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Tech makes Flanders tick

Research and technology are big in Flanders. Our companies, research centers and knowledge institutions spawn groundbreaking innovations. When Flanders-based players have an international breakthrough with their innovations, they create growth, jobs and prosperity in our region. 

Together with foreign technology players who establish themselves in Flanders, they are responsible for a healthy economic fabric. Boosting the international reputation of innovation from Flanders and supporting local innovation players in their international endeavors is crucial.

It is Flanders’ ambition to be among the most innovative regions in Europe in the following focus domains: Digital TechHealth Tech and Climate Tech. Each of these technological domains is geared towards finding solutions for the societal and socio-economic challenges of today.

That's why, based on a roadmap, in 2021, FIT, bolstered Flanders’ economic diplomacy by opening additional Science & Technology Offices in innovation hotspots worldwide. Our staff, such as our Science & Technology (S&T) Counselors play an essential role there.

Science & Technology Offices as innovative beacons

There are 10 Science & Technology Offices worldwide: in New York, Palo Alto, Paris, London, Copenhagen, Munich, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou and Tokyo.

Each Science & Technology Office is responsible for a geographic focus area and emphasizes one or more of our 3 focus domains (Digital Tech, Health Tech and/or Climate Tech).

A strong tech team

Together with our Science & Technology Coordinator, our Science & Technology Counselors play a crucial role in FIT's tech mission. Abroad, they build an extensive network of tech companies, venture capitalists, knowledge and research centers, clusters, incubators, accelerators and so on, while creating connections to Flanders’ ecosystem.

The team also reinforces FIT’s own tech expertise and operations. Part of an extensive foreign network of economic representatives, the team members work closely with the colleagues within their own focus region and in Flanders. In this way they enrich FIT, both in Flanders and abroad, with knowledge and expertise, strengthening FIT to provide even better assistance to businesses.

What our global team has to say:

Flanders boasts a strongly developed R&D ecosystem that can compete with top regions worldwide. However, we are sometimes too modest, which means that the rest of the world does not always see us in the same way. We are changing that.
Filip De Weerdt
Science & Technology Coordinator in Brussels
Filip De Weerdt
Japan is the third-largest economy in the world and a major player in most technology sectors. Hence, it’s not a country to be overlooked. The Japanese market is challenging, but rewarding as well. You get the chance to work with loyal partners. You could call it a benchmark market for the development of new products and concepts –the right partners are a crucial part of it. The combination of my experience and the talent and vision of our companies in Flanders puts Flanders even more strongly on the map in Japan as an innovative region.”
Els Verhulst
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Health Tech in Tokyo
Els Verhulst
Munich is ideal as a location for a tech office. The ecosystem in and around Munich is a growing hotspot for Digital & Health Tech, with a robust start-up community and numerous collaboration, export and investment opportunities for Flanders.
Pieter De Maeght
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Health Tech in Munich
Pieter De Maeght
North America is the global driving force when it comes to technological innovation. Flanders’ knowledge economy can be an excellent feeding ground for the entire American ecosystem. As Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Health Tech, I have the pleasure of bringing innovations from Flanders to the Americas as a win-win for both regions.
John Baekelmans
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Health Tech in New York
John Baekelmans
Making relevant connections abroad with a positive impact for Flanders-based companies to tackle global environmental and climate challenges: that’s what it’s all about for me. In these fields, Flanders-based companies and research institutions are developing groundbreaking innovations, and I’m determined to help make this technology the reference. The ultimate goal: to have technology from Flanders set the standard for the rest of the world.
Kim Demeyer
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Climate Tech in Singapore
Kim Demeyer
As a tech investor, I discovered the enormous potential of Flanders, especially for health and climate technology. I consider myself a bridge-builder between the technological and the commercial. This is also true in my role as Science & Technology Counselor in Copenhagen. The innovative Scandinavian landscape is the perfect place to highlight Flanders’ know-how and build synergies between both ecosystems.
Maarten Lambert
Science & Technology Counselor for Health & Climate Tech in Copenhagen
Maarten Lambert
Flanders is among the absolute best for water, energy, waste and materials policy. As a technology ambassador, it gives me great satisfaction to represent this kind of expertise of Flanders-based companies and knowledge institutions – especially in the US. With their unique applications, knowledge companies from Flanders make the perfect partners.
Ralph Moreau
Science & Technology Counselor for Climate Tech in Palo Alto
Ralph Moreau
Flanders has been the Silicon Valley of Europe for decades. Our companies, entrepreneurs and researchers prove this every day in practice. Since 1989, FIT has been accelerating this with an office in San Francisco Bay. Being able to put your shoulders to the wheel as a Science & Technology Counselor is more like a calling than a job!
Wim Sohier
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital Tech in Palo Alto
Wim Sohier
As a Science & Technology Counselor, I come into contact with interesting technologies and fascinating people every day. This gives me a helicopter view of what’s going on in Flanders’ innovation landscape as well as in my field of work. I am constantly building on this knowledge and take it with me from one conversation to the next with entrepreneurs from Flanders who have international ambitions. Every contribution that I can make to this dynamic makes my day – and hopefully the entrepreneurs’ day even more!
Jan Wauters
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital & Health Tech in Paris
Jan Wauters
Due to the speed of its innovation efforts and the scale of its own market, China has emerged as a leading technology player alongside the US. This creates opportunities as well as challenges for innovative technology companies from Flanders in a variety of sectors. As a Science & Technology Counselor, I contribute to the success of Flanders-based tech companies on Chinese soil, while promoting Flanders among Chinese tech players.
Peter Tanghe
Science & Technology Counselor for Digital Tech in Guangzhou
Peter Tanghe

Explore the broader strategic picture

This technology focus is embedded in a broader internationalization strategy for Flanders’ economy.