A centre of scientific and industrial

Belgium is a global leader in biotech and biopharma R&D innovation, clinical trials, and cutting edge biomanufacturing platforms. Together, they have driven numerous medical breakthroughs.

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Belgium: the
leader in R&D

Over the last three decades, R&D spending in Belgium has grown faster than Japan, Europe, and even the US.

With €5.7 billion invested in R&D in 2022 alone, the EU’s European Innovation Scoreboard ranks Belgium as an ‘innovation leader’.

The country is positioned at the forefront of tomorrow’s technologies such as cell and gene therapy (ATMP), CAR-T cell therapies, mRNA technologies, next-generation vaccines, nanobodies, immunotherapies, and plasma derivatives to name just a few.


invested into Research & Development (2022)

More than

patent applications submitted (2022)


more patent applications submitted compared to the EU27 (2016-2021)


deduction on innovation income tax, plus a host of unique R&D support and incentives

Strong expertise in clinical trials

With a strong expertise in the field of clinical trials, Belgian ranks above the European average in first-in-human phase 1 and 4 trials.

Belgium is consistently ranked as a European leader in clinical trials per capita, trials testing cancer drugs, and trials testing rare diseases. The country also played a key role in clinical trials testing the life-saving mRNA vaccine.


of European cancer drug clinical trials are conducted in Belgium (2021)


consecutive years in the EU top 3 of clinical trials per capita


of clinical trials are conducted in the field of rare diseases

Leadership in biomanufacturing

The COVID pandemic saw a significant extension from ‘invented in Belgium’ to ‘made in Belgium’.

Recent growth in the country’s biotech industry is mostly being powered by the expansion of cutting edge biomanufacturing companies, including those at the forefront of the remarkable CDMO (Contract Development Manufacturing Organisation) expertise for cell and gene therapies.