IWT is Flanders' Innovation Agency established by the Flemish Government in 1991. Since innovation policy is a regional matter in Belgium, IWT-Flanders is the key organisation for support and promotion of R&D and innovation in Flanders. The total funding of IWT-Flanders amounts to €248m in 2006. IWT is both a programme owner (in close co-operation with the Flemish Minister of Innovation) and a programme manager (selection and follow-up of research and innovation projects).
The scope of funding is quite broad, including industrial R&D projects, EUREKA projects, feasibility studies and innovation projects for SME’s, support to industrial networks (sectoral research, technological advisory services, innovation stimulation), support to universities for strategic basic research, support to higher education engineering schools for technology diffusion actions, individual grants for PhD and post-doc research, support to universities for exploitation of their R&D-results and to larger “ad hoc “ initiatives as decided by the Flemish government. In 2006 about 334 R&D projects (incl. EUREKA) were funded for a total amount of €83.4m. Different horizontal measures to support industrial networks active in generic sectoral research, technological advisory services, stimulation of technology transfer and innovation are focused on interaction with and transfer of knowledge to the local SMEs.
Besides promotion of innovation through funding of R&D-projects and services, one of the main tasks of IWT-Flanders is the co-ordination of the regional innovation actors such as regional development agencies, technological advisory services, sectoral research centres, industrial federations, etc…
IWT-Flanders has created a service for monitoring and analysis (M&A) of results, effects and impact on industry of the different innovation support programmes. The outcome of this M&A service provides information to optimise existing or create new funding schemes and innovation support actions.