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With a strong culture of open economy and innovation, Brussels ranks among the sector's leading regions in Europe.

As local SMEs innovate in-house and often collaborate with each other give Belgium a relatively high score in innovation rankings: while European projects have an average 11,8% success rate, Brussels projects with the European research and innovation programme are successful 18,8% of the time.

Brussels' innovation performance has steadily increased over time, to the point where it reached the top of the Europe's latest Regional Innovation Scoreboard. The Belgian capital can also thank its authorities for this enviable position on the European scene. Local government support for entrepreneurship, with dedicated guidance, financing, and localisation services encourages initiatives dedicated to research and development.

Innovation encouraged by local authorities and private sector

All are further stimulated through clusters of industry (SMEs and large enterprises), academia and the public sector in domains of smart specialisation like medical devices and e-health, audiovisual and new media (including VR and AR), sustainable construction, the circular economy and other fields focussing on innovation.

With start-up incubators specialising in technology, and life sciences, services dedicated to innovating SMEs, business accelerators for green projects and ICT, and a whole range of financial instruments dedicated to boosting the development of innovation, it's no surprise Brussels driving forces are inventing the future day after day.

A qualified, creative workforce and a strong scientific tradition

But none of this would matter without the high level of education and creative mindset of its workforce, and its worldwide reputation as a crossroads where leading researchers, expert engineers and theoretical scientists meet from all over Europe and beyond, to collaborate on ambitious projects.

In this regard, the 1927 Solvay Conference, and its historical picture reuniting 17 Nobel Prize winners, serves as a testimony of Brussels's long and passionate tradition of exploring new grounds in the never-ending scientific adventure.

Solvay Conference 1927 Colourized einstein 002