With the concept of 'Factories for the Future', the Province of West Flanders materializes - through the POM West Flanders - the New Industrial Policy of the Flemish
government to tailor the West Flemish SMEs.
The flax and textile industries have brought economic prosperity to our region for many centuries. Even today, the textile industry remains strong, despite undergoing profound transformation to
prepare it for the challenges of the future.
Along with plastics, textile compagnies are focusing their efforts on combining new materials and technologies to create innovative products, such as bio-based polymers and smart textiles.
An extensive training and education network ensures the steady flow of young talent into the textile and plastics industries - from secondary education to bachelors, master and postgraduate degrees and masters-after-masters or tailored training programs.
The agro-food industry in West-Flanders has always relied on the region's favourable climate and fertile soil. It's no wonder then that this sector has succesfully spiced up the regional economy.
Our compagnies are world renowned for the production and processing of meat, fish, vegetables, potato and grain products, not to mention beer...
The growth and sustainability of our agro food industry is boosted by the abundance and high quality of raw materials, technological development, a long agro-economic tradition, and the region's central location in relation to Europe's largest consumer markets. Agriculture and food compagnies located here also enjoy extensive support from local universities and centres of excellence.
With worldwide demand for clean technology on the rise, West Flanders is maximising the region's resourses and knowledge to turn clean tech into an economic powerhouse.
Due to its unique location on the North Sea coast and the wealth of knowledge and expertise within its reach, West-Flanders has the potential to evolve into a leading international Blue Energy cluster. This cluster is supported at local, provincial and regional levels to maximise business opportunities.
The driving force behind innovation is a passion for finding solutions to ever-changing needs. This is the hallmark of companies from West Flanders, and secures them a place among the best of the world.
Mechanical engineering and Mechatronics is exemplary of this continuous innovation process. There can be no industry without machines. Consequently, the M&M cluster is of majoy importance to all the other clusters in West Flanders. Continuous cross-fertilization ensures that these clusters have access to the most advanced equipment, with adapted mechanics, electronics or IT systems. An addional plus point is the attention paid to developing expertise in industrial design.
Creativity is not the only important social trend West Flanders is focusing on. Like other regions, it's also facing the challenge of an ageing population. To tackle this head-on, the region is
driving a unique collaboration between industry, knowledge centres, the public sector and care institutions. Through these innovative business models, West Flanders wants to maintain high levels
of efficiency, quality and affordability in the care sector.
At the same time, this creates -exportable- opportunities for example in ICT, materials, logistics, infrastructure and food.
As a major source of inspiration for the traditional economy and a true catalyst of innovation, creative industries are developing rapidly in West Flanders to support the four core clusters. New media and gaming are priority areas and the steady influx of young creative professionals is assured by, amongst others, internationally renowned degree courses.