Since setting up its Data Center in Wallonia in 2007, Google has increased its investments in Wallonia, where it has found a qualified workforce, great availability of land, an ideal climate and excellent connectivity. Wallonia is indeed a location of choice for companies active in the digital world.
Belgium ranks 9th in the European Digitalization Index
Belgium is in 9th place in the European Commission’s 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) covering the 28 EU Member States. This high score can be explained in particular by the integration of digital technology in companies. Belgian companies in fact regularly use cloud services, big data applications and social networks.
Belgium is also well ranked in terms of connectivity (6th place), mainly thanks to the very high coverage rate of fixed and mobile broadband.
An ideal climate and many location opportunities
Thanks to the intelligent use of the Walloon climate, data centres are able to ensure their cooling whilst minimising the impact on the environment. The weather conditions in Wallonia are ideal: average annual temperatures are between 8 and 10 degrees and annual rainfall is relatively high (between 800 and 1,300 mm/year). The location of some plots of land on the side of waterways or canals also offers data centres sustainable and affordable options.
Skills and recruitment
Aware of the importance of integrating digital culture into the world of work, education and citizenship, many initiatives and actors make it possible to assess and develop digital skills.
For example, the Technocité competence center offers, in the heart of the Digital Innovation Valley, intensive training courses in innovative fields (gaming, development of web and mobile applications, community management, 3D, etc.). This competence center is surrounded by renowned partners and leading professionals in their fields to train in new ICT uses and digital innovation.
Wallonia’s digital strategy
Digital Wallonia sets the framework for all of the Walloon Government’s actions in terms of Wallonia’s digital transformation. Over 500 million euros have been harnessed over four years for its implementation.
Five major themes shape Wallonia’s digital ambition :
- Digital sector
- Digital business
- skills and education
- Public services
- Digital territory
A centre dedicated to digital innovation
It is also important to highlight the presence in Wallonia of a "Digital Innovation Valley" which, around the Initialis science park, brings together prestigious centres specialising in the field of digital innovation (Microsoft Innovation Centre, TechnocITé, the Technological Business Centre, the Google European data centre, Virtualis, etc.).
2016 innovation scoreboard: Belgium is ranked 7th among the "strong innovators"
European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index 2016
Belgium is the 6th most digital country - European Union 2017 digital scoreboard