Dirk Torfs

In 2016, we successfully optimised and accelerated our efforts of the past few years. This resulted in a stronger economic impact and had a positive influence on employment. We also focussed on projects with and for the industry so as to create – step by step – better products and production systems. In a complex, increasingly digital world, intensive, inter-domain long-term cooperation with all actors is THE key to success for the manufacturing industry. Also in 2016, we continued bridging gaps between research and business. With a success rate of over 90%, our project proposals submitted to the ‘Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen’ (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship) can be defined as extremely successful.

 
High-end research infrastructure

We want to enable universities and companies to perform research in the best possible conditions. That is why over the past year we invested heavily in high-end research infrastructure. As a result, companies no longer need to make these investments individually. Flanders Make invested, among others, in a state-of-the-art 3D-printing machine. We’ve built a multi-material lab, a system for testing components for the automotive industry and a mobile platform allowing to demonstrate new production technologies. We’re also investing in the development of functionalities for smarter and connected agricultural vehicles. Finally, let us not forget to mention the optical and sensing pilot line for the production of optical components supporting photonics-based sensors.

I also want to seize the opportunity to look back on our very first symposium that took place in the autumn of 2016. We brought together more than 300 interested people from the industry, knowledge centres and public agencies to inspire them with innovative examples. The laudatory feedback of the attendants is for us an additional incentive to turn the next edition into an even bigger success.

Dirk Torfs, General Director

“In a complex, increasingly digital world, intensive, inter-domain long-term cooperation with all actors is THE key to success for the manufacturing industry.”

Dirk Torfs, General Director