The rationale behind a competitiveness cluster (called a “pôle de compétitivité” in French) is to federate all available academic and industrial expertise. Such thinking aims to boost the use of the region’s assets both regionally and internationally. In so doing, it bolsters the international position of Walloon expertise, while increasing the relevant sectors’ visibility and attractiveness.
MecaTech Competitiveness Cluster
MecaTech CC, which oversees close to 200 industrial and academic players involved in a range of joint mechanical engineering projects, is Wallonia’s mechanical engineering competitiveness cluster.
MecaTech projects belong to four strategic strands:
- materials and surfaces of the future,
- general shaping technologies,
- microtechnology and mechatronics, and
- smart maintenance.
The aim of Wallonia’s business clusters (or networks) for their part, is to bring together and federate businesses in a specific field in order to promote business and innovation through partnership.
CAP 2020 is a network of companies specialized in sustainable building. CAP 2020 was created by Wallonia to bring together three key groups of players in the construction field, i.e., building contractors, architects, and the manufacturers of building materials, in order to promote sustainable building in Wallonia. Its goals are:
- to achieve a building energy performance (BEP) level that is 20% more efficient than required by law for 15% of construction works (new buildings and renovations) in Wallonia;
- to boost power generation from renewables, with a view to contributing to sustainable development targets; and
- to improve the energy efficiency of Wallonia’s building stock as a whole.
Eco-construction is a business cluster specialized in green building, i.e., environmentally friendly building. It is a dynamic network comprising a variety of experts:
- architects and specialists in infrared thermography and electromagnetic pollution;
- builders (of public and private buildings, dwellings, etc.) and companies working in the area of ecological renovation;
- manufacturers and suppliers of ecological building materials (insulation, paint, coatings, etc.) and bioelectricians;
- engineering offices and companies working in the area of renewable energy sources: heat pumps, wind turbines, solar water heaters, wood-burning furnaces, hydraulics, etc.
- project designers and entrepreneurs specialized in lagoon-based sewage treatment systems, the creation of natural swimming polls, and rainwater collection and treatment;
- information and promotion boards and agencies (for wood, natural materials, renewables, etc.); and
- research centers, institutes of higher learning, and universities.
INFOPOLE Cluster TIC
INFOPOLE Cluster TIC is a business cluster of information and communication technology (ICT) professionals of all shapes and sizes: small companies, large corporations, universities, research centers, and so on. By mobilizing this range of expertise, INFOPOLE Cluster TIC aims to use the ICT expertise available in the region and bolster these players’ positions on the local, regional, national, and international market.
INFOPOLE Cluster TIC’s various aims – improving the ICT sector’s visibility and attractiveness, bolstering its development dynamics, capitalizing on the expertise that comes out of research, and opening international development doors – should also help to stem Wallonia’s “brain drain.”