For a small region such as Flanders, developing a strategic vision is necessary, for it to play a role on the international level. Where do we place our priorities to ensure our future welfare and prosperity?
The Flemish Science Policy Council, in cooperation with Incentim K.U.Leuven, carried out an exploratory study on a macro level, through which the VRWB wants to present a road map for Flemish innovation policy and its relation to socio-economic developments. Moreover, its process-based approach creates involvement of all innovation actors to establish a vision for the future of Flanders.
The following 6 strategic clusters were selected for Flanders:
- Strategic cluster 1: Transport - Services - Logistics - Supply chain management
- Strategic cluster 2: IT and Healthcare services
- Strategic cluster 3: Healthcare - Food - Prevention and treatment
- Strategic cluster 4: New materials - Nanotechnology - Processing industry
- Strategic cluster 5: IT for Socio-economic Innovation
- Strategic cluster 6: Energy and Environment for service and processing industry
Per strategic cluster, a panel of experts from industry and knowledge institutions was selected. These experts, each in their own domain, analysed some 160 technological and economic developments and compared them to the Flemish situation. This resulted in 30 high-priority technology domains in which Flanders could be leading by 2015 in Europe and in the world. Moreover, 15 secondary conditions were listed to increase Flanders' innovative power.
To increase the innovation power of Flanders, it is important to take simultaneous and harmonious advantage of both the priorities (product and process innovation) and of the critical secondary conditions (structural innovation).
The result is a report (study 18a) containing recommendations through which the VRWB mainly wants to provide a reference framework for innovation in Flanders to all actors involved. The detailed analysis of the priorities is provided in the second section: study 18b 'Technology and Innovation in Flanders: Priorities - Prioritisation process and outcomes'.