Houthalen-Helchteren, Mol 22 December 2017 – Flanders is strong in cleantech. Flanders is a driving force in the worldwide trend to go circular, to decarbonize and to embrace the electric vehicle. In a few domains Flanders is even at the top. To further strengthen the beacon for cleantech in Flanders and abroad, i-Cleantech Vlaanderen will be a part of VITO, the Flemish research institute for sustainable development and cleantech, starting 1 January 2018.
I-Cleantech Vlaanderen: 800 organizations and 8 approved European projects
I-Cleantech Vlaanderen was founded on 1 October 2012 to stimulate the innovation in cleantech. I-Cleantech Vlaanderen inspired this cross-sector challenge. It proved to be a success because 5 years later a lot of milestones are achieved. Flanders became strong in cleantech. Corporations, governments and knowledge institutes were brought together in Flanders and on a European scale to effectively implement cleantech. The big impact of I-Cleantech Vlaanderen is also evidenced by the 800 organizations they have a contract with and the 8 approved European projects. They gained a strong brand awareness in Flanders through the annual cleantech report, the technology in action workshops, the Cleantech Festival, interactive tools, …
Bigger synergy and strength for the research and economic subject ‘cleantech’
The integration of i-Cleantech Vlaanderen in VITO on 1 January 2018 aims at a bigger synergy and strength for the research and economic subject ‘cleantech’ in Flanders. It joins the strong networking and support activities on innovation form i-Cleantech Vlaanderen with the programmatic strengths of VITO.
The integration of i-Cleantech Vlaanderen in VITO fits in the policy of Phillipe Muyters, Flemish minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport: “I want a clear and uniform innovation landscape with as little fragmentation as possible. Where possible, we integrate valuable initiatives in stable organizations. That way we combine expertise and create synergies.”
Dirk Fransaer, Managing Director, VITO: ”For VITO i-Cleantech Vlaanderen is a reinforcement of the critical mass of our own activities , related to our strategic and operational objectives. VITO will integrate the activities of i-Cleantech Vlaanderen in a way that guarantees an optimal substantial streamlining between the programmes of VITO and i-Cleantech Vlaanderen, particularly in the domains energy , materials and water management. Those focus domains of i-Cleantech Vlaanderen have common grounds with the VITO-activities (just like Flanders Cleantech Association, Vlaanderen Circulair, EnergyVille, the KICs InnoEnergy and Raw Materials, Vlaams Kenniscentrum voor Water, …).“
Stef Denayer, General Director, i-Cleantech Vlaanderen: “For years, Flanders has been staking on sustainable development and cleantech. In that context the strategic research institute VITO has set up focused research programs for materials, chemistry, energy, land use and health. VITO also set up cleantech activities, like FCA (Flanders Cleantech Association) and the organization of international conferences like G-STIC (Global Science, Technology and Innovation Conference). The integration in VITO gives us the opportunity to better position the cleantech beacon in Flanders and abroad. One of our strengths is stimulating cooperation and matchmaking. We will proactively bring together organizations around cleantech opportunities. A neutral catalyst is needed to keep accelerating cleantech implementation and to spread the Flemish cleantech expertise to Europe and beyond.”
VITO will take in the i-Cleantech Vlaanderen employees that work from Greenville in Houthalen.