Flanders Make is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. Flanders Make has establishments in Lommel and Leuven.
Breakthrough innovations in products and processes are key elements of a sustainable manufacturing industry. Companies often lack the resources, both in people as well as in infrastructure, to really perform breakthrough innovations.
The purpose is to realize a top-level research network and infrastructure in Flanders that delivers full support to the innovation projects of manufacturing companies. In this way, Flanders Make wants to contribute to new products and processes that help to realize the vehicles, machines and factories of the future.
The Flanders Make research infrastructure is fully open for companies (specially SME's) to develop their new products and processes. A mobile "Make Lab" has been established which is used for awareness and training purposes. This Make Lab travels to companies so that operators and policy makers can easily experience new technologies like robotics, AR/VR and innovative human machine collaboration technologies.
Flanders Make has been initiated by the Flemish Government in cooperation with the Flemish manufacturing industry. The goal is to support the industry with technology innovation in order to create economic added value.
The mission of Flanders Make is: to strengthen the long-term international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry by carrying
out excellent, industry-driven, pre-competitive research in the domains of Mechatronics, Product development methods and Advanced manufacturing technologies.

Resources needed

Flanders Make has started in 2014 as a merger of two existing research organizations. End 2017 there were about 120 people on the payroll of Flanders Make and another 300 in the Universities working in projects of Flanders Make. The total turnover of Flanders Make in 2017 was € 13.98 mio.

Evidence of success

The number of member-companies has grown from 60 in 2014 to over 100 in 2017. In 2016 393 companies were directly involved in cooperation with Flanders Make. 44 different companies participated in research projects (50% SME). In 2017 Flanders Make had 218 scientific publications in top-magazines. 51 Innovations from Flanders Make projects have resulted in new products or processes in the Flemish industry. The economic impact of the research projects of Flanders Make is estimated at € 833 mio.

Difficulties encountered

Flanders Make started as a merger between two existing research institutes. The building of ONE organization has been a challenge and has taken time. The unique relationship of Flanders Make with the 5 Flemish Universities is an immense asset which had to be established and is now fully exploited.

Potential for learning or transfer

• The initiative was started by the government in cooperation with the industry and was the response to an assessment of the regional industrial/manufacturing situation (2013/2014)
• The companies are the voice of Flanders Make. Research is done in an open innovation environment with and for companies
• The Flemish Government has created a “stable” funding base and a potential to grow beyond sub-critical
• There is a “climate” to create instruments for funding which cover the full extent of the innovation-chain (basic research funding up to “scale-up-valorization”-funding)
The research and the infrastructure is fully based on the needs of the Flemish manufacturing industry via a bottom-up process. KPI's are set with regard to the involvement of and collaboration with manufacturing companies with focus on SMEs. Utilization of the infrastructure is one of the key elements of Flanders Make. Account Management is installed to attract companies to the infrastructure.

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Main institution
Flanders Make
Prov. Limburg (BE), Belgium (Belgique-België)
Start Date
September 2014
End Date


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