Our virtual tour across the partner regions continues in Belgium, where our partners from VOKA – Chamber of Commerce of West Flanders will present the Regional Action Plan that they have developed within the DEVISE project.

Soraya Van Cauwenberghe, our DEVISE partner from VOKA, explains that the aim of Flanders is to constantly optimise the valorisation of technological and non-technological knowledge in order to strengthen its position as a dynamic knowledge region. “Stimulating and supporting innovative projects with knowledge applications is an important instrument for this because the transferability of the projects to other companies, organisations and institutions is key”, states Soraya.

According to our partner, the economic, industrial and social valorisation of research results in Flanders can be improved. The Flemish economic fabric is largely built around small companies (SMEs) and it is characteristic of such enterprises that it is difficult for innovative applications to find there entrance. Nevertheless, Flemish companies are increasingly confronted with challenges in this area.

Inspired by Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences partners in (Finland) and their ‘Regional Manufacturing Digital Innovation Hub: IoT-compass’ good practice, VOKA partners have centred their RAP in one action: the Digital Experience Labs. “The need for digitalisation is an important point of attention. For this reason, it is an explicit policy objective to service as many Flemish SMEs as possible through an accessible approach”, adds Soraya. With these labs, Flemish companies will be given the opportunity to experiment with digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). In addition to using the available infrastructure, methodologies and technical expertise of the knowledge partners, attention will also be paid to digitization within the business model. 

Our partner believes that with this call, the ERDF program responds to the identified needs and VOKA ensures that Flemish SMEs will have easy access to assistance and advice for their projects with the wide range of data-driven technologies.

Read here the Regional Action Plan developed by VOKA.