Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (in Dutch: Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen) is a government agency, charged with implementing the economic, innovation and enterprise policy in Flanders, the Dutch speaking northern part of Belgium.
We help companies with the start-up of their activities, the grow and continuity of their business, but also with the search for the right location, information on permits, financing, investments in innovation and ecological technologies, and other topics. In short, we confidentially guide entrepreneurs throughout the government landscape.
On top of that, we promote Clusters consisting of enterprises and knowledge institutions that are collaborating dynamically. For instance with ¨Clusterpacts¨.
A Clusterpact is an agreement between a Cluster Organization, cluster members and the government on commitments regarding the competitivity plan of the cluster (additional to the funding agreement). It requires commitment from the government for earmarked project resources as well as non-financial commitment, commitment from companies to participate in cluster-activities, commitment from knowledge institutes to align research agenda’s as well as leverage versus the earmarked budget.
In the Cluster program, we identify spearhead clusters and Innovative Business Networks (IBN). IBN are intensively collaborating organizations whose main goal is to bring about more dynamic between organizations and who execute a concrete action plan with a demonstrable economic added value for each of the participating organizations. They differ from spearhead clusters in scale, maturity, time horizon and ambition level.
Whereas IBN are typically small-scale and receive only 3 years of governmental support, spearhead clusters are large-scale and have an ambitious, long-term strategy.
Their main goal is to unlock unused economic potential and increase competitiveness through active and sustainable collaboration between all cluster members.
Spearhead clusters can receive up to 10 years of funding but they have to be active in a domain that is of strategic importance to Flanders and collaborate in a triple-helix format: with companies, knowledge institutions and the government.
Currently 4 spearhead clusters and 14 IBN receive up to 50% funding by the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Negotiations on cluster pacts for the first spearhead clusters started in autumn 2016. They are expected to finish in 2017.