Development projects and
Research projects subsidy

Flemish subsidies for innovation (formerly known as IWT grants)

Vlaio (the Flanders Enterprise & Innovation Agency) provides subsidies for innovations for development projects (short-term, result-oriented, clear innovation-driven business case) and research projects (knowledge-intensive, research-driven, long-term vision & strategy). The development projects and research projects are the successor to the former SME innovation projects, Sprint projects & R & D company projects. The support goes from 25% to 80% with a maximum subsidy of 3,000,000 Euro. The services provided by Venture Campus consist of converting your future innovation into a Vlaio development project or research project. We arrange everything from A to Z in exchange for a success fee. Call or email us today to discuss your innovation without obligation.

Development projects and Research projects

The development projects and research projects are aimed at innovative Flemish SMEs and large companies that can receive 25% to 80% support with a maximum subsidy of 3 million Euros. The grants are awarded by Flemish Agency Innovation & Entrepreneurship, formerly known as IWT grants.

An important condition is that the research projects are focused on knowledge-intensive research (and therefore not on development). Innovation is defined as the creation of a new (or innovative) product, process or service that requires innovation at the company. Obtaining a clear added value in relation to the market and a high risk of technical failure must form the starting point. The innovation and the relevant knowledge development can be both technological and non-technological in nature. Start-ups are also eligible for subsidies in which the wages of the (co-) founders are also eligible if they are part of the project team (see also overview of subsidies for start-ups).

  • Development projects

    Development projects are characterised as short-term, result-oriented with a clear innovation-driven business case. The duration is a maximum of 24 months and the maximum support is 50,000 euros.

  • Research projects:

    Research projects have a maximum duration of 36 months. These projects are characterised by knowledge-intensive, research-driven and a long-term vision & strategy. The basic support amounts to 25% -50% depending on the research content but can be increased for an SME (+ 20%) and cooperation (+ 10%) with independent companies or research centres.

Why development and research projects via venture campus?

Venture Campus has years of experience in writing files for Vlaio (former IWT). Our success ratio is very high because we coach you to define your innovation in the right way. We write your file (including business plan and work packages) from A to Z on a basis of a small fixed fee in combination with variable remuneration on a no-cure, no-pay basis. Do you already have a research project for an innovation? Then the next step is a Horizon 2020 grant (European program). Do not forget to check whether you qualify for a reduced tax (only 5.1% corporation tax) on innovative software through the new innovation deduction. You can contact us without obligation to see which subsidies and support measures your innovation qualifies.

What is the procedure for a development or research project?

Venture Campus writes the file in consultation with you. We convert your innovation into subsidy jargon. Afterwards we file the dossier with Vlaio and support you with the follow-up steps (discussion with the advisor, defence with the expert and submission of the interim and final reports). The processing time to write a file by us is on average 2 months. After submission you will receive the decision within 2-4 months. However, your project (and its associated costs) may start as the month following the day of submission. Venture Campus guides you or your employees with every step in this process.

For whom is a development and research project?

Every company with activities in Flanders is eligible for the development and research projects, provided that they work on innovative projects. Vlaio follows a series of criteria before they approve your project. This includes, stimulating effect, strategic importance for the Flemish company, economic and social leverage, embedding economic leverage & integration in the Flemish innovation ecosystem, new knowledge building & challenges, relevance and quality of approach & match project execution / valorisation objective e.d.m. Venture Campus will discuss with you, without obligation, whether you, according to us, meet the criteria. There are various popular research domains such as e-health, blockchain, AI, internet-of-things, machine learning, big data and facial recognition. Do you not do innovative research? Then we also have other subsidies such as training (ESF subsidies) or for investments in a new economic activity (strategic transformation support).

The importance of the business case and puncuality!

For the development projects subsidies it is also important that you are on time! VLAIO can only provide subsidies if the R & D has not yet been started! The business case for your company is also an important aspect. This type of project includes the development of a completely new or significantly innovative (improved) product, process, service or concept, and the result has a significant impact on the performance of your company. That impact is rather short-term. A well-founded business case is therefore also an absolute requirement for the subsidy to be awarded. You have to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis), how you can overcome the weaknesses and substantiate how you will finance your own contribution and what the expected return is (both for Flanders and for the company).

In the business case you must clearly demonstrate that a thorough market study has been carried out. The added value of the innovation for your customers and for the company’s market must be established. Likewise, a realistic view of future costs and benefits is essential. The innovation must be clearly framed within the strategy of the company and, the successful realisation of the innovative idea must strengthen the position of the company in the short term. Further, the added value for Flanders, specifically expressed in investments, turnover, social effects and employment must be clearly highlighted.

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Development and research projects

The most important advantages of a development project or research project:

  • High chance of success – Contingent upon a good dossier
  • Start-ups friendly – Also suitable for starters
  • All sectors – both IT and non-IT
  • Growth opportunities – For example, a Horizon 2020 subsidy
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