What is innovation boosting?

INNOVATION BOOSTING is a short-term project type in which Flanders Make is commissioned by a company to investigate the feasibility of their innovative idea.

You can acquire the necessary technological knowledge in a very simple and accessible way by calling upon the expertise and infrastructure of the extensive Flanders Make network. In addition, the instrument is supported by subsidies from the Flemish Agency for Innovation & Enterprise (VLAIO), which significantly lowers the innovation thresholds, especially for small enterprises.

Who is eligible?

Both SMEs and large enterprises with an activity in the Flemish Region are eligible.

Which assignments are eligible?

VLAIO and Flanders Make want to support companies that take steps to convert innovative ideas into products or services or that want to improve their existing production process in an innovative way.  A precondition for the financial support is that companies with a business case and market analysis are able to demonstrate that their innovative idea has the potential of economic added value.

How can you participate?

A company can contact Flanders Make at any time. The application process is fairly simple and usually runs very quickly. Within a few weeks, the company will know whether their innovative idea is eligible for VLAIO's innovation support. If desired, Flanders Make's employees can assist in drawing up the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to choose for INNOVATION BOOSTING?

A company with an innovative idea that does not (yet) have the knowledge and means to determine its feasibility can call upon Flanders Make. Flanders Make provides the expertise and infrastructure of its extensive network of more than 750 researchers.

Both start-ups and small and large companies can have a feasibility study tailored to their specific needs. Moreover, this can be started at any time of the year. The application and the execution take only a few months.

An additional advantage is that this type of project is accompanied by financial support from the Flemish Innovation & Enterprise Agency (VLAIO). In this way, a company can quickly make a technological leap and gain insights without immediately having to invest a lot.

What is a typical project duration of INNOVATION BOOSTING projects?

A feasibility study typically takes between three and eight months.  For the subsidy application you need to count between 4 to 8 weeks.

Can companies outside Flanders also participate?

Only companies with an activity in Flanders can participate.  The innovative idea of which the feasibility is examined must - in case of success - translate into growth or at least securing employment and/or investments within the Flemish Region.

What is the level of support that companies can count on?

The support percentage of the VLAIO subsidy varies from 40% of the total project cost for large companies to 50% for small and medium-sized enterprises. The maximum subsidy is €50,000. In case of a collaboration between different companies, the maximum subsidy is € 50,000 per company. At least half of the total project budget is performed by Flanders Make.

What does the submission process look like?

  1. The company contacts Flanders Make with a view to an INNOVATION BOOSTING process.
  2. Scouting phase: employees of Flanders Make enter into conversation with the company. A number of minimum requirements are met: a solid business case, market and competition analysis, sufficient potential for economic added value in Flanders ... . It is also checked whether the knowledge needs of the company can be linked to expertise in the Flanders Make network.
  3. Completion of the INNOVATION BOOSTING application document: after a positive assessment of the scouting phase, a company can submit an application form. This form asks for a detailed business case (earnings model, substantiated cost-benefit analysis, ...), an innovation plan (from idea to implementation), the existing competencies, the remaining knowledge need, the expectations of the feasibility study, ...
  4. Fill in project budget template: an estimate of all costs that will be made within the feasibility study.

Can subcontractors be used?

Within INNOVATION BOOSTING Flanders Make acts as a subcontractor.  However, this does not prevent other subcontractors, such as freelancers, from being involved in the project.

What about intellectual property rights?

The intellectual property rights (IP) that Flanders Make develops on behalf of the company during an INNOVATION BOOSTING project in principle belong to the company. If Flanders Make continues to build on existing background property rights of Flanders Make, Flanders Make remains the owner of this background. The foreground IP that was developed during the project belongs to the company.

What about knowledge transfer and valorisation?

The company has full exploitation rights to its own background and foreground IP. In case Flanders Make continues to build on its intellectual property rights (IP), a license fee is charged for its exploitation at a market rate. 

How are the INNOVATION BOOSTING projects assessed and monitored?

At the conclusion of an IB project, the company draws up a final report.  This includes, among other things, the final settlement with the actual costs incurred.  At the same time, it is checked whether the objectives have been achieved and what possibilities the company sees to effectively realize the proposed impact of the innovative idea.


Do you want to join an Innovation Boosting project? Download all documents here.

Johan Aerts - Albatros

"The Innovation Boosting initiative of Flanders Make enabled Albatros to evaluate a complex problem quickly and accurately, on the one hand thanks to the fast processing procedure of the application and on the other hand thanks to the input of the highly qualified Flanders Make experts."

Johan Aerts



Innovation Boosting is made possible with the support of following partners

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