VARIO advisory processes 2020

Following the official receipt of a coordinated request for advice from Minister-president Jan Jambon and Deputy minister and Innovation minister Hilde Crevits in January and two additional requests for advice from vice-minister president Hilde Crevits in March, VARIO has now set out its work programme for 2020 in more detail. You will find a brief overview of the various advisory processes below. A detailed overview can be found in the VARIO work programme 2020.  

As the advisory process progresses, you will find out more about it here and elsewhere on our website. Be sure to keep an eye on our newsletter, the VARIO update, and our social media channels for news.


1) Advisory process 'Towards the top of knowledge- and innovation-driven regions in Europe'.

In the context of its memorandum, VARIO already started last year with the creation of 'a roadmap to the top 5 innovative knowledge regions'. Also in 2019 VARIO started developing 'a quality set of indicators for science and innovation'. Minister-president Jan Jambon and vice-minister president Hilde Crevits, responsible for innovation, took good note of this and subsequently formulated a number of questions for advice (see request for advice 'Ambition top 5'). This has led to the setting up of the following three sub-advice trajectories:

1.1) Relevant benchmark countries/regions

Based on a number of predefined criteria, VARIO will select a number of relevant benchmark countries and/or regions for Flanders.

Timing: March 2020

1.2) A quality set of indicators for science and innovation

The aim of this advisory project is to develop a qualitative and 'smart' set of indicators allowing to monitor in an objective and transparent way how Flanders performs in the field of science and innovation, and to map the position of Flanders on an international scale.

Timing: June 2020

1.3) To the top group of knowledge and innovation-driven regions

In 2019, VARIO prepared a background report with a strength-weakness analysis of Flanders in terms of innovation and competitiveness using indicators, and an in-depth analysis of the R&D&I systems of top regions such as Switzerland and Singapore. In 2020, this will be complemented by qualitative research based on interviews with experts. Based on this, VARIO will then formulate concrete recommendations for a roadmap for Flanders in order to connect to the top regions.

Timing: June/July 2020

2) Advisory process 'Quadruple helix - involving citizens and civil society: what possible scenarios'.

In a mission-driven innovation policy, you have to give society a place and also create support. In concrete terms, Minister Hilde Crevits asked VARIO for a starting script with possible scenarios for the optimal involvement of citizens, civil society, but also small businesses (see request for advice 'Quadruple helix'). On this basis, the minister will start a dialogue to arrive at a supported vision on a structural approach.

Timing: September - October 2020

3) Advisory process 'IPCEIs - important projects of common European interest’

VARIO was asked by Minister Hilde Crevits to carry out a strategic exploration of the strengths and opportunities for Flanders with regard to the possible IPCEIs - Important Projects of Common European Interest (see request for advice 'Industrial Policy').

Timing: September - October 2020

4) Advisory process 'Attracting foreign R&D centres’

In Flanders, 66.44% of companies' R&D expenditure takes place in branches under foreign control (2017[1]). Therefore, according to VARIO, it is relevant to look in more detail at the specific added value of incoming foreign investments in R&D for Flanders.

Timing: Start autumn 2020

5) Advisory process 'Sustainable Development Goals and mission-oriented innovation policy'.

VARIO will investigate how the Flemish science, innovation and entrepreneurship policy should deal with and focus on the SDGs. In the context of innovation, we will quickly come to a mission-oriented policy via the SDGs. To this end, the new Flemish Government wants to evolve from ad hoc initiatives to a more structural approach. VARIO will give its vision on this.

Timing: Start autumn 2020




VARIO adviestrajecten voor 2020