Thanks to Flanders Make’s new living labs, companies and SMEs can develop and market new products better and faster. In addition, the research center’s mobile ‘Make Lab’ brings the latest and most innovative production techniques to specific company sites. Dirk Torfs, CEO of Flanders Make: “We help these firms enhance their production processes—with robots capable of collaborating with people, for example, and with applications for virtual and augmented reality. In doing so, we aim to strengthen the manufacturing industry in Flanders.”
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3 new living labs at your disposal at Flanders Make
Flanders Make, one of four strategic research centers in Flanders, has recently presented its three new ‘living labs’ in the town of Lommel. Equipped with the latest (robotic) technologies, this hi-tech test infrastructure represents an investment of EUR 5 million. Its goal: to support companies and SMEs from Flanders and beyond in testing and optimizing technological innovations in real-life conditions.
The strategic research center also wants to continue guiding companies toward the new production technologies of Industry 4.0. “The manufacturing industry is doing well, but there’s still a lot of potential. By opening our new test infrastructure, Flanders Make intends to support companies in continuing their path towards becoming ‘factories of the future’,” says Chairman of the Board of Directors Urbain Vandeurzen.
In the past four years, the number of employees at Flanders Make in Lommel has doubled from 25 to 50. Over the next five years, the number of researchers and other personnel working at the Lommel site will double again to reach 100 employees. Flanders Make is supported by the ‘Strategic Action Plan for Limburg in het Kwadraat’ (SALK) as well as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The latter organization is earmarking 40% of the EUR 5 million investment.