Belgians among the most innovative people in Europe
Belgium ranks alongside the Scandinavian countries Sweden, Finland and Denmark as the EU's innovation champions. This is the finding of the latest edition of a European Commission study, which puts a figure on the research and innovation performance of individual EU countries, as well as that of other European countries and neighbouring countries.
The ranking is based on some 30 factors relating to four categories: framework conditions (human resources, attractiveness of research systems, digitalisation), investments, innovation activities and impacts (sustainability, exports, employment). Research and innovation are at the heart of the European Union's policies for boosting growth, jobs and investment in Europe.
The strengths of Belgian research include medicine, biochemistry, statistics and astronomy, as well as space research, North Sea research and climate research in Antarctica. Our country performs particularly well in terms of the attractiveness of its research systems (presence of foreign doctoral students, number of cited publications, and international co-publications), the use of information technologies (including the number of employed ICT specialists) and "linkages" (public-private collaboration in research and collaboration between innovative companies). Advances in these areas are making life easier for citizens by improving health services, transportation and security.