and the increasing challenge of eliminating the innovation paradox are strong drivers for great mutual understanding and exchange of views. She proclaimed this Flanders-U.S. “innovation dialogue” a good start and thanked the organizers and host.
Dr. Spencer said that the amount of foreign direct investment in the Flanders area was impressive, and asked whether it could be enhanced by having faculty from American and European universities spend time in Flanders. Mrs. Moerman said Flanders had developed a program called Odyssey to re-attract Flemish scientists who have emigrated abroad to do their research, as well as some researchers from across the world. The universities have a large degree of autonomy, she said, so they were free to attract academic researchers from various countries.
A questioner asked how IP regulations affected innovation in Flanders. Mrs. Moerman said that there was indeed a culture problem. The universities traditionally receive an amount for seed funds, and the Flemish government had doubled that amount and set up a general scheme for dividing profits earned from IP between the university and the inventor, along with a fair tax measure. She acknowledged that IPR questions continued to present complications, especially where different patenting systems were involved.