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Flanders’ competence centers for advanced manufacturing: Flanders Make, Sirris and OMC

Flanders Make: from applied research to competitive advantages

Since 2014, Flanders’ strategic research center for the manufacturing industry, Flanders Make, carries out industry-driven, pre-competitive research in advanced manufacturing. In doing so, it helps to strengthen the long-term international competitiveness of businesses in the region.

To make this possible, Flanders Make works together with major companies and SMEs (Dana, Atlas Copco, CNH, Continental, Philips...), research centers Flanders’ Mechatronics Technology Center (FMTC) and Flanders’ Drive, and the labs of five local universities. Together, they focus on product and process innovations that respond to industry needs.

Sirris: from technical expertise to marketable innovation

Sirris is the collective knowledge center of the technological production industry, focusing on ICT, advanced manufacturing, mechatronics, and materials. The center helps companies to develop, test, and effectively implement marketable technological innovations.

OMC: a high-tech hotspot

The Open Manufacturing Campus (OMC) is aimed at production companies in the high-tech, life sciences and medical technology sectors. It is not only a physical place where innovative manufacturing companies can establish themselves – it is also a virtual community. OMC is the place to be for early adopters, company or university spin-offs and any business that needs flexible production expansion capabilities on its path to growth and open innovation.

Made Different: the ‘factory of the future’ in Flanders

‘Made Different’ is an action plan developed by Belgian technology sector federation Agoria, Sirris and Flanders Make to help Belgian – and Flanders-based – enterprises become factories of the future. As a foreign company producing in Flanders (or Belgium), you can join as well!

The plan focuses on 7 transformations:

  • End-to-end engineering
  • Digital factory
  • Eco-production
  • Smart production systems
  • Human-centered production
  • World class manufacturing technologies
  • The networked factory

Success story: Continental Automotive Belgium

Continental Automotive, a car and parts manufacturer in Mechelen, transformed itself into a ‘factory of the future’ and became the competence centre for the entire group. Thanks to the support of the Made Different program, substantial investments could be made in the intensive automation of its production facilities. The existing ecological footprint was also examined and smart production systems were introduced. 
Find out more about Made Different.

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Handbook to setting up manufacturing operations in Flanders