Company visits with the State Secretary responsible for Scientific Research, Fadila Laanan
Over the course of the next few months, the State Secretary responsible for Scientific Reseaerch, Fadila Laanan, is visiting several Brussels innovative companies.
These visits are part of the preparation of the reform of innovation support tools. The goal of this reform is firstly to reinforce the relevance of our support tools to the particularities of Brussels and secondly to optimize the synergies between the regional institutions to maximize the impact of the funding.
The results will be presented in the fall.
The State Secretary responsible for scientific research has visited the site of 3E, accompanied by the CEO, Geert Palmers.
During this meeting, she formed an impression of the activities of the office of research in energy renewability, efficiency and strategy. The development activities of 3E confirm the positive impact of the Brussels innovation support policy.
3E is a technology company providing advice services and software tools in energy renewability and strategy. 3E is situated in the center of Brussels and employs around one hundred experts of 20 different nationalities. The company has developed projects in more than 40 countries. Geert Palmers, CEO of 3E: “Brussels offers several advantages for SME’s as 3E. First, its location allows us to attract excellent specialist of different origins. Secondly, we benefit from a strong and stimulating regional innovation policy, which is crucial in maintaining our competitive edge on an international scale.”
During the visit, Fadila Laanan observed a demonstration of the software ‘Synaptiq’. This platform allows for multi-site monitoring of large wind and solar farms. The tool is one of the most effective solutions on the market, bringing millions of euros in performance improvement to clients of 3E over the course of lives of their farms. At the moment the platform is linked to more than 2000 installations in 15 different countries, principally in Europe and Africa.
“This visit is incorporated in my itinerary of company visits. At the moment we are preparing a reform of our innovation support tools in order to reinforce their relevance to the particularities of Brussels. It is also about optimizing the synergies with other regional institutions to maximize the impact of funding on businesses. The results will be presented in the fall.
Thanks to support for research, development, and innovation, we can embrace our ambition to foster, within the region of Brussels, the emergence of global leaders in crucial sectors. Through my administration, Innoviris, I am proud to support the competitiveness of Brussels SME’s, particularly in the energy sector which is currently in a state of change.”
In order to remain competitive, 3E must continue to invest in new services and products, in accordance with the future needs of the energy market.
Innoviris currently supports 3E in the creation of the next generation of SynaptiQ software. This includes advanced methods for improving performance on energy farms. Additionally, a series of investments in ICT will be put in place with a particular focus on scalability, and the next generation of software interaction capabilities.
Aside from software development, Innoviris has also played a decisive role in the creation of a new branch of 3E, called XANT.
XANT offers innovative, mid-sized (50-500 kW) wind turbines developed for application outside of research. Alex De Broe, CEO of XANT: “XANT would not exist without the support and the supervision of Innoviris. We have received different types of support: not only funding for Research and Development in the high-risk innovation phase, but also funding for the development of a business strategy (via the Spin-off program in Brussels) as well as support for the protection of intellectual property in the form of patent filing. This contribution has really accelerated the introduction of wind into the market.”
Geert Palmers: “ The politics of regional innovation was and remains crucial for 3E. Innoviris has played an important facilitating role in the development of the business over the course of recent years.”
On Tuesday, the Brussels Secretary of State for Scientific Research, Fadila Laanan, visited the Solvay Campus, the head office of the Belgian chemical group in Neder-Over-Heembeek. Both the Secretary of State and the company have stressed the importance of developing partnerships, particularly in terms of research and development.
This tour of the Solvay Campus, a 22-hectare site which employs 180 of the some 1,950 researchers who work for the chemical company, enabled Fadila Laanan to visit a research facility for new polymers.
The Secretary of State also learned about the solutions developed by Solvay to build the solar plane "Solar Impulse" currently attempting to fly 35,000 km around the world.
"It is important to go out and meet companies and business leaders to discuss their needs with them", explained the Brussels Secretary of State after her visit. She is currently working on drafting a plan for scientific research in Brussels.
The Secretary of State and Solvay's management also raised the issue of strengthening partnerships between companies and various universities. "These are two worlds which remain too compartmentalised. We are trying to deepen the partnerships so that both worlds can be stronger. We can also conceive of partnerships between a Brussels company and a foreign university", highlighted Fadila Laanan.
Finally, she expressed her hope that Solvay, which is "an ambassador for our country", could further support youth employment in Brussels, particularly through the Youth Guarantee, for example through internships.
As for Solvay, it said that it was open to various partnerships, especially in research, which would trigger "the virtuous cycle of innovation".
The group is already working with several universities, in Brussels, elsewhere in the country and across the world, and accommodates a start-up specialising in polymers and several joint ventures on its campus in Neder-Over-Heembeek.