Czech-Belgium Technology Days
Belgium is a small, highly developed and densely populated country at the cross-roads of Western Europe. Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Community, and its capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. It is a federal state, with 3 relatively autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south and the centrally located Brussels.
The economy is characterized by a highly productive work force, high GNP and high exports per capita. Belgium's main imports are food products, machinery, rough diamonds, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, clothing and accessories, and textiles. Its main exports are automobiles, food products, iron and steel, finished diamonds, textiles, plastics, petroleum products and nonferrous metals.
Invest in Belgium
Alongside the federal government's fiscal measures, Brussels supports business through incentives, auxiliary measures and premiums. It also provides support for recruitment, training, logistics and research and development.
As home to headquarters of all the main EU institutions, Brussels has become a key decision-making centre and a hotbed of economic activity. Some 13,000 lobbyists are active in the city, ranking it second only behind Washington DC in terms of sheer numbers of interest groups and NGOs.
Science in Belgium
In Belgium, science has traditionally been linked to education and the public sector. But for some time now, industry has also been heavily involved in scientific research, focusing on space travel, biochemistry, medicine, pharmaceuticals and IT. Belgium is a federal state. As such, it is mainly the communities and regions that are responsible for scientific research, although the federal level does have some powers in this domain too.
Many discoveries and new technologies that radically changed our everyday lives and how we view the world originated in the work done by Belgian scientists: Zénobe Gramme's dynamo, Ernest Solvay's soda, Leo Baekeland's Bakelite, Georges Lemaitre's Big Bang theory and Edouard Van Beneden's research into cell division. Their work led to significant advances in science and technology.
Belgian research has focused on such areas as medicine, biochemistry, statistics (Quetelet) and astronomy. Our researchers have received prestigious international scientific prizes for their work in these areas.Conversely, the high scientific standard of our universities and the quality of life in Belgium attract many foreign students and researchers to our scientific institutions.
The Federal Science Policy provides the Belgium's contribution to the following intergovernmental research organisations:
-- ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts)
-- EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory)
-- ESO (European Southern Observatory)
-- ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility)
-- EUMETSAT (EUropean organisation for the exploitation of METeorological SATellites)
-- ILL (Institut Laue-Langevin)
-- INCF (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facilty)
Source: website of The Belgian Federal Science Policy Office
Source: portal belgium.be, official information and services, Belgian Federal Government
Source: EUROPA, European Countries