, 8800 staff, 4 campuses and 19 associated hospitals. Superb innovative health care is bolstered by excellent research and education. Its eHealth platform handles more data requests than all banks during holiday sales.

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Entertainment Valley

Entertainment Valley is home to global players in stage design and construction (Stageco), light and sound (EML Productions) and event power solutions (The Powershop). A lot of music festivals and events use their services, just ask the Foo Fighters, Chanel or Rock Werchter.

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Vaartkom Leuven

In 1926, the notorious Belgian beer 'Stella Artois' was created in De Hoorn. This was a brewery in the Vaartkom, an old industrial area in Leuven. Today, the old brewery is home to 'Creative Minds' such as marketing powerhouse Boondoggle, personality managers Bonka Circus and even an incubator for gaming and digital entertainment. Moreover, the entire surrounding area is now gradually gentrifying into a hotspot for creative industries ranging from software to product design.

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Feed Food Health

A research park in Tienen with at its heart a start-up incubator surrounded by a state-of-the-art industry zone. Focus on healthy nutrition for man and animal.

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Imec

Europe’s largest independent research center on nano-electronics and nanotechnology. Think wearables, CMOS scaling, ICT, energy and sensor tech deemed ten years ahead of what is currently available.

Contact us

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Gudrun Denhaen

Department Head
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Geert Regelbrugge

Policy Officer Internationalisation
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Flanders Investment and Trade

Invest in Flanders
+32 2 504 87 11
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Kingdom of Belgium

All information regarding Belgium
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