On Wednesday 15 February, Flanders Make 2023's first major event took place. The numerous cluster-member companies present quickly created a convivial atmosphere. In addition, more than 70% of attendees left their cars at home because of the good location close to Antwerp-Central railway station. Combined with the exciting programme, we thus had the right ingredients for a successful day.
New research tracks
We started in three sessions in which cluster managers Wouter, Paola and Andrei gave an introduction to cluster operation. Portfolio managers Patrick, Alexandru and Natalia then took the floor and explained the 10 new research tracks and their role within the cluster operation. This gave those present a clear picture of the new structure and what it means for them. In working sessions, the industrial challenges for each of the research tracks were discussed.
The sandwich lunch and accompanying networking moment was followed by COO Marc. He gave a presentation around the different (new) project forms. Marc explained the terms and cooperation models such as SBO, IRVA and INFRA in great detail and indicated the advantages for the participating companies.
39 project ideas in 6 parallel sessions
Then our researchers took the floor. In six different rooms, visitors could listen to no fewer than 39 pitches around brand-new project ideas and discover their potential role in these projects. Of course, you could combine the pitches to your heart's content to put together the perfect individual programme.
ALSO ONLINE SESSIONs
We will also be offering these pitches online. From 2 to 9 March, we will organise short, online sessions in which we will pitch these 39 ideas again. You can also ask questions and make comments there. Ideal for companies that did not attend but still want to be in the first innovation row.
CRISPR to finish
Hettie Helsmoortel was programmed last. Hettie, known as a molecular biologist, PhD in health sciences and TV face, gave a lecture on CRISPR. This revolutionary technique allows scientists to modify the DNA of organisms.
In this interactive session, Hettie elaborated on the ethical issues that arise when using CRISPR. The answers showed, perhaps not very surprisingly, that the attendees have great faith in science.
This fun finale was followed by another delicious walking dinner and the opportunity for extensive networking over a nice glass. The absentees were wrong!