Just like last year, VITO reinforces the ranks of the top 10 Belgian institutions and companies that applied for a patent at the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2019. Even more so: in contrast to eight out of ten companies/institutions in this top list, the number of applications by VITO is increasing remarkably.

In 2018, 32 more applications were filed, in 2019 there were already 40. VITO is doing extremely well. Solvay continues to excel with 306 applications, although this is more than 10 % less than in 2018. With 40 applications, VITO is closely following VIB's colleagues. Imec remains number 2, but submitted more than 10 percent fewer applications last year.

All in all, Belgian companies and institutions accounted for a record of 2,423 patent applications at the EPO last year. This is 3.2 percent higher than in 2018, despite the fact that the number of patent applications among the ten frontrunners fell. 64.2 % of the Belgian applications come from Flanders. According to EPO President António Campinos, the solid growth in recent years can be attributed to the strength of the broad research and development infrastructure, a diverse mix of companies, research institutes and universities.

Belgium is also doing particularly well on the global stage. We are ranked 8th, with 208 applications per million inhabitants. Switzerland is and remains the leader, with 988 applications per million inhabitants. The eight leaders on this list are all Western European countries. Israel stranded at number 9 (179), followed by Japan (175).

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