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More often than not, adversity sparks invention. This was evident during COVID-19, when countless companies and individuals set out to develop technologies and applications to help manage the pandemic: from social distancing wearables and smart face masks to novel coronavirus testing and diagnostic tools. In this regard, the start-up ecosystem in Belgium and its northern region of Flanders excelled, according to a new report released by StartupBlink, a global start-up ecosystem map and research center.

Leading role in creating COVID-19 solutions

Published in August 2021, the StartupBlink report is built on an interactive COVID-19 innovation map, crowdsourced by over 1,300 entities and enhanced by data from dozens of governments and global data partners such as Crunchbase and SEMRush.

Analyzing a variety of global rankings, StartupBlink concludes that Belgium, and Flanders as a region, is the world’s fourth best COVID innovator – showcasing the country’s and region’s leading roles in creating innovative solutions related to the coronavirus pandemic. On a European level, Belgium even ranks first.

According to the research that we have done together with the UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange, the Belgian start-up ecosystem has managed to do an outstanding job at creating solutions for a major crisis. Alongside cities such as Milan, Moscow and Taipei, Belgian cities are overperforming in dealing with the pandemic in terms of innovating with both local and global impact and successfully dealing with major uncertainty.

Eli David
CEO of StartupBlink

Continued success

It’s not the first time for the Belgian start-up ecosystem to be ranked among the best when it comes to COVID-19 innovation. In 2020, the report also put Belgium and Flanders in fourth place worldwide. Clearly, Belgian start-ups continued on their innovative path throughout 2021.

Generally, in the past year, and across various studies, there has been good momentum for the Belgian start-up ecosystem. If this trend continues, the country will position itself as a clear European leader when it comes innovation and flourishing start-up ecosystems.

Eli David
CEO of StartupBlink
Reported by
press release StartupBlink

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