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For realizing the ambitions set out in the European Green Deal and for moving towards a Smart and Green Europe, a twin transition - in which both green and digital technologies play a central role - is a prerequisite. Flanders, as an important strategic region within the European innovation system, has a role to play in this respect.
This dossier concerns a mapping of Flanders’ position within Europe and Belgium, in terms of the green and digital twin transition. The results show that Flanders is currently contributing most to the digital panel of the twin transition. The further development of green technologies in Flanders requires additional attention. It seems that the potentially enabling role of digital technologies for green innovation is not (yet) played out comprehensively within Flanders.
Arriving at a point where Flanders makes an essential contribution to the twin transition still implies the need to overcome several challenges. As the EIB investment report (EIB, 2021, chapter 8) rightly points out, policy has a crucial role to play to this end. Indeed, fostering green and digital innovation should constitute a policy priority in Flanders. Special attention should go to the intersection between both domains, to stimulate digital developments becoming leveraged towards green innovations. The probability of success is largely contingent on finding the ideal policy mix, whereby it is critical that the full set of available policies is deployed to encourage innovators to act throughout the entire value chain of technologies and across the different sectors involved.