Innotek, VITO and the Province of Antwerp are joining forces for the creation of a ‘Health Hub’ in the Kempen region. In the Technology House in Mol they are creating a unique campus with state-of-the-art lab infrastructure where activities related to research, venturing, incubation and acceleration on sustainable health are brought together under one roof.

On 1 July 2018 Innotek, VITO and the Province of Antwerp started an intensive long-term partnership in the Technology House in Mol. The aim is to realise a “Health Hub” in the Kempen region, building upon the R&D activities of VITO with regard to sustainable health and the knowhow of Innotek with regard to incubation and spin-off creation. Activities related to research, venturing, incubation and acceleration are thus brought together under the same roof, which offers a unique added value in supporting the care economy and spearhead Health.

 “Within its programme on preventive and personalised health care, VITO is focusing on the creation of new applications and the creation of new start-up opportunities, in order to support the local health and care economy. This partnership brings us a step closer to Healthcare 2.0.” says Rudi Torfs from VITO.

The Province of Antwerp is also investing. “The Technology House in Mol is owned by the Province of Antwerp, says Ludwig Caluwé, Deputy for Economy and Innovation. In this collaboration government, research and entrepreneurs find each other. The Province of Antwerp has also started a similar partnership with the University of Antwerp in Niel. Now we do the same in Mol. This is beneficial for the Kempen region and also for new companies in the care economy.

This partnership fits nicely into the local landscape that is developing around health and the care economy and strengthens the already existing collaborations in the region with regard to bio-economy, cleantech and process technology. Moreover, VITO’s research lines in the Health programme are fully in line with the Kempen spearheads and there is great complementarity with the activities of other regional players.

With 73 000 jobs the care economy is the largest employer of the Province of Antwerp and therefore a very important spearhead,” emphasizes Deputy for Care economy Peter Bellens. “With a fast ageing population the need for care will only grow in the next years. It is crucial that we invest on this by building bridges between technological care innovation, development of knowledge and entrepreneurship.”

In a first preparatory phase that started on 1 July 2018, offices will be occupied by VITO in the Technology House in Mol. In a second phase, investments will be made in high-quality lab infrastructures that will enable VITO to set up state-of-the-art laboratories in the Technology House that can be used for, among others, odour testing, climatic test chambers, ring tests and gas generation laboratories.

 “The accommodation of VITO’s Business Development activities in one of our Technology houses gives us an important additional asset as incubator.” explains Sofie Verhagen (Innotek). Their experience with regard to the different ways in which knowledge can be valorised fits in perfectly with our expertise in the concrete realisation and execution of Business Plans in order to fully develop start-up stories.”

 “The mission of Innotek is the creation of sustainable employment in the region.” adds Toon Peeters (Innotek). Through this partnership with VITO, we actively contribute to anchoring very specific knowledge in the Kempen region and we establish a magnet for new players and new activities in Health & Early Diagnostics.”

More information about Technology House in Mol can be found here:

Contact persons Innotek:

Contact persons VITO:

Contact persons for the Province of Antwerp: