The news was announced by Flemish Innovation minister Ingrid Lieten (socialist, photo) during the trade mission in California.
In Mountain View, the Flemish delegation brought a visit to Complete Genomics, a Californian company specialised in decoding human DNA. Complete Genomics has been able to strongly reduce the cost of a so-called complete genome analysis - the genome being the complete DNA structure of an individual.
The cost has now been reduced to some 3,300 euros. In 2007, the cost was about 7 million euros. Lower costs mean that the technique can be used more frequently by researchers looking for genetic diseases like the Down syndrome or types of cancer.
The accord between the VIB and Complete Genomics means that Flemish researchers will be able to use the "cheap" technique as well, and will facilitate the battle against DNA-related diseases.