The innovation centres are designed to drive the development of the local economy. In cooperation with industry and academia, they set out to faciliate the development of innovative projects, of products and business models, through the use of new technologies.
The innovation centres in Wallonia:
Euro Green IT Innovation Center
The not-for-profit association Euro Green IT is a public-private partnership created at the beginning of 2010 at the initiative of the Marshall Plan 2 “Green” and the Office of the Minister of the Economy Jean-Claude Marcourt.
The partnership was set up between Wallonia and several private companies active in the field of IT and communications, including big names such as IBM, Cisco, Mobistar, Alcatel, Microsoft, Deloitte or again Climate Savers Computing Association (USA).
The Euro Green IT Innovation Center meets one of the primary “green” aims of the Marshall Plan 2., namely the stimulation of economic development and the creation of jobs in Wallonia via new technologies that are essential for the emergence of a society that adopts the role of guardian of our resources and of our environment.
Microsoft Innovation Center
The Microsoft Innovation Center is the fruit of a public-private partnership between Wallonia and private partners (Microsoft, HP, Voo and Mobistar and local companies). The partnership sets out to encourage the development of Walloon companies in the IT industry.
Targeting the creation of around 250 jobs in the region, the MIC has a portfolio of activities underpinned by 4 pillars:
- the creation of a context favourable to innovation;
- the dissemination of knowledge about new technologies, backed by conferences and a certification programme;
- the practical implementation of this knowledge, encouraged by call for projects;
- support to young entrepreneurs via 2 bootcamps per annum.
GIGA training centre
The GIGA is a structure that is one of its kind in Belgium. This centre is based within the University of Liege, which houses a centre of excellence in academic research, seven technological platforms, a technology transfer office, a relocation service for biotechnology companies as well as an incubator and a biotechnology life-long training centre, all hinged around approaches to genoproteomics (genoproteomics can be broken down into genomics, which is the analysis of all of the genes that encode the information necessary for the development and workings of an organism, and proteomics, which is the study of the expression, regulation and interactions of all of the proteins in an organism. In fact, while the genome contains the information, the proteins ensure interactions with the surroundings and the correct working of the organism.)
The project sets out to develop:
- Excellence in academic research.
- A close cooperation between research and business.
- Pluridisciplinary projects.
- Greater interactions with the clinicians of the CHU (structure within which the GIGA is housed).
The GIGA also sets out to position the Liege region as a pole of development and a hub for biotechnology, combining the availability of a qualifed workforce, far-reaching scientific and technological knowledge, as well as the desire to innovate in this field.
Wallonia Space Logistics (WSL)
WSL supports projects that mobilise advanced skills in the field of engineering. To allow project carriers to concentrate on their core business, WSL serves as a supplier of tangible resources (premises, logistics, etc.) and intangible resources (networking, financial support, legal assistance, etc.).
This double option, which despite its novelty quickly met with success, makes the WSL incubator a trusted partner between the founders, the investors and, eventually, the intellectual property owners.
Wallonia Biotech Coaching (WBC)
Wallonia Biotech Coaching (WBC) is the thematic incubator for biotechnologies in the Walloon Region. Its main remit is to help biotech companies based in Wallonia during their start-up and growth phases.
WBC also plays a major role in the general promotion and development dynamic of Wallonia’s biotech industry as a whole.
As such, since February 2009, WBC is officially recognised as a Business Federation by the AWEX.
Set up on the Gosselies Aeropole (Charleroi), the IBMM is an entity devoted mainly to teaching and academic research. This centre of excellence of the Free University of Brussels employs no fewer than 250 scientists, a mixed bag of researchers, professors, doctoral students, etc. They are working together to get a deeper insight into the world of the living. Offshoots of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine of the ULB, these research units are made up of biologists, chemists, physicians, IT experts, agronomists, veterinary surgeons and doctors of international renown.
The Centre for Medical Innovation/Le Centre d’Innovations Médicales
The Centre for Medical Innovation (CIM) is a service company set up to multiply, accelerate and secure start-ups in the field of biotechnologies through a “translational” approach that is the interaction between fundamental and clinical research.
The company therefore sets out to allow the faster industrial transfer of the results of cutting-edge research. The company will move into the CHU in Liege before being able to enjoy the facilities of a 1000 m² building that is due to be completed by 2013.