Flemish research has a solid reputation and is internationally orientated: over 60% of the copublications published in Flanders are the result of international collaborations. In 2017 there were about 3500 copublications between Flanders and the UK and about 500 with Ireland.
Flanders and the United Kingdom have an intensive collaboration between their different universities and research centres. Within the current European research programme Horizon 2020 there are about 500 research projects involving Flemish and British organizations.
The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) is the principal funding body for Flemish research. They take several initiatives to support international collaboration in research. They both support Flemish researchers who go abroad as well as international researchers who come to Flanders to carry out research.
A large contribution to Flemish research is made by the 5 Flemish universities: KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Ghent University, University of Hasselt and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The main research centres in Flanders are:
- IMEC - worldleader in nano electronics: trusted R&D partner of companies, start-ups and academia.
- Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp - aimed at the advancement and dissemination of science that contributes to tropical medicine and to public health
- Flanders Make - strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry, aimed at mechatronics, product development methods and production technologies
- VIB - leading interuniversity research centre for biotechnology
- VITO - leading technology and research centre for cleantech and sustainable growth
The General Representation supports both initiatives from Flemish Universities and research centres, as well as from research initiatives with a Flemish connection such as the historic research at St Andrew University about 'Scotland and the Flemish People' or seminars about Flanders Field, such as Cardiff University.