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International

International action in line with its global strategy: resources focused on the development of industrial projects with international
ambitions

The MecaTech Cluster fosters targeted missions and actions with a view to developing international partnerships and/or projects. It builds relationships with foreign clusters and networks for this purpose and surrounds itself with partners that complement Wallonia’s mechanical engineering industrial fabric. In addition, certain more limited actions are focused on promoting the cluster itself, which is a way to increase regional development, but not an end in itself.

The three goals of international development

The MecaTech Cluster’s international strategy is based on the three following goals:

  • The international dimension of technology projects (international partners in different added value stages: R&D, production,
    distribution & after-sales service, as well as training);
  • International recognition of the cluster (number and quality of international partners, international partner involvement, international
    expert participation, access to international financing and networks, etc.);
  • Bringing foreign investors to Wallonia and consolidating the subsidiaries of foreign groups already present in the region (in collaboration with AWEX-Invest in Wallonia).

Geographical selection

The MecaTech Cluster set its sights on the countries close Wallonia as its primary target, namely, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. This area, which is known as the European “blue banana”, contains most of Europe’s mechanical engineering expertise and is the most favourable ground for initiating collaborative projects. In addition to these nearby activities, some long-distance operations are also in progress (in Quebec, Massachusetts, Romania, and elsewhere).

Our international activities

The MecaTech Cluster has gradually acquired an international critical mass that has put it on international radar screens. This enables it to take part selectively in European programmes and networks, especially as regards its priority “digital and automation” strategy. These projects will enable it to multiply its activities both regionally and internationally.

Interviews

High Tech NL

High Tech NL recently published a book called High-tech Industry and the Geographic Perspective. High Tech NL is a representative of the Dutch high-tech industry. The book describes their vision of the power of innovation over the long-term.

“It goes without saying that innovation is the driver of a stable economy and provides both employment and added value. European countries are too small to go it alone. That’s why High Tech NL encourages high-tech companies to build synergies with their neighbours. We encourage both large companies and SMEs to cooperate in innovation and the MecaTech cluster is our partner and guide in Wallonia. Wallonia offers unexpected specialisations in the technology and materials field. The MecaTech Cluster helps us smooth out any potential obstacles to ensure that entrepreneurs, experts and researchers meet. The future of the high-tech industry in Europe will be determined by the cooperation between companies and regions. That’s why High Tech NL values its cooperation with MecaTech CC, our partner in Wallonia.”

JOS VAN ERP
Programme Director, High Tech NL

Luxinnovation

MATERALIA is a leading cluster of collaborative innovation in materials and processes in France. MATERALIA concentrates within its territory the industrial and academic critical mass required to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s materials, i.e., improved performance, lighter weight, greater functionality, and sustainable development.

“The three clusters of the Grande Région (Materalia, MecaTech, and Luxinnovation) created the cross-border INTERMAT meta-cluster for MATERIALS and PROCESSES. The INTERMAT Cluster has led to the development of close cooperation between Materalia and MecaTech via joint INTERREG projects such as INTERMAT GR and VITAMIN, which are aimed at improving the competitiveness of companies, laboratories and regions. It has also resulted in the organisation of several events including seminars, the Métamorphoses show, visits to R&D centres, exchanges of speakers, and so on. Today, bolstered by these experiences, Materalia continues to strengthen its collaborative partnership approach with MecaTech to create structuring projects for the region’s companies.”

JOHNNY BREBELS
Head of Sector “Materials & Production Technologies”, Luxinnovation

MATERALIA

The Luxembourg agency Luxinnovation acts as a facilitator for access to national and European financing, for launching innovative businesses, for finding technology expertise, and for professionalising innovation management. The agency is the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, for the European Space Agency (ESA), and for the EUREKA inter-governmental initiative.

“Given their respective missions, the MecaTech Cluster and Luxinnovation have had a solid and productive partnership for several years. Exchanges take place in a spirit of trust and mutual respect based on common goals and enable us to provide support to our customers beyond national borders. Our respective players thus have access to a real technology transfer platform and openings onto their markets. Our collaboration crystallised in the course of a number of trans-regional activities such as the InterMatGR project, which led to the creation of a cross-border network for materials and processes, the 2014 Business-Meets-Research Forum, and the Métamorphoses show in 2015.”

THIERRY JEAN
President of the Materalia Cluster

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