• Flanders Investment & Trade
  • Invest in Flanders
Agri-food biotech start-ups looking to impact people’s lives through innovation can now turn to Biotope. This new incubator program is an initiative by VIB, Flanders’ strategic research center for life sciences and biotechnology. The program offers personalized mentoring and access to biotech infrastructure, such as labs and greenhouses.

From idea to start-up

VIB has a well-known track record in turning its own research into biotech start-ups. Through Biotope, VIB wants to prepare external teams with innovative ideas for them to become start-ups. According to Annick Verween, “Biotech start-ups not only need help in developing their business plans and entrepreneurial skills. Above all, they need access to infrastructure to develop their technology.”

By strengthening both the business skills and technology of biotech start-ups, we want to transform ideas into investment-ready companies.

Annick Verween
manager of Biotope

Suited to meet the needs

Since no science-based start-up is the same, the incubator only works with a small number of teams, offering each a tailor-made journey matching their specific challenges and strengths. “We are first focusing on start-ups in agri-food because this fast-moving sector faces many challenges," continues Annick Verween. “In a coming second phase, we will be aiming at start-ups active in healthcare.”

Through the incubator program, the selected teams will receive a year of personalized guidance from mentors – including international experts, biotech and research leaders and investors. They also get access to biotech infrastructure, such as labs and greenhouses – both from VIB and partner institutes. It’s the second program for biotech initiated by VIB in the past two years.

A powerhouse of biotech and experience

Since it was founded in 1996, VIB has already helped to establish 30 start-ups in FlandersBiotalys, Ablynx and Aphea.Bio to name a few – which employ around 900 people in total. The Biotope incubator is a top asset for Flanders’ growing agri-tech cluster. It starts with a budget of EUR 3 million, funded by VIB, the city of Ghent, the government of Flanders and the European Union. The selected teams will each receive EUR 250,000.

Step into Flanders360 to get a tour of Flanders’ life sciences & health ecosystem.

Reported by
press release VIB

Share this article article

Recent news & stories