Flemish spearhead clusters demonstrate their crucial role at Innovfest
On 24 October, seven Flemish spearhead clusters organised a joint event for the first time: Innovfest Vlaanderen. The programme included various keynote speeches, an innovation hall and a debate with the managers of the different clusters. Below, you can find a few important findings of the event.
Clusters crucial to innovation policy
The importance of this joint event where the spearhead clusters of logistics, food, healthtech, energy, materials, chemistry and the marine sector highlighted their contribution to business life cannot be understated. This was the message brought by Mark Andries, General Administrator of Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), in his presentation about the successful cluster policy in Flanders.
Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy and Agriculture Jo Brouns emphasised that Flanders is a truly knowledge-driven economy and society. “Innovation is not just a powerful instrument to overcome the crisis, but also to address societal challenges – in particular in terms of the environment, energy and climate,” the minister stated.
“Our Flemish spearhead clusters represent those sectors that are strategically important for our region, and support, assist and reinforce companies in the sustainable and digital transformation of their business. We are now laying the groundwork for the future of Flanders’ cluster policy."
For, by and with companies
All clusters have adopted a bottom-up approach, which explains their impact: these companies determine where there needs and requirements are. Clusters are an indispensable corporate link in the innovation landscape as facilitators, matchmakers, influencers, subsidy advisors, bridge builders, requirement detectors, project implementers and knowledge sharers.
On the occasion of InnovFest, Technopolis had been transformed into a hall brimming with showcases, featuring an inventory drone, a space bakery, a plasma reactor, a floating solar panel, a closed bioreactor, a 3D-printed logo and CoastBusters. All showcases are from projects implemented under the direction of a spearhead cluster and with the support of VLAIO.
The various showcases were grouped together across sectors around the topics of health & safety, sustainability, circularity, automation and digitisation.
Innovfest Vlaanderen was a joint initiative by Flemish spearhead clusters VIL (logistics), Flux50 (energy), SIM (materials), Catalisti (chemistry) Blue Cluster (marine sector), Flanders’ FOOD (agri-food industry) and Medvia (healthcare).
The project received financial support from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).
Blue Cluster at Innovfest
Several showcases of projects by Blue Cluster were also on display in the innovation hall, namely Coastbusters, SYMAPA and SeaCrops. Information was also provided about CORDOBA, an inter-cluster project which we facilitate together with Flux50.