Flanders Make demonstrates 10 new technologies in the fight against Covid-19


Leuven, 05 June 2020. Today, Flanders Make demonstrates as a first 10 brand new technologies for the medical and business world, concrete solutions for the many challenges in these extraordinary Covid-19 times. It will do so in the presence of Flemish minister of Welfare, Family, Public Health and Poverty Reduction Wouter Beke. Since March, the research centre swiftly responded to the many requests from hospitals and companies. Flanders Make used its broad technological knowledge to work out, within a very short time frame, concrete solutions to many Covid-19 challenges that will continue to have an impact on our lives for quite some time, such in close cooperation with the Flemish universities, the FabLabs and leading companies in Flanders.

Flanders Make concentrates on technological innovations in product and production development for large companies and SMEs within and beyond Flanders. The focus is on open, collaborative innovation for Industry 4.0 developments and on the digital transformation of the industry.

“From our social commitment and as part of our overall mission to support the competitiveness of the industry in Flanders, we have devoted ourselves in the past few months to enabling a safe start-up of the economy. We are therefore very proud of our team of top researchers who have developed in record time about ten smart technological solutions to support hospitals, companies and other organisations. This very rapid development of industrially deployable applications is a great competence that we want to hold on to in post-Covid times and even wish to develop further”, says Urbain Vandeurzen, Chairman of Flanders Make.

“During the Covid crisis, we saw that a lot of knowledge and technologies that Flanders Make has already been applying for quite some time in vehicles and machines are also useful in the medical sector. By using them in a creative manner and working together with medical specialists, we’ve been able to realise product developments in record time. A good example is the stethoscope that stays on the patient’s body and allows doctors to listen to the lungs from a remote location. Tests with an installation for 20 patients are currently being performed in the intensive care units of the University Hospital in Antwerp. With this, we also demonstrate our added value for appliances in the medical sector, which is an area that we are eager to continue to build on in future”, adds CEO Dirk Torfs. 

The social distancing alarm of Flanders Make, for instance, is also based on technology used by the research centre in its developments for AGV (autonomous fork-lift trucks) and self-driving vehicles. It has already been extensively tested by a group of 80 operators at weaving looms manufacturer Picanol in Ieper, and since recently also by 250 businesses in different industrial sectors in cooperation with the Flemish logistics institute. The first 1000 devices have been made in-house, the next step is the further commercialisation of the system.

Flemish minister Wouter Beke: “The impact of the coronavirus will be a lasting one in many areas and will change for good the way in which we look at care and healthcare. Every crisis leads to innovation. In Flanders, we must take the lead in this. With strong research institutions and a highly committed care and healthcare sector, we have two huge assets for this. Here at Flanders Make, we can see the great results that this can lead to.”

Flemish Minister Wouter Beke visiting Flanders Make

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