By the end of 2022, 8,000 square meters of production halls, labs and office space will be present on the site. The goal is to expand this area to 30,000 square meters. In the first phase, this will create 600 new jobs, growing to 5,000 new jobs over the next ten years. Project partners include the city of Genk, investment company LRM, the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), strategic research center Flanders Make, manufacturing knowledge center Sirris and economic development agency POM Limburg.
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Thor Park Genk (Flanders) to boost smart manufacturing
The site was built with the campus philosophy in mind. Different types of manufacturing companies will be based in Thor Park, where they are meant to find each other – quite literally. Joris Merckx, managing director of Thor Park, explains that the campus will welcome both mature companies as well as start-ups. Incubation is not yet a habit within the manufacturing domain, which Thor Park wants to change. The experience of established companies in combination with start-ups’ innovative mindset is anticipated to create both economic as well as societal added value.
We are not just targeting hardware and software companies and manufacturers to fill the available space; companies that facilitate smart and efficient process automation, logistics or storage are also very welcome.
The creation of the site is an important step towards the future for the province of Limburg (Flanders), as it is being built at the former Waterschei mining site. This is the third time that the city of Genk has had to reinvent itself in the span of one century. Following World War I, Genk was the home of Flanders’ mining industry. After the mines closed, Genk became known for its car manufacturing activities. Now, Genk is strongly positioning itself as the new home base for smart manufacturing companies.