Flanders’ Bike Valley was established in 2013 as one of the first bottom-up clusters in Flanders. An open innovation center for the cycling industry, it was founded by knowledge center Flanders Make and four local SMEs, all leaders in their sectors: BioRacer (a cycling clothes manufacturer), Lazer Sport (producing helmets), Ridley Race Productions and Voxdale (a specialist in aerodynamics who engineered and designed for Indycar).
Support of Flanders’ Bike Valley focuses on 6 major topics:
- sports – together with the Belgian Cycling Foundation and Belgian Olympic Committee;
- safety & healthcare;
- science & technology;
- industry & government;
More than 50% of the cluster’s members are other SMEs that come from diverse sectors, including electronics, design, ICT and healthcare. In addition, Flanders’ Bike Valley, which organizes partner matching events, is launching open innovation projects for multiple partners and focuses on joint internationalization and incubation in cooperation with BikeVille Incubator.
BikeVille aims to support start-ups and company spin-offs related to cycling at both national and international levels. Flanders’ position – literally and figuratively – in the industry gives the incubating companies access to the rich cycling knowledge found in the heart of Belgium. In addition to state of the art office space, BikeVille provides meeting areas, a convention hall, a concept store, a restaurant, and a low-speed wind tunnel.
At BikeVille, Flanders’ Bike Valley has a unique low-speed wind tunnel that enables manufacturers, product developers and athletes to test and measure aerodynamic drag and turbulence. Thanks to this cycling-specific wind tunnel – the first of its kind in the industry – you can gain targeted insights for higher overall accuracy and repeatability than in similar tunnels built for aeronautics, aviation, motorsports, or other scientific research.