Innovation is the driver for any sustainable, competitive economy. And, with the COP26 delegates relying on innovative technologies to meet their goals, innovation is a pivotal element within the cleantech sector.

To assess the degree and trend of innovation the simplified metric of unique patent families is investigated. It should be noted that for the patents, only data up until 2018 is considered. This is due to the lengthy nature of the patenting process. Many of the patents filed in 2019 are still under review and including approved patents of 2019 and later would show a very erroneous and negative picture of innovation over the past few years. The analysis is thus largely restricted to trends in the innovation landscape.

Looking at the data, it is evident that the domain of Renewable Energy has been the one where Flanders has made the most prolific contributions. The other domains with high levels of innovation are all directly related to greenhouse gas emission reduction through either energy optimization (energy efficiency & green buildings), or electrification (batteries & sustainable mobility). Other domains have seen more tempered and consistent patent filings.


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Houthalen, 20 February 2022

Responsible publisher: Frans Snijkers, Director
Text: Cleantech Flanders
Concept and design: Kaplus

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