6 competitiveness clusters
The seven science parks bring together more than 600 companies active in technology: start-ups, multinationals, spin-offs, research centres and training centres in numerous sectors.
In Wallonia, our technology strengths are concentrated in 6 activity sectors. A competitiveness cluster has been created for each of these to develop technology projects between key players in the same activity sector, and between complementary activity sectors.
Wallonia is a world benchmark in the field of biotechnology. Our region is particularly recognised for and specialised in in-vitro and in-vivo diagnostics, cell therapy, immunology, biopharmacy, radiopharmaceutical applications and innovative medical equipment. .
- 140 companies including 6 world leaders: Baxter, Eurogentec, GSK, UCB, IRE and IBA
- 400 research units
- 11,000 researchers
- 5 universities (UCL-ULB-ULg-UMons-UNamur)
- Numerous prestigious technology institutes and partners, such as Duve Institute, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, GIGI, IMI, CCMI, ICP etc.
Information and communication technologies
Wallonia has always marked its progress in this sector. It opened the first European faculty in information and communication technologies. Walloon technologies in the sector are especially advanced in signal and image processing, digital data processing and management, serious games and digital marketing. Several specialised incubators have been created to provide a framework for start-ups in this sector, notably Microsoft Innovation Center and the Technological Business Incubator.
- 16,700 jobs in the ICT sector
- 50% are microbusinesses and sole traders, 50% are SMEs and large companies.
- Several world leaders: Microsoft, Google, EVS, etc.
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Mechanical engineering and materials science are sectors of renown in Wallonia. More than 243 key industrial and academic players within the heart of the MecaTech competitiveness cluster work in joint projects on materials and surfaces of the future, global product shaping technologies (including additive manufacturing), microtechnologies and mecatronics, and intelligent maintenance. Walloon incubators dedicated to engineering sciences have emerged to provide a framework for new innovative projects in this key sector: the WSL.
- The sector numbers 2,900 companies, including several world leaders: IBA, CMI, AGC, Nanocyl, Amos, Solvay, etc.
- These companies represent 60,000 direct jobs (40% of employment in manufacturing in Wallonia)
- 71 university laboratories and 18 research centres
- With regard to the MecaTech competitiveness cluster, 82 projects (R&D, investment, training) have been launched for a total investment of close on 250 million euros of investment for the first 12 projects
Aeronautic & Space
Wallonia has been a key player in the aeronautics and aerospace sector for more than 50 years. The key technologies in the sector are composite materials, metal alloys, embedded systems, airport services, space systems/applications and modelling and simulation. The geographical position of Wallonia also positions our region as being ideal in terms of logistics and mobility.
- 121 industrial and technology operators, including numerous world leaders: Techspace-Aero, Sonaca, SABCA, Thales Alenia Space, Amos, etc.
- 25 research units
- 7,000 jobs
- € 157 million euros in research projects
- 3 airports and 4 sea ports in Wallonia and Brussels
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Natural resources are abundant in Wallonia, which is why the agri-food sector is key for our region. The major focuses for this sector are “healthy” foods, innovative production or conservation technologies, food packaging and the development of sustainable agri-industry networks.
- 21,000 direct jobs in the agri-food sector
- 1,500 agri-food companies generating 4.2 billion in annual turnover
- The agri-food sector ranks second in terms of work force and third in terms of added value (1.5 billion)
- More than 50% of agri-food GDP is generated through exports
Sustainable development and green technologies are of major importance to Wallonia. This is why our region is developing its skills and is specialising in establishing sustainable products and materials, integrating and implementing new materials and in the processing and recovery of waste. Similarly, quality procedures in all sectors of activity are of great importance.
- 50,000 jobs contributing to sustainable development (12% higher than in 2000)
- 145 companies including several multinationals: Biorem, Hightrack, Eloy Water, Vinçotte, Shanks, etc.
- More than 1,000 researchers from 140 university centres and 15 industrial research centres