Antwerp is brimming with innovative entrepreneurial talent and has become a real hotspot for startups and growth companies. For instance, the City has more than 350 startups, dozens of growth companies netting 500,000 euros in capital, many incubators, accelerators and other startup initiatives. The City supports such private initiatives and even gives startups a bit of a boost. With StartupVillage for example, where startups, large companies, mentors and investors meet together to discuss business, in the heart of the city.
Eager to develop this ecosystem for digital innovation, the City of Antwerp offers funding, business locations, individual coaching and matchmaking to technological start-ups and creative entrepreneurs. The City acts in constant synergy with the private sector.
Join The Beacon
The centrepiece for digital innovation in Antwerp is The Beacon. The innovation hub focuses on strong Internet of Things and artificial intelligence products for the port, industry, and smart city (including smart mobility). Around 60 companies have now established themselves around the University of Antwerp and the knowledge institute imec. Briefly said, at The Beacon companies and institutes build knowledge, test it locally and then grow.
Belgium is the absolute leader in the shift to IPv6, the new internet protocol with which computers, tablets and smartphones link up with one another and with the internet. More than 37% of internet traffic in Belgium already runs via IPv6.
Strong Digital Economy
Belgium is a strong performer and front-runner in creating a digital economy and society. We rank fifth (before the UK, Germany and France) in a survey among EU member states and attain top marks in:
- Quality of broadband connectivity
- Digital proficiency of population
- Use of internet by citizens
- Integration of digital technology by businesses
- Digital public services
Source: Digital Economy and Society Index (2016)