DW216 complet xp - Union Wallonne des Entreprises

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DW216 complet xp - Union Wallonne des Entreprises
Editorial
Things are moving in Wallonia. We need to make it know abroad. Wallonia’s players
aim to network with their foreign counterparts. This is the aim of the brochure.
It is published by the Walloon Business Federation (UWE), a private association
whose task is to promote and support business. The UWE is the official mouthpiece
of businesses established in Wallonia and numbers 6,000 businesses of all sizes and
from all sectors. We wish you enjoyable reading and, above all, please do not hesitate
to contact us as [email protected]
Les champions de demain
Eric DOMB,
Président de
l'Union Wallonne
des Entreprises
NOTRE LISTE
AURAIT PU ÊTRE
PLUS LONGUE,
BEAUCOUP PLUS
LONGUE…
l y a un an, vous ignoriez probablement que le numéro 1 mondial de la papaïne était
wallon, que la plus grande usine de verre plat du monde était en Wallonie, que c’est
aussi dans notre région qu’étaient implantés le leader mondial des dérivés
chimiques de manganèse, ou les deux premiers producteurs mondiaux de chaux et de
dolomie. C’était alors une fierté pour moi d’évoquer ces exemples (et il y en avait
beaucoup d’autres) d’entreprises, parfois méconnues qui, au fil des ans ont réussi à
grimper sur la première marche du podium, au niveau mondial.
I
Notre numéro international 2008 m’offre aujourd’hui la possibilité de vous présenter
d’autres entreprises wallonnes qui ont mis au point des produits d’avenir plus que
prometteurs. Des produits qui seront, j’en suis sûr, amenés à figurer eux aussi tout en
haut du palmarès : nous avons soigneusement sélectionné pour vous de futurs
champions du monde ! Rien de moins…
Des produits que nous devons à l’ingéniosité et au talent de nos chefs d’entreprise et
de leurs équipes. En cette période de crise, les investissements en Recherche &
Développement et une stratégie tournée vers l’international sont essentiels pour garantir
l’avenir de nos entreprises, leur développement, leur rayonnement.
Nous avons dû restreindre notre liste à 40 produits promis au plus bel avenir. Notre liste
aurait pu être plus longue, beaucoup plus longue… pour vous permettre de vous
imprégner de l’état d’esprit conquérant des chefs d’entreprise qui portent ces projets.
Après les pôles de compétitivité et les leaders mondiaux, place donc aux champions
de demain. Raison de plus pour diffuser largement ce numéro autour de vous : clients,
fournisseurs, partenaires, belges ou étrangers. Ce magazine est destiné à voyager et à
porter au bout du monde une image positive de la Wallonie, de son tissu économique,
de ses talents, de son savoir-faire. A nous tous de le faire savoir.
Chemin du Stockoy 3
B-1300 Wavre
Tél: + 32 (0) 10 47 19 40
Fax: + 32 (0) 10 45 33 43
[email protected]
www.uwe.be
Bonne lecture et bonne année 2009 à tous.
Eric DOMB
Dynamisme december 2008 .3
Summary
Dynamisme december 2008
THE GUEST
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10
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12
06
Jean-Claude Havaux : the « human factor » is important
Being a manager means…
24 hours in the life of
Spin-offs spearhead Walloon innovation
The expert : Didier Paquot (Walloon Business Federation)
Help and useful links
COMPANIES
14
16
18
20
20
14
The Majority of SMEs Innovate
Celebrating Wallonian success abroad
2008 winners
Wallonia figures
Three questions for Jean-Marie Moulin (CPL Industrie)
PRODUCTS
22
DOWNLOAD
the file on
www.uwe.be
Dynamisme
22 In this special feature, our journalists will introduce you to
40 products « Made in Wallonia » with an international vocation
(exports), a genuinely innovative dimension (strong R&D input)
and a significant potential for development, particularly in an
industrial context. We hope you enjoy your read !
The two-monthly magazine published jointly by
Walloon Business Federation asbl and Maison des Entreprises Wallonnes asbl
UWE, Chemin du Stockoy 3, B-1300 Wavre, Tel. : +32 (0)10.47.19.40, Fax : +32 (0) 10.45.33.43, [email protected], www.dynamismewallon.be • Editing : Thierry Decloux, Madeleine Dembour, Yves-Etienne Massart E-mail : [email protected] • Editorial board : Luc De Cordier, Jean de Lame, Madeleine Dembour, Thierry Devillez,
Yves-Etienne Massart, Didier Paquot, Vincent Reuter, Jean-Jacques Westhof • Layout : MMM Business Media
• Printing : Imprimerie Vase Frères (Waterloo) • Advertising agency : Alliance Media, 32(0)10.40.13.12, [email protected]
• Cover photograph : Tilt • Inside pictures (portraits) : Walloon Public Service (Communication Department
• Publishing director : Jean de Lame, Chemin du Stockoy 3, B-1300 Wavre - Annual subscription (6 issues) :
EUR 30, payable to the account of Maison des Entreprises Wallonnes: 360-1149184-31
• With the support of AWEX (Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency)
Extracts and documents from this issue may not be reprinted, in whole or in part, without prior approval from the editors.
Dynamisme december 2008 .5
Special guest
JEAN-CLAUDE HAVAUX (ZENTECH)
In many projects,
the “human factor”
is important
Zentech is on the up. The Liège-based
biotech company, which specializes in the
development, production and marketing of
diagnostics kits for foetus, newborn and
very young children, is in the process
of finalizing a new fundraising
operation that should bring in
4.5 million euros in fresh funding. Its
development plan involves setting up
a new base in Malaysia.
by Madeleine DEMBOUR
© Tilt
IMPROVING
THE HEALTH OF
CHILDREN IN THEIR
FIRST WEEKS OF
LIFE IS AN EXCITING
AND MEANINGFUL
CHALLENGE.
6. Dynamisme December 2008
N
Going beyond
the small SME stage
“Our development plan is resolutely
ambitious,” explains Jean-Claude
Havaux, who knows the company
inside out, having joined in 1985 and
taken the helm in a management
buy-out in 2000. “Why so much ambition? We want to go beyond the small
SME stage and have a presence in all
areas, reinforcing the commercial
field”, he explains. The target is the
ASEAN nations, where Zentech is
already active trough its Vietnamese
subsidiary, (Malaysia, Thailand,
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the
Philippines and Indonesia), a region
where the majority of births are
concentrated. It is also experiencing
a significant increase in living standards and a consequent increase in
the opportunities to test children.
This is the reason for the plan to
establish a head office in Malaysia.
These plans to expand into Asia are
not the only “drivers” behind
Zentech’s search for capital. “In our
market, we have to provide a complete ‘package’, a bit like companies
in the automobile sector that offer
complete ranges of cars,” says JeanClaude Havaux. “The fundamental
research is carried out by the universities, with which we have active partnerships. Our responsibility is development, to which we dedicate around
12% of our revenues, in the same
way as the leading pharmaceutical
companies do”.
Jean-Claude Havaux also says he is
“on the lookout for external growth
operations”, which could complete
the company’s technological arsenal
on the one hand, but also accelerate
its growth. Another vehicle for growth
will be recruitment, sometimes of
people with a very specific profile,
who are not always easy to find on
the Belgian market. The ‘Business
Plan’ calls for the recruitment of
25 people for the Sart-Tilman site
near Liège, and 15 people for the
Malaysian head office.
Currently, Zentech’s shareholders
are as follows: the founding executives own 54.1% through their
Morpho holding company, while the
SRIW (Wallonian Regional Investment
Company) and Unibra own 14.7%,
Meusinvest has a 8.1% stake and
8.4% is in the hands of a private
investor. With the exception of
Morpho, all the shareholders have
agreed to contribute to the new
share issue, with the balance
coming from various investors and
specialist funds.
Michel MORANT,
University of Liege interface
Three questions for
Michel MORANT
Some Walloon start-ups are afraid of rapid growth.
What made Zentech decide to take the fast lane?
To continue to exist, a company must develop and grow.
Sometimes that requires a large financial injection, which
can call the founders into question. The role of the founder
must therefore be clear from the start.
Zentech has fully involved itself in the BioWin project:
what lessons can you draw after two years of life in
a competitiveness cluster?
The impact of the clusters will only be tangible in a few
years. But they allow a revolution in intercompany
contacts, which had been rather weak before. For SMEs,
the preoccupation with excellence sometimes overshadows
more “down to earth” projects. They need to focus more
on projects that are closer to their core business.
Zentech works a lot with universities:
what lessons have come out of this experience?
The critical factor is the relationships between people,
the trust between interlocutors. The universities need
to be able to push the proof of feasibility of their discoveries
farther. Then the companies would be more confident
in signing contracts and the universities could negotiate
from a stronger position.
Company profile
Company: Zentech
Date of incorporation: 1985 – MBO in 2000
Sectors:
• Clinical biology diagnostics
• Prenatal
• Neonatal
• Pediatrics < 14 years old
• Development, production and sales
Number of employees: 43
2008 turnover: 4.7 million euros
R&D: 500,000 euros
Exports: 90%
© Tilt
ovember. The headlines are
full of the financial crisis,
but Zentech is thinking about
increasing its capital. The Liège-based
biotech firm is finalizing a new fundraising operation that should inject 4.5
million euros in fresh funding. The
range of tests developed by Zentech,
which specializes in diagnostics kits for
foetus, newborn and very young children, includes screening for Down's
syndrome, neonatalogy test and type
I and 2 diabetes.
ZENTECH
Liège Science Park
Avenue du Pré-Aily 10
B-4031 Angleur-Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)4 361.42.32
Fax: +32 (0)4 367.00.63
[email protected] - www.zentech.be
Dynamisme December 2008 .7
Special guest
“By going to our ‘historical’ partners,
we are trying to protect ourselves
from the vagaries of the banking
market. Considering our sector of
activity, we remain relatively insulated from the crisis that is affecting the
major industrial sectors…”
Being a manager
means ...
1.
1. Trusting
This really is essential for a growing SME. There
are now 43 of us and we are planning to recruit 40
new people over the next five years (25 in Belgium
and 15 in Asia): you can’t do that without trust.
2.
2. Facilitating
By temperament, I’m not someone who goes into
minute detail, but more someone who works on
big objectives, the general vision for the company.
We have brought in a Managing Director, Patrick
Poty, to work more on the operational side.
3.
3. Promoting curiosity as a value
This is a crucial factor when I recruit someone. It’s
also a value that constantly motivates me
personally. In our sector, you cannot focus only on
technology, you have to know the “biotope”, you
have to understand the market’s expectations.
4.
4. Expressing yourself clearly when you delegate
There comes a time when you cannot do
everything yourself and you have to delegate.
However, you have to make sure that the other
person has understood what you mean, because
words do not always mean the same thing to
different people. This is an essential criterion for
success in an SME.
5.
5. Not reducing everything to pure technology
In many projects, the human factor is important.
In my life, I have built up many long term
relationships by spending evenings with people
and not talking business…. This also means you
can improve your knowledge of the market
This confidence is supported by a
good working knowledge of the market. For example, the Vietnamese
commercial office, set up in 2003,
which will generate around
600,000 euros in 2008. “Since the
office was set up five years ago,
I have been in Vietnam very often and
I see how things are actually done.
This is what gives me confidence
about our impending new office in
Malaysia, which will be a ‘cut and
paste’ of Zentech’s Belgian headquarters. To make this Asian operation a success, we have to keep our
ears to the ground and see how
things work. In concrete terms, I am
going to Malaysia next month and I
intend to take my time, to get a bit
involved in life on the ground so I can
get a better feel for the market…”
This ‘market analysis’ aspect is really
what is lacking in the majority of
innovative companies, believes JeanClaude Havaux. “In Belgium and in
© Tilt
© Tilt
Success comes from
“market” orientation
A helping hand from Europe
The development of a new kit costs between 100,000 and 150,000 euros. Some
European subsidies are available to provide
finance to limit the risk. So Zentech’s activities include participation in certain projects
of the European Framework Program for
research and development. Like other
Walloon companies, Zentech has benefited
from the advice of the team at the National
Contact Point for Wallonia (NCP-Wallonia)
8. Dynamisme December 2008
Europe, it is generally very difficult
to make money from innovation.
We have very good universities and
excellent spin-offs but we experience
real problems when it comes to hard
selling. It’s quite logical that the
founder of the company, who is often
a researcher, and who spends years
working his fingers to the bone to
develop his company, finds it
UNBEARABLE that one day he has to
allow people in and dilute his ownership. But this is often what is
required in order to put together a
staff with this “market” orientation.
The head of Zentech is half Italian
and describes himself as multi-cultural. “I’m a convivial type. You mustn’t reduce everything to pure technology. In many projects, it’s the human
factor that’s important. In my life, I’ve
built up many long-term relationships by spending evenings with people and not talking business…”
Besides business and turnover, the
thing that motivates Jean-Claude
Havaux in his professional life is to be
involved in improving the health of
very young children. “Making it possible to improve the health of children
in their first weeks of life is an exciting and meaningful challenge. I’m
very proud that Zentech is part of this
adventure.” ■
which provides a link between the
European Commission, the research centers and Walloon companies (small,
medium or large) working in the field of
research and innovation. This team of professionals offers its free services at each
stage of your project.
More information? +32 (0)10 48.50.39,
[email protected], www.ncpwallonie.be
24 HOURS IN THE LIFE OF
Get up
06:30
I leave the house by bike or by car, depending on the
weather and the day’s schedule (meetings outside
the office or not).
07:30
I begin the day by going through
my letters and e-mails.
08:15
An hour of debriefing with Patrick Poty,
who deals with the day-to-day running
of the company.
I BASE MY SCHEDULE
ON DIFFERENT TIME
ZONES : MORNINGS
ARE FOR PHONE CALLS
TO ASIA
09:00
10:15
I use the morning to make phone calls to
Asia. Skype is the best invention for SMEs
like ours… We have a commercial office in Vietnam and
we plan to set up a head office in Malaysia. Each project
has its own “Business Plan”, which means we can do a
product by product survey.
I use my afternoons for outside contacts, either by
telephone or on the road.
14:00
I also like to maintain a network of contacts: as well
as serving as a director of other companies (DNA
Vision, for example), I am involved in the AST
(Technological Stimulation Agency), the Bio-Vallée in
Gosselies, the Biowin cluster, Biotech Coaching, etc.
17:00
Return home.
18:30
I spend my evenings between channel surfing on
television and surfing the Internet. This is often also
when I reply to e-mails. ?
20:00
The end of my day.
00:30
Born in 1955, Jean-Claude Havaux trained as a zoologist (ULg). His career began with 3 years
in Côte d’Ivoire, where he developed a fish farming project supported by the United Nations.
This was where he discovered his taste for sales. Returning home, he launched the Biotech department
of the Brussels-based firm Sanders-Probel, before joining Techland (the future Zentech)
in 1985. The University of Liège spin-off came under Italian control at the end of the 1980s, but
circumstances changed ten years later when its Italian owner died. In 2000, a management buy-out
was orchestrated by none other than Jean-Claude Havaux. A father of three grown children
(25 to 19 years old), his hobbies include photography and motorcycles
© Tilt
Behind the scene
Dynamisme December 2008 .9
Special Guest
THEY ARE 121 IN ACTIVITY
© belpress.com
Spin-offs
spearhead
Walloon
innovation
SINCE 1980, 179 SPIN-OFFS HAVE BEEN CREATED
The Walloon economy
suffered deeply from
industry restructuration
during the 1980s and
90s. The development
of high value-added
activities has therefore
become a major
challenge for the region.
Spin-offs –new
companies formed from
a university research
group or a business
incubator – have a key
role to play in this
perspective.
by Elliott HEUCHON
10. Dynamisme December 2008
alloon achievement built on
business-university
collaboration
Anyone who has visited a theme park or
museum from Santa Cruz, California to
Christchurch, New Zealand, and passing
through France, Germany, Thailand and more,
may very well have taken part in an interactive
attraction designed by Alterface, probably
without knowing it.
Alterface, a spin off from the Catholic University
of Louvain-la-Neuve, develops interactive
multimedia systems. These innovative, life-like,
recreational and educational attractions
draw visitors to museums, science centres
and amusement parks. While Alterface
(see page 25) has only been in business
since 2001, it can now proudly claim to supply
customers all around the world.
For those with an interest in a completely
different area –specifically, unpleasant smells—
closer attention should be given to Odometric
(see page 31) , a spin-off from the University of
Liège. This enterprising company recently
developed a solution for analysing and
managing levels of olfactory pollution in an
area. Odometric’s expertise is geared towards
industry as well as research facilities, public
authorities and resident associations.
These are just two examples of the wide and
diversified range of spin-offs in Wallonia.
Currently, there are 121 such spin-offs
operating in the region. Biotechnology-health
and information technology account for 26% and
25% of this number, respectively, making them
the two most prolific sectors in terms of
company creation. These are followed by
materials (17%), biotechnology-food (11%) and
instrumentation (11%). The final 10% is
distributed between energy, electronics
and others.
Wallonia’s renowned university system has had
an enormous impact on the success of this
economic activity. The three main universities of
W
ULB (Brussels), UCL (Louvain-La-Neuve) and
ULG (Liège) are responsible for the creation of
most of these spin-offs. However, many of the
smaller universities are also closely involved.
More and more, these facilities are becoming
aware that business - university collaboration is
necessary in the current economic climate.
Supporting innovation leads to
high-growth opportunities
Since 1980, 179 spin-offs have been created in
Wallonia. About 80% of them are still in activity.
Thanks to the launch of Wallonia’s FIRST
Programme, 1999 became a key year for spinoff policy in the region. This subsidy initiative
has two goals: to orient university research
towards activities profitable for the Walloon
economy; and to encourage the creation of
companies by researchers. The programme
supports the European Union’s objective of
improving the transferability of university
research results to economic applications, as
laid out in the Lisbon and Barcelona European
Councils.
Since 2005, the FIRST programme has been run
alongside policies dedicated to creating
competitive clusters, and as an integral part of a
larger economic plan for Wallonia. The region
has dedicated investments of EUR 270M to
research and innovation, EUR 90M of which is
ear-marked for the spin-off programme. The
goal of this investment is to stimulate the
development of high value-added industry and
the renewal of the Walloon economic landscape,
through the creation and growth of innovative
spin-offs.
Public investment companies also have a role to
play in this programme, in order to facilitate
access to the risk capital needed to create new
companies. According to a December 31, 2007
review, these investment companies have
provided a total of EUR 11.8M in funding for
56 spin-off projects in Wallonia.
Spin-offs have also benefited from other
© belpress.com
IN WALLONIA. ABOUT 80% OF THEM ARE STILL IN ACTIVITY.
financial assistance, such as export support.
The Walloon government sees these results as
encouraging, and hopefully they are indicative
that the region has started a new positive
growth dynamic. However, everything is not
perfect yet as far as spin-off policy is concerned.
The different actors must stay alert and not rest
on their laurels. For instance, improvements in
the selection method for spin-offs could better
optimise the use of seed capital. These kind of
measures could increase the number of highgrowth-potential spin-offs.
Success breeds success
Even so, Wallonia has already experienced many
spin-off success stories.
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is one of these.
It was launched in 1986 as a spin-off of the
Cyclotron Research Center at the Catholic
University of Louvain-la-Neuve. The company
was first active in medical imaging before
diversifying into radiotherapy, technologicallyadvanced cyclotrons and, later, industrial
sterilisation and ionisation. Today, with 20 years
of operations under its belt, and with more than
200 IBA particle accelerators used around the
world, IBA is the world leader in its sector. Its
40 sites located on three continents employ
more than 1100 people.
Eurogentec was created one year before IBA, as
a spin-off from the University of Liège.
Eurogentec’s activities include designing and
delivering services and products for scientists in
life science research, molecular diagnostics and
therapeutic development and commercialisation
(see page 38). The company’s headquarters are
still located in the Liege Science Park, but it also
has subsidiaries in France, Germany, the UK,
the Netherlands and Switzerland; a partnership
in Singapore; and production facilities in the
USA and Japan.
The company now employs around 294 people.
Another Walloon success story, IRIS, was
launched in 1987 in Louvain-la-Neuve.
DIDIER PAQUOT
IS AN ECONOMIST
WITH THE WALLOON
BUSINESS FEDERATION
Spin-offs show a new face of industry
The successful economic revivals in the US
during the 90s and in Germany more recently
show that a broad, sound, dynamic industrial
base is still necessary for sustainable
economic development -- even in “old, developed” economies. Indeed, R&D and technological progress are rooted in industry, while
exports and many services significantly
depend on industrial production.
Thus, for regions like Wallonia, the key challenge lies not in moving from a “traditional
industrial” economy to a services-based economy, but rather to an economy based on
advanced, technological industry.
In many high-knowledge sectors, like biotechnology, nano-technology, new materials,
ICT and food, our economies still enjoy advantages over emerging countries. So economic
policy must do more than initiate and support
the creation of new enterprises aimed at economically exploiting the results of scientific
research. It must also establish the frame-
work and tools that allow the new companies
to experience high-growth development.
The evolution from a small, research-oriented
entity (the first step of a spin-off) to a growing,
commercial company is not easy and can be
painful for the spin-off’s founders. They can
experience difficulties in: delegating control of
their “baby”, admitting their own management
limitations, finding capital for expansion,
unavoidable organisational changes, etc.
Public authorities can play a key role by
offering efficient and well-designed services
to help spin-offs successfully survive this
evolution.
However, creating hundreds of spin-offs
whose development stalls at 10 employees
will not seriously help an economy catch up or
grasp new market opportunities. The ultimate
objective of any spin-off policy must be to
regenerate the economic fabric by creating
knowledge and export-oriented companies
that employ hundreds of people. ■
Dynamisme December 2008 .11
SOME SUCCESS
SPIN-OFFS
WALLONIA CAN
LOOK FORWARD TO
TRANSFORMING
TODAY’S SPINOFFS INTO
TOMORROW’S
SUCCESS STORIES.
Alterface
www.alterface.com
Delphi Genetics
www.delphigentics.com
Eurogentec
www.eurogentec.com
© belpress.com
IBA (Ion Beam Applications)
www.iba.be
This company supplies high quality solutions to
convert paper documents to digital information
in order to facilitate recording, sharing and
management. IRIS’s products are distributed to
900 very large customers in more than
50 countries, including such household names
as HP, Kodak, Samsung, Adobe, etc. In 1999,
the company went public on the stock market,
and currently employs 500 people at seven
different locations.
These are only a few of the many examples that
could be brought up. And yet, these successful
spin-off originated many years ago, without the
support of the policies mentioned above. But
thanks to the involvement of authorities and
other concerned actors in the creation process,
new companies will not find the window of
IRIS
www.irislink.com
opportunity shut, and Wallonia can look forward
to transforming today’s spin-offs into
tomorrow’s success stories. ■
KitoZyme
www.kitozyme.com
Odometric
www.odometric.be
Xylowatt
www.xylowatt.com
Help and useful links
www.reseaulieu.be : the Walloon Entreprises-Universities network
gathers information about cooperation services between universities
and companies (in th French Community of Belgium)
www.sowalfin.be : the Walloon financing corporation for small and
medium businesses
http://recherche-technologie.wallonie.be : gateway to research and
technologies in Wallonia
12. Dynamisme December 2008
www.ciuf.be : Interuniversity council of the French Community
of Belgium
www.ncp-wallonie.be : the national contact point in Wallonia for
the European research programs
Companies
FRANK JANSSEN (UNIVERSITY OF LOUVAIN)
The Majority of SMEs Innovate
Newsflash: the
majority of SMEs are
innovating! Every two
years, researchers
hold a conference to
take a better look at
this phenomenon.
Recently, the event
was hosted in
Louvain-la-Neuve.
Dynamisme went to
find out more.
by Madeleine DEMBOUR
allonia is a land of SMEs but equally a
land of innovation, as we have learnt
from the special report (see pages 22)
in this international issue focusing on
40 innovative products.
W
To place these innovations within an academic
context, we went to look around the University
of Louvain, where the International
Francophone Conference on Entrepreneurship
and SMEs was held at the end of October
2008. Every two years, this Conference brings
together almost 250 researchers and
professionals of more than 15 different
nationalities. This is a special occasion
bringing together mainly the academic world,
but also consultants, government officials
and, of course, entrepreneurs.
For the 2008 edition, the Louvain School of
Management proposed the following theme :
“The Entrepreneur and the SME: Vectors of
Change and Innovation”.
What were the reasons behind the choice of this
topic? As the organizers explain, the economist
Joseph Schumpeter had already pointed out
that the majority of innovations come from
SMEs: “the majority of SMEs are innovating.
Innovation depends upon both internal and
external resources, and the entrepreneur, the
internal resource par excellence, plays a central
role in this process.”
IT CAN BE DIFFICULT
TO CAPTURE
INNOVATION IN
ACCOUNTING TERMS.
SHOULD WE LOOK AT
R&D EXPENDITURE?
THE NUMBER OF
PATENTS FILED? THE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WORKING ON
RESEARCH
PROJECTS?
Franck Janssen
(Louvain School of Management)
14. Dynamisme December 2008
With more than ninety different scientific
contributions, the conference revealed the
state of the art in terms of our understanding
of these issues. In addition to the central
theme, academics and professionals also
presented contributions focusing on SMEs and
entrepreneurship in general.
SMEs as vectors of change
At this university of over 21,000 students,
over 20% of whom come from overseas, we
met with Professor Frank Janssen, who
teaches entrepreneurship at the Louvain
School of Management and was President of
the organizing committee of the 2008
conference.
“Innovation is an old topic for researchers!” he
explains. “In particular, we have been
addressing the issue of whether most
innovations come from SMEs or from a large
companies for some time. Thereis really no
unanimous answer to this question. In the
end, we think that SMEs are more productive
in terms of innovations, i.e. more efficient per
euro invested. And there is no doubt that
innovation has its source on the ground, which
favors SMEs where the way from the bottom
to the top is shorter.”
In concrete terms, we should remember that
it can be difficult to capture innovation in
accounting terms. Should we look at R&D
expenditure? The number of patents filed?
The number of people working on research
projects? Everyone knows, especially in SMEs,
that this spending is not always accounted for
as such. Furthermore, innovations are
traditionally measured in terms of products or
services, but not so much in terms of
management innovations, for example.
“Beyond innovation in the strict sense of the
term, SMEs and entrepreneurs are often
vectors of many other changes, whether
economic or social. You only need to think
about their role in terms of creating value,
developing markets, organizational change or
social innovations”, says professor Janssen.
This vision of the entrepreneurial company as
a “gazelle” is eminently Anglo-Saxon, he adds.
From a European viewpoint, it is noticeable
that strong growth remains the exception. The
average size of an SME in Europe is seven
people. Why are they small? Because of what
is known as the “comfort threshold”, beyond
which the entrepreneur has to start to
delegate. Americans would tend to describe
this as lifestyle business, but this does not
mean a lack of innovation.
Everyone has the right to
“crash and burn”
markets. “Niches mean innovation”, he says.
“I really don’t think that the human race has
reached the limit of its knowledge. Scientific
communications are increasing at an
exponential rate, and researchers are
communicating more and more. Thanks to the
Internet, teams are being put together on an
international level and I see exchanges of
ideas accelerating more and more.”
What does this acceleration mean? “We will
move towards shorter and shorter cycles of
products and services, with a greater rotation.
The current market crisis will certainly
accelerate this phenomenon, and also
perhaps attract more young people towards
entrepreneurship at the same time. The banks
have taken a hit and the crisis has impacted
on the real economy. Waves of layoffs will
increase necessity-driven entrepreneurship.
Having control of your own destiny, working
for yourself… these are the values that are
making a comeback.”
Clearly, along with this renewal of our
values, a sociological change is also required.
The fact that people who fail are vilified is a
real obstacle. Our laws, the way in which we
make judgments, and so on: all this must
change. “We all have the right to crash and
burn!” ■
In a world that is ever more globalized,
meaning that knowledge spreads faster and
faster, we might wonder whether innovation is
becoming increasingly difficult. How can you
still be original when you are operating in a
global market?
Frank Janssen sees one answer to this
question in the individualization of our tastes
and consumer choices, which creates niche
Three questions for
Philippe SUINEN
Wallonia has embarked upon a policy of clustering.
What are the results so far?
There are now 14 clusters spanning 900 companies, operating in
extremely varied areas ranging from aeronautics to
eco-construction, by way of clinical research, solid waste, transport
and logistics, and so on.
‘CEO WALLONIA EXPORT AND
INVESTMENT AGENCY’
IN BRIEF
Along with necessity-driven
entrepreneurship and
opportunity-driven
entrepreneurship, the
researchers at the Louvain
School of Management also
distinguish a third category :
leisure entrepreneurship.
For example, people who
carry on a professional
activity after retirement in
order to maintain their
networks of contacts and
remain active. It also seems
that necessity-driven
entrepreneurship creates
less employment and is the
most fragile category.
TO FIND OUT
MORE
The International
Francophone Conference on
Entrepreneurship and SMEs
is the most important event
organized by the
International Association for
Research on
Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
The Association was created
in 1996, based on the
observation that
management researchers
were increasingly fascinated
by the management
dynamics of small and
medium-sized enterprises.
This is still a very young
research paradigm.
- The 2008 Conference:
www.uclouvain.be/cifepme.
html
- The International
Association:
web.hec.ca/airepme
Is clustering effective on an international level?
Yes, because all the Walloon clusters are engaged in international
activities. For example, the solid waste cluster is involved in
projects in Spain and Portugal. The Eco-construction cluster is
taking part in around ten projects with foreign partners. I could list
many different examples.
What role does innovation play in the internationalization
of our SMEs?
Innovation is very important in terms of a company’s
competitiveness when it comes to identifying new shares of the
market and niche products. We support innovation through
business clusters but also through the competitiveness clusters.
Dynamisme December 2008 .15
Companies
11TH WALLONIA EXPORT GRAND PRIX
Celebrating Wallonian
success abroad
Every two years, the Wallonia Export Grand Prix celebrates the successes
of Wallonian companies in bringing their products and services to a wider,
international audience. This year, 10 companies have been recognised not
only for their level of exports, but also for the renown they bring to
Wallonia.
par Kirsten ASLING
allonia and its companies are moving
from strength to strength. While this
special issue of Dynamisme highlights
some of the top products created by Wallonian
companies, we have much more to be proud of,
and much more to offer the international
business community and foreign markets.
This year marks the 11th year of the bi-annual
Wallonia Export Grand Prix. These awards
recognise Wallonian companies that have
demonstrated particular success in export
markets. Along with foreign investment,
exportation is one of the key factors for the
international growth of a region. For both
foreign investment and exportation, 2007 proved
a winning year for Wallonia.
Our region has welcomed some of the global
heavy-hitters in international business,
including Google, Microsoft, H&M, Fedex and
more. They are convinced that Wallonia will
provide them with an attractive home from
which to expand upon their success. Thanks to
these companies, and others, the number of
jobs in Wallonia from international companies
W
AS AWEX CEO PHILIPPE
SUINEN SAYS, “EXPORTATION
IS A GREAT ADVENTURE”,
AND THIS IS CERTAINLY TRUE
FOR THE TWO 2008 GRAND
PRIX WINNERS.
16. Dynamisme December 2008
rose by just under 30% in 2007.
Increased exports also raised Wallonia’s profile
abroad. Exports rose by 8.4% in 2007,
continuing the steady growth seen throughout
the period of 1996-2007. In fact, Wallonia’s
average export growth for this period was well
above that of the EU 15.
AWEX promotes exceptional
achievement
This long-term success relies on the hard work
of Wallonian companies in the export markets.
To support and encourage these efforts, every
other year the Walloon Export and Foreign
Investment Agency (AWEX) organises the
Wallonia Export Grand Prix. First awarded in
1991, these prizes reward the companies that
have progressed the most in their level of
exportation, or that have taken on – and
conquered!–particularly difficult markets.
Out of the 34 companies that took part in 2008,
10 were selected as being particularly worthy of
note in the area of exportation.
Most years, a total of 7 prizes are awarded:
OUT OF THE 34 COMPANIES THAT TOOK PART IN 2008, 10 WERE SELECTED AS BEING PARTICULARLY WORTHY OF
NOTE IN THE AREA OF EXPORTATION.
• The Wallonia Export Grand Prix “Europe”
acknowledges a company that has
significantly improved its performance and its
position in the European Union and/or other
regions of Europe.
• The Wallonia Export Grand Prix “High Export
Turnover” recognises a company that has
significantly improved its results and
presence in markets outside of Europe.
• The (maximum) five Wallonia Export Prizes
reward other deserving exporting companies.
For 2008, the Wallonia Export Grand Prix
“Europe” award was won by Auriga
International. The Wallonia Export Grand Prix
“High Export Turnover” was awarded to
Ensival-Moret. The Wallonia Export Prize
winners are: Automatic System, CP Bourg,
Thales Alenia and Truflo Rona. In addition, a
‘Helping Hand’ Export Prize was awarded to
Concept & Forme.
Some years, a ‘Youth’ prize may be awarded to
a company that has particularly integrated
young people into its export activities. In
recognition of its efforts in this area, the
company Croc'in was awarded this prize for
2008.
For this 11th version of the Grand Prix,
however, 2008 has been a special year. In
particular, two additional prizes were offered:
a unique “Special Mention” Grand Prix, which
went to GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, and a
“UWE International Marketing Cell award,
celebrating the 10th anniversary of the
Cell, which was given to CPL industries.
(see page 20)
The awarding of so many prizes will certainly
make this year’s Grand Prix one to remember!
Building relationships
is as important as numbers
To win a Wallonia Export Grand Prix or
Wallonia Export Prize, a company must
demonstrate much more than just success in
export figures. In total, 34 companies applied
for the program in 2008. Each had to
demonstrate certain success factors, which
were considered by the jury.
Participating companies must firstly prove
recent success in growing their export
business, either overall or towards a new or
difficult export market.
They then must demonstrate a proactive
attitude toward exportation. This can include a
significant increase in exports, the creation of
relevant partnerships, the spectacular conquest
of one or more markets, penetrating a difficult
market or another initiative that builds the
international awareness of the company or
extends its reach internationally. Examples
include design, research and development,
certification, launching of new products,
products that protect the environment, etc.
Finally, the qualitative character of the
exportation is considered. This requires that the
products or services being exported reflect well
on Wallonia, whether by their innovative
character or by their specific intrinsic qualities.
All of the Grand Prix winners receive a trophy,
and are invited to take part in two AWEX
missions, one of them in Europe. The Export
Prize winners also receive trophies, and are
invited on one AWEX mission, in Europe. Each
winning company receives a grant for language
training from Ceran Lingua International.
2008 WINNERS
Wallonia Export Grand Prix
“Special Mention”:
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
Wallonia Export Grand Prix
“High Export Turnover:
Ensival-Moret
Wallonia Export Grand Prix
“Europe”: Auriga International
Wallonia Export Prize:
Automatic Systems, CP
Bourg, Thales Alenia, Truflo
Rona
“Helping Hand” Prize:
Concept & Forme
“Youth” Prize: Croc’in
10th Anniversary UWE Int’l
Marketing Cell Prize:
CPL Industrie
An exceptional prize
for an exceptional company
While this is the first time a “Special Mention”
prize has been awarded, it is not the first time
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals has been singled
out by the Wallonia Export Grand Prix. In 1993,
the pharmaceutical company won the Wallonia
Export Grand Prix “High Export Turnover”
award, and in 1998 it again won a Wallonia
Export Prize.
From its headquarters in Rixensart, Belgium,
this Wallonian company has become one of the
world’s leading vaccine manufacturers. It is
proud of the fact that 3 million of its vaccines
are delivered EVERY DAY to 165 countries
worldwide. It offers an excellent example of the
type of company that makes the
pharmaceuticals industry a pole of excellence in
Belgium, and that will make Wallonia one of
Dynamisme December 2008 .17
Companies
EXPORTS ROSE BY 8.4% IN
2007, CONTINUING THE
STEADY GROWTH SEEN
THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD
OF 1996-2007.
ETIENNE COLLIN (WALLOON
BUSINESS FEDERATION
ADVISOR), JEAN-MARIE
MOULIN (WINNERS 2008)
AND JEAN-JACQUES
GABRIEL (FORTIS).
18. Dynamisme December 2008
Europe's top biotechnology clusters.
“We are very pleased to be recognised with this
special ‘Grand Prix’ award,” says
Jean Stephenne, CEO GSK. “Developing our
export markets is a key focus for us, because
our goal is to increase well-being and life
expectancy around the world, by pushing back
the frontiers of pharmaceutical knowledge. To
do this, we must have a strong commercial
strategy for exportation. In our case, this
includes maintaining relationships with
supranational organisations, sharing our
expertise on government affairs, commercial
and pricing issues, and the overall healthcare
environment. Thanks to these relationships, six
out of every ten doses of our vaccines go to
supranational bodies for large-scale vaccination
campaigns, largely in the developing world.
Wallonia is our home, though, and we are proud
to be part of building its international profile.”
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ dual commitment
to Wallonian enterprise and to global
healthcare, along with the extraordinary efforts
it makes in building and supporting
relationships, are the motivation for awarding it
the “Special Mention” prize.
Wallonia leading technology
As AWEX CEO Philippe Suinen says,
“Exportation is a great adventure”, and this is
certainly true for the two 2008 Grand Prix
winners: Ensival-Moret and Auriga
International. In two very different sectors,
these companies are taking Wallonian
innovation to new markets.
Ensival-Moret is the winner of the Wallonia
Export Grand Prix for “High Export Turnover”.
This industrial pump company is at the leading
edge of industrial technology, using the most
modern technical solutions in terms of
hydraulics, mechanical engineering and
metalworking. All of its designing is carried
out in-house from its premises in
Thimister-Clermont, Belgium.
Since 2000, when the two companies Ensival
and Moret joined forces, the Group has
developed a genuinely worldwide commercial
presence, with agents in more than
70 countries. More than 50% of the group's
production is exported, to more than 100
countries. It proves its commitment to this
international activity presence by providing a
global service centre network.
“If you are serious about international success,
you must support your own efforts completely,”
says Louis-Marie Houbiers, CEO Ensival-Moret.
“For us, this means we have to be there for our
customers even after they have purchased the
product. And that translates to after-sales
service available wherever our products are
sold.”
Biotechnology company Auriga International is
also a technology leader, this time in the sector
of healthcare, specifically dermatocosmetology. While it develops and markets
innovative skincare products, it has also created
close relationships with Belgian universities to
carry out research on treating certain skin
tumours and disorders.
THE COMPANIES THAT
WERE SELECTED FOR
AWARDS AND MENTIONS
THIS YEAR ARE OF
DIFFERENT SIZES, IN
DIFFERENT SECTORS AND
FROM DIFFERENT
BACKGROUNDS.
Auriga International has been awarded the
Wallonia Export Grand Prix for “Europe”, for its
strong export growth into European markets. To
achieve this, it has established a dealer network
that covers Western, Central and Eastern
Europe Alfred Marchal, CEO Auriga, explains,
“Expanding our activities internationally is key
to our survival. Wallonia has the R&D
infrastructure and expertise for us to develop
truly innovative biotechnology products.
Then we can test and patent them
internationally. We now have distributors in over
30 countries – including all over Europe–for our
products”.
The activities of companies like Ensival-Moret
and Auriga International not only increase
exports from Wallonia, they also demonstrate
how our region offers great technology
opportunities and partnerships.
Six to watch
The four companies awarded Wallonia Export
Prizes have all distinguished themselves in
their dedication to building their export
business based on quality and technology. They
represent some of the best Wallonia has to
offer internationally. Automatic Systems, C.P.
Bourg, Thales Alenia and Truflo Rona are all
committed to research and development to
improve and increase their product offerings
and develop their brands globally. From Truflo’s
high-integrity specialist industrial valves
through to Thales Alenia’s satellite systems and
orbital infrastructures, Wallonian companies
show that it isn’t size that’s important for global
success: it’s innovation. And Automatic
System’s physical access control and security
equipment and C.P. Bourg’s print finishing
equipment demonstrate how fresh thinking can
bring new opportunities to traditional sectors.
This year, a “Helping Hand” Wallonia Export
Prize was also awarded, to company Concept &
Forme, manufacturers of wood stoves. This
special award recognises a company that meets
all of the Export Prize criteria, except in its level
of exportation. But Concept & Forme is
focussing on the same philosophy as the
others: success through quality and innovation.
In addition, a special ‘Youth’ mention was given
to company Croc’in. This manufacturer of tartlet
bases for the catering industry has won
numerous awards for innovation, originality and
exporting. This year, it is being recognised by
AWEX for its dedication to including young
people in its export business, thus building a
firm foundation for Wallonia’s future success.
UWE international Marketing Cell
In our role promoting and supporting
companies in all fields of business activities,
the UWE (Walloon Business Federation) set up
the International Marketing
Cell in 1998. This Cell focuses on international
trade, bringing companies together and
providing international market expertise.
To celebrate the Cell’s 10th anniversary, a
special prize has been awarded to one of its
members. CPL Industrie manufactures
industrial chains and presses. An active
member of the International Marketing Cell,
more than 70% of its production from Othée,
Belgium is exported around the world. It is an
ideal company to represent the Cell for this
milestone year.
WALLONIA
FIGURES
Economic indicators for
Wallonia:
• Increase in exports 2007:
8.4%
• Increase in jobs from
foreign companies 2007:
27.8%
• Foreign investment in
Wallonia 2000-2007:
EUR 5.3 billion
• Jobs created by this
investment 2000-2007:
13,825
• GDP 2006:
EUR 73,838.8 million
• GDP growth 2006:
4.2%
Differences make us strong :
similarities make us stronger
The companies that were selected for awards
and mentions this year are of different sizes, in
different sectors and from different
backgrounds. The sheer variety of business and
exports available from Wallonian companies
helps make us strong internationally. But
perhaps more important are the similarities
these companies share, especially in their
dedication: to quality, to innovation, to new
ideas, even when based on traditional values.
Each of these companies is a model for our
region, and we are proud to have each
represent us in the global market. ■
Dynamisme December 2008 .19
Companies
Three questions for
Jean-Marie Moulin,
CPL Industrie
IN
BRIEF
The UWE’s (Walloon Business
Federation) International Marketing
Team celebrates its tenth birthday in
2008. The team’s mission is to boost
Walloon exports by bringing together
suppliers of goods and services within a
given sector (forming a “cluster of
businesses”). Its actions are based on
the technical support of a company that
is the leader in its field. Activities involve
organizing trade missions abroad to
identify business opportunities, but also
hosting delegations from overseas for
visits to Walloon businesses operating in
their sector.
“We are very pleased that CPL Industrie
(see opposite) has won an award. The
company has been with the Marketing
Team since its creation ten years ago.
It has spread the word to other
companies and has been a great help to
us in terms of refining our
methodology”, explains Etienne Collin,
a UWE Advisor.
The following clusters have been
created: cement, environment, food
industry equipment, food ingredients,
mines and quarries, petrochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, steel, sugar, glass, rail
transport and electricity transmission.
Since the team was created, visits to
40 different countries have already been
organized, with an average of
7 companies taking part in each trade
mission.
• Contacts: +32 (0) 10.47.19.73,
[email protected]
• Sponsors: AWEX, ArcelorMittal, ING
Belgium, Fortis, Solvay
• Advisors: AGC, Carmeuse, Elia,
GlaxoSmithKline, HeidelbergCement,
Holcim, Inbev, Italcementi, Lhoist,
SNCB Holding, Total, Umicore
20. Dynamisme December 2008
This SME in Liege, specialised in the mechanical sector (chains
and presses), was honoured on November 25 at the Wallonia
Export Grand Prix. We spoke with director Jean-Marie Moulin.
by Madeleine DEMBOUR
1
The 11th Wallonia Export Grand Prix had a special
characteristic. An additional award was given out to mark the
10th anniversary of the UWE International Marketing Cell:
your company won it. It was a nice recognition, after having
relaunched the company in 2002. How do you feel about it?
At first, I was amazed to receive this distinction. But when you think about it, it is true that we
have been very faithful members of the UWE International Marketing Cell from the beginning.
We took part in the first missions under the patronage of Michel Hahn (Magotteaux) in 1998, to
Turkey and Brazil. His perfect knowledge of the world of cement manufacturing opened many
doors for Walloon SMEs. We in turn try to raise the possibilities for other SMEs: we have just
introduced CBV (Belgian Ventilation Company) in Libya, which is out biggest client.
2
Considering that you export more than 70% of your production, what
do the cluster formation actions put in place by the UWE offer you?
This way of working in company clusters is an innovative methodology that actually
complements the traditional AWEX missions, without competing with them. I particularly
appreciate that clients are targeted, their needs are identified and the visitation schedule is
set out before the mission gets underway.
3
In this rather difficult time for business, what message would you
give to other Walloon companies looking to export?
Go for it, now more than ever! This is definitely not the time to cut back on marketing
expenses. Sales never come looking for you: you must go out and find them yourself.
As for us, we have a strong presence in France, Libya and Algeria. We just visited
Turnkey – with the UWE, of course – and Slovakia, where we may see some projects come to
life. ■
Sales don’t
come to find you;
you must go out and
find them yourself.
Dynamisme Hors-Série Automne 2008 .21
Products
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Zentech
Delphi Genetics
Barco Silex
Babelgom
Alterface
KitoZyme
Bioxtract
AGC Flat Glass Europe
Xylowatt
Belrobotics
Araponics
Medi-Line
Galler
Imperbel
Wetlands
Le Pétale
Lucimed
Lange Christian
Odemetric
BEA
Mexys
Automatic systems
Aseptic Technologies
Nanocyl
Pro Fish Technology
Saluc
Brunehaut
Futerro
Artbois
Brasserie d'Ecaussines
Detry
CoqArd
Eurogentec
UCB
Prayon
OKT
Corman
Ceteor
Alstom Belgium
Wow Company
A report by Thierry DECLOUX, Madeleine DEMBOUR,
Liliane FANELLO and Yves-Etienne MASSART
DOWNLOAD
the file on www.uwe.be
22. Dynamisme December 2008
SPECIAL ECONOMIE
INNOVATION ALIVE AND
40 new prod
formula
In this special feature, our journalists
will introduce you to 40 products
“Made in Wallonia” with an international
vocation (exports), a genuinely innovative
dimension (strong R&D input) and a
significant potential for development,
particularly in an industrial context.
We hope you enjoy your read!
by Madeleine DEMBOUR
For the third year running, DYNAMISME Magazine
(published by the Walloon Business Federation)
has published an international issue.
Why a magazine in English? We are now repeating
the experiment for the third time. In 2006, our
end-of-year issue focused on the 5 competitiveness
clusters, sectors in which Wallonia intends to
position itself for the years to come. In 2007, the
editorial team introduced 40 “hidden champions”,
Walloon companies that may not always get the
recognition they deserve, but which over the
years have become world leaders in their field
(www.uwe.be/bases-de-donnees/leadersmondiaux).
The reactions we received to these initiatives were
extremely positive, both from readers in Belgium
and readers abroad. In particular, there was a lot
of coverage of the contents of these issues in the
press, and certain media organizations have
already decided to partner this 2008 issue.
So what is the theme for this year? “40 new
products with Wallonia’s winning formula”.
Since June 2008, our journalists have been hunting
down products that meet the following criteria:
1. An international vocation (exports).
2. A genuinely innovative dimension (strong
R&D input).
3. A significant potential for development,
particularly in an industrial context.
We are presenting two major categories of product:
1. Existing products: in existence for less than
5 years and made in Wallonia.
2. Products in development: at a prototype or
pre-production stage.
You will discover the results of their research in the
following pages. We should, however, point out that
this list of 40 products makes no claim to be an
exhaustive list (see text box opposite).
WELL IN WALLONIA
ucts with Wallonia’s winning
© Tilt
ACTIVE
COLLABORATIONS
ARE GROWING UP
AROUND NUMEROUS
RESEARCH,
INVESTMENT AND
TRAINING PROJECTS.
Not exhaustive!
Competitiveness clusters,
a winning formula?
Many projects are taking shape under the new
industrial policy launched three years ago in
Wallonia, under the name of the “Marshall Plan”.
This new policy involves the creation of clusters
of businesses and also competitiveness clusters,
in other words networks that link businesses,
universities and research centers, as well as
training institutions, around innovative projects that
create economic activity and employment.
Our investigations revealed a large
number of excellent projects that
could have taken their place in this
list. However, we had to make a
selection in order to give a
representative overview of the
economic makeup of the region,
provide a good balance between
BtoB and BtoC solutions, ensure
geographical and sectoral diversity,
etc. If you feel that you have been
overlooked, please contact the
editorial staff ([email protected]).
They will be delighted to include you
in the list published on the Internet
(www.uwe.be).
Active collaborations are growing up around
numerous research, investment and training
projects. In concrete terms, since the creation of
the competitiveness clusters, 70 projects have
been approved by the Walloon Government,
with 200 participations from companies, 130 from
university centers, 40 from research centers and
40 from training centers. There can be no doubt
about it; innovation is at work! ■
Dynamisme December 2008
23.
Products
A big player in a microscopic sector
Delphi Genetics is a pioneering molecular
biology spin-off from the Université Libre de
Bruxelles that was set up in November 2001.
It develops and markets innovative products
on the biotechnology market, with a
particular focus on its cutting-edge
expertise in DNA cloning processes.
This is a sector in which American corporate
giants can make multi-billion-dollar
investments, but the quality of Delphi
Genetics’ research is clearly priceless,
making it one of the companies that count
on the international stage.
From discoveries to strategic collaborations,
Delphi Genetics is now a major-league
player. For proof of this, we can look to its
recent discovery that by modifying alphafetoprotein in mice, females can be made
UN GRAND DE L’INFINIMENT PETIT
automatically sterile. Extrapolated to
humans, this advance will perhaps
constitute a breakthrough for a possible
solution to problems of female infertility.
This is the hope, but whatever the outcome,
the discovery will at least lead to an
improvement in treatment targeting.
www.delphigenetics.com (Gosselies) ■
Créée en novembre 2001, cette spin-off de l’ULB
est une pionnière en matière de biologie moléculaire. Delphi Genetics développe et commercialise
des produits innovants sur le marché de la biotechnologie, notamment au travers d’une expertise de
tout premier plan dans le domaine des processus
de clonage d’ADN. Un secteur où les géants américains peuvent investir à coups de milliards de dollars. Mais la qualité de la recherche de Delphi
Genetics n’a manifestement pas de prix,
puisqu’elle "compte" dans le concert international.
De découvertes en collaborations stratégiques,
Delphi Genetics joue désormais dans la cour des
grands. Pour preuve, une récente découverte
majeure dans le traitement de l’infertilité chez la
femme, réalisée en modifiant génétiquement l'alpha-foetoprotéine chez les souris.
Leading edge research and design
Barco Silex is one of the jewels in the crown
of Barco, a group that is itself one of the
leading lights of Belgian industry. The
microelectronic design company is based on
the Einstein science park in Louvain-LaNeuve, where it employs around 30 people.
It operates within the very specialized,
sophisticated field of image processing, with
particular emphasis on image compression
technology. Barco Silex’s expertise has won
it customers amongst the leaders and
innovators of every sector of the electronics
industry in Europe and even further afield.
These include some of the most demanding
customers of all, the leading players in the
aeronautics market and the aerospace
industry.
The latest weapon in its arsenal consists of
RECHERCHE ET CONCEPTION DE POINTE
technology for encoding and decoding highresolution images based on the JPEG 2000
standard, the format used by recentlyintroduced high definition products aimed at
various markets (Broadcast, digital cinema,
medical sector, etc.).
www.barco-silex.com (Louvain-la-Neuve) ■
Barco Silex est l’un des fleurons d’un autre fleuron
de l’industrie belge, Barco. La société, implantée
à Louvain-La-Neuve, occupe une trentaine de
personnes. Son métier : la conception microélectronique dans le domaine très pointu du traitement
de l'image, et plus particulièrement de la compression d'image. Ses clients sont des leaders et innovateurs dans tous les secteurs de l’électronique en
Europe, et au-delà. Son expertise lui a également
ouvert les portes des leaders du marché aéronautique et de l’industrie aérospatiale. Enfin, Barco
Silex a récemment introduit des nouveaux produits
sur divers marchés faisant appel à la haute
définition (Broadcast, cinéma numérique, secteur
médical, etc.) grâce à sa technologie
d'encodage/décodage d'images hautes résolutions,
suivant la norme JPEG2000.
The self-service data transfer “hub”
In the space of less than two years,
Babelgom has carved out a niche for itself
with an innovative system that automates
data transfer between industrial partners,
all without the need to install any software.
Babelgom’s real innovation lies in the fact
that its solution allows partners to
communicate using the method of their
choice and in the format specific to their IT
environment, without either side having to
make any adaptations. Basically, the
solution acts as a go-between by adapting
the technical formats en route: a sort of ‘EDI
translator and communicator’ provided on a
software-as-a-service basis.
Data exchange flows are entirely configured
via web interfaces. A secure, redundant
infrastructure is equipped with all the
24. Dynamisme December 2008
LE "HUB" DE TRANSFERT
DE DONNÉES EN SELF-SERVICE
communication modules required to
automate data flows. Possible applications
include exchanges of price lists, purchase
orders, delivery dispatch and confirmation
documents or invoices, all in an electronic
format.
www.babelgom.com (Louvain-la-Neuve) ■
En moins de 2 ans, Babelgom a creusé son trou au
départ d’un système innovant qui automatise les
échanges de données entre partenaires industriels. Grâce à l’installation d’un logiciel ? Non et
c’est bien là le cœur de l’innovation : la solution
de Babelgom permet aux partenaires de communiquer par la méthode de leur choix et dans le
format spécifique à leur environnement informatique, sans devoir s’adapter l’un à l’autre. Bref :
une solution qui fait office d’agent de liaison en
adaptant au passage les formats techniques.
La configuration d’un flux d’échange se fait entièrement via des interfaces web dans une infrastructure sécurisée, équipée de tous les modules de communication utiles pour automatiser des flux
de données (liste de prix, bons de commande,
de factures électroniques, etc.)
Interactivity within a 3D imaginary world
Between learning and dreams, Alterface
works in an area where education meets
entertainment. It has references from clients
around the world: amusement parks,
museums, science centers, zoos and theme
parks. With its technical know-how, Alterface
enables visitors to really immerse
themselves in their environment, allowing
them to engage fully with the information
and interact intuitively.
Alterface gives an extra dimension to
learning, communication and fun. The
company has extremely wide-ranging
expertise in terms of computer imaging and
signal processing (sound and images) in real
time, as well as in the creation of
spectacular and video-realistic content.
The company is a spin-off from the
L’INTERACTIVITÉ AU CŒUR
DE L’IMAGINAIRE EN 3D
Université Catholique de Louvain and has
been operating since the beginning of the
millennium. As a company founded on
research, it remains active in this area. So its
work with universities or as part of ambitious
European projects provides the basis for
creating ever more innovative solutions.
www.alterface.com (Louvain-la-Neuve) ■
Faire rêver ou faire apprendre : le métier d’Alterface,
spin-off de l’UCL, se trouve au confluent de l’éducation et du divertissement. Ses références sont planétaires : parcs d’attraction, musées, maisons des
sciences, parcs zoologiques, parcs à thèmes. Grâce à
son expertise technologique, Alterface aide le visiteur
à véritablement entrer en immersion dans son environnement, plonger dans l’information et y interagir
de manière intuitive. Alterface dispose d’un savoir
faire extrêmement étendu en matière de vision informatique et de traitement de signal (images et sons)
en temps réel ainsi qu'en réalisation de contenus
spectaculaires et vidéo-réalistes. Issue de la
recherche, l'entreprise y reste active, en collaboration
avec les universités ou à travers d’ambitieux projets
européens.
KitoZyme revolutionizes the world of
specialty ingredients
KITOZYME RÉVOLUTIONNE LE MONDE
DES INGRÉDIENTS DE SPÉCIALITÉ
KitoZyme’s innovation has its roots in eight
years of research at the University of Liège
focusing on a pioneering extraction process
for plant biopolymers. The Liège-based
company produces ingredients with
scientifically proven performances,
constituting an effective alternative to
ingredients derived from animal sources or
synthetic ingredients, which could potentially
trigger allergies.
Its main markets are in the neutraceuticals,
cosmetics and pharma-medical sectors, as
well as the food industry, especially
beverage manufacture. Kitozyme supplies
these customers with biopolymers derived
from fungi (edible mushrooms or
microscopic fungi). These innovative,
environmentally friendly products deriving
from the biotech and food industries are not
made anywhere else in the world.
www.KitoZyme.com (Herstal) ■
L'innovation de KitoZyme trouve son origine dans
le travail de 8 années de recherche à l'Université
de Liège pour étudier un procédé innovant d'extraction de biopolymères végétaux. Par leurs
performances prouvées scientifiquement, les
ingrédients de la société liégeoise constituent
une alternative efficace aux ingrédients d’origine
animale ou de synthèse, potentiellement
allergisants. ,Ses principaux débouchés :
les secteurs nutraceutique, cosmétique,
pharmaco-médical ainsi que l'industrie alimentaire, notamment celle des boissons. Kitozyme
produit pour ces clients des biopolymères d'origine
fongique (champignons comestibles ou microscopiques), innovants, respectueux de l'environnement
et uniques au monde et issus des industries
biotech ou alimentaires.
Plant extracts for the pharmaceuticals
industry
DES EXTRAITS VÉGÉTAUX POUR
L’INDUSTRIE PHARMA
With BioXtract, the name says it all: this
spin-off from the Gembloux Faculty of
Agronomic Sciences produces high valueadded plant extracts, which it markets to the
pharmaceutical, herbal medicine, cosmetics
and food supplement sectors. Garlic is good
for the heart, curcuma for rheumatism, dark
cocoa fights fatigue, and these are just some
of the plants that contain much sought-after
natural properties, so-called natural active
ingredients. BioXtract now sells these
extracts across the globe, from Europe to
Canada and Australia.
The company extracts the biopolymers using
supercritical CO2, a recent, environmentally-
friendly development in biotechnology that is
not widely used. An important benefit of
using no solvents is the reduction of allergy
and inflammation problems. The technique
also allows very precise targeting of the
molecules required, to produce extremely
high quality products with great added value.
www.bioxtract.com (Achêne) ■
Le métier de BioXtract est dans son nom : les
extraits végétaux à haute valeur ajoutée, que cette
spin-off de la Faculté des sciences agronomique de
Gembloux commercialise aux 4 coins du monde à
destination des secteurs pharmaceutique, phytothérapeutique, cosmétique ou dans les nutricaments (les compléments alimentaires). L’ail est
bon pour le cœur, le curcuma pour les rhumatismes, le cacao noir contre la fatigue, et ils ne sont
pas les seuls végétaux à receler des propriétés
naturelles très recherchées, des principes actifs
naturels. BioXtract les extrait avec la technique
d’extraction "par CO2 supercritique". Peu répandue, cette technique récente et respectueuse de
l’environnement réduit les problèmes d'allergie et
d'inflammation et permet un ciblage très précis
des molécules recherchées.
Dynamisme December 2008 .25
Products
Innovation is yours with AGC glass
Unlimited possibilities
With over 100 glass production units and a worldwide sales
network , AGC Flat Glass Europe (formerly Glaverbel) is a
leader in glass for façades, interior design and specialist
sectors. Firmly rooted in Europe with headquarters in
Brussels and its Research & Development Centre in
Wallonia (Jumet), AGC confirms its role as the leading
innovator in the glass industry.
AGC FLAT GLASS EUROPE SA
• PRESIDENT & CEO: Jean-François HERIS
• SECTOR: flat glass
• FOUNDED:
1961 (Glaverbel, former name)
• LOCATION: Europe with HQ in Brussels
• NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 10 600
• ANNUAL TURNOVER 2007: around 2 billion euros
• EXPORTS: more than 90%
Recent examples include the
AntiBacterial glass (gold
medal for innovation at the
Batimat international
building fair in Paris - 2007) and the
environment friendly mirror Mirox 3 G,
(Belgium Environment Prize - 2007).
Most recently, AGC developed Glassiled,
a laminated glass including LED (Light
Emitting Diodes) with no visible wires for
both façades and interior design
applications. Glassiled capitalises on all
the advantages of LED technology: long
life, intense light and the possibility of
varying the colours (RGB). The colour and
number of LEDs as well as the type of
glass used can be varied, allowing the
product to be customised. “This latest
innovation captures both natural and
artificial light in its own magic
transparent way. It also immediately
captured architects and interior
designers’ imagination when it was first
showed at Batimat last year where its
highly personalised way of using light,
during the day and at night won the gold
medal for design“ says Jean-François
Heris, President & CEO of AGC Flat
Glass Europe.
When used as a partition, Glassiled can
communicate specific messages, guide
the public and subtly draw attention to
specific features. In shelves or
showcases it can attractively light the
Xylowatt: Sustainable Energy
Technology born from uni
Alternative energies like wind turbines and solar panels
are a growth area, but the innovative technology is often
imported. However, biomass gasification is bucking the
trend: a Walloon technology that is developing on the
export market. Xylowatt is a company based on a bold
idea: to produce energy autonomously from wood, a raw
material that is plentiful in Wallonia and the neighboring
countries.
XYLOWATT SA
• FOUNDED: 2001
• LOCATION: Charleroi
• BUSINESS: production of biomass-fueled
cogeneration plants
• 2008 TURNOVER (PROVISIONAL):
1.8 million EUR
• WORKFORCE: 25
• MARKETS: Belgium, Germany, India, Italy,
Great Britain, France
• WEBSITE: www.xylowatt.com
26. Dynamisme December 2008
Xylowatt is in the fantastic
position of being no less than the
European market leader! All thanks to a
technological advance perfected at the
beginning of 2008. The company, which
specializes in the design, installment and
maintenance of gas-producing
installations, has been growing constantly
since it was set up at the beginning of
the decade.
The history of this spin-off from the
Université Catholique de Louvain is a
perfect example of the transformation of
an environmental constraint into a
business opportunity. By producing heat
and electricity from biomass, it is also able
to add value to the waste products of
sawmills, joinery shops and other forestryrelated businesses. "Less than a year ago,
the company perfected its Notar reactor,
so-called because it produces no tar. A
brilliant sales argument!" says CEO Gilles
Barchman.
Its wood-powered cogeneration plants can
supply energy and heat to meet the needs
of a village, a community, or for industrial
usage.
The guiding principle of the business is
sustainable development. With its range of
projects producing between 300 kWe and
After the lawn mower comes the Ballpicker®
offered by glass Belrobotics:
robots for green spaces!
products on display and adds that special
touch to attract customers' attention to a
key product or service. When used in a
façade (houses, industrial sites and
office/apartment buildings), Glassiled is the
perfect way to combine the potential of LEDs
with the technical specifications and
aesthetics of glass. Glassiled is a dynamic
light source, bathing buildings in light and
colour and creating new landmarks on the
urban landscape.
And Jean-François Heris to conclude
“Glassiled is a wonderful example of the
unlimited possibilities offered by glass in
never before expected applications. It
insulates, protects, reflects, adds comfort,
is energy efficient, can produce energy, can
integrate light, wellbeing , health and design
aspects … the added value is immense.
With our R&D Centre in Jumet, we are today
more than ever committed to further
pushing the boundaries of glass
applications, glass functions and glass
technologies to create the best possible
glass products.” ■
versity research
10 MWe, Xylowatt is able to replace annual oil
consumption of 55 million liters and cut out
around 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide
emissions per year!
After Belgium, the company has its sights on
Germany, a country where this advanced
technology, which outperforms all its rivals in
terms of electricity yield, appears to have a
huge potential. Xylowatt is in an excellent
position to take advantage of the wave of
green energy projects in Europe and the
markets for access to energy, "both in the
emerging economies and the developing
countries". Gilles Barchman believes that "the
company is giving itself the means to do this:
the best proof of this is that we have decided,
in spite of our small size – 25 people – to send
one of our commercial engineers to spend a
year looking at prospects in India. This should
allow us to prepare for business in 2010, 2011
and beyond."
Thanks to its constant investment in research
and development, Xylowatt is now in a position
to effectively process biomass containing
pollutants. ■
What does the
Kremlin have in
common with
Italian soccer clubs?
Or more specifically,
what do the
Kremlin’s lawns
have in common
with the fields of
top Italian clubs?
A piece of Walloon
technology that
grows more
popular by the day:
robot-mowers from
Belrobotics. Now the
company’s latest
product, a robot that collects
golf balls, gives it a niche market
all to itself.
Since 2002, Belrobotics has stepped up a
gear thanks to its export sales. The result
is a jump of over 80% in its sales figures
for 2008. A third of these derive from the
Belgian market, while two-thirds are
exported to the four corners of the world.
The robot mower is the company’s first
product.
From industry to golf clubs, sports
grounds, private properties and soon
public services (for mowing parks and
edges of highways), the robots developed
by Belrobotics are aimed at all markets.
The beauty is that they work entirely
automatically, to the extent that they
even return to recharge when they sense a
reduction in capacity. The next development
will be a solar power supply for the
recharging stations. This would save a
metric ton of CO2 per year for each robot!
With its sonar system, the robot can avoid
any obstacle in its path. Environmental
friendliness, autonomy, efficiency, silent
operation… this box of technological
tricks has everything going for it.
Depending on the model chosen, the
mowers can autonomously tend lawns
of up to a hectare in size.
If you already have expertise regarding
wide-open green spaces, it makes sense to
leverage your technology. This was the
inspiration behind an even cleverer version
BELROBOTICS SA
• FOUNDED: 2002
• LOCATION: Wavre
• BUSINESS: design and marketing of robotmowers and “ballpicker” robots
• 2008 TURNOVER (PROVISIONAL):
1.8 million EUR
• WORKFORCE: 20 FTE
• MARKETS: international: Belgium, exports inside
and outside the EU
of these mowers: the Ballpicker®, a
machine that scours driving ranges to
collect the players’ balls. Once it has
finished its round, it returns to its base to
drop off its harvest.
With its electric motor, the Ballpicker® is
able to collect balls in perfect silence, and
the light-weight design stops it from
pressing the balls into the ground. When
you think that some golf courses lose up to
25,000 balls a year…
It also saves on staff, as the machine
collects the tens of thousands of balls that
customers go through on a good day. The
machine is constantly collecting, meaning
that opening hours can be extended, and
allowing for faster ball rotation. The club
therefore has to buy a lot fewer balls. All in
all, these robots can save a lot of money! ■
Dynamisme December 2008 .27
Products
Araponics controls plant nutrition
Araponics is currently diversifying into
biotechnology applications from its core
business of developing and marketing
equipment for growing small plants
using hydroponics, in other words a liquid
nutrient growing medium.
A real niche market but also a promising
one, according to the researchers from the
University of Liège who set up the spin-off.
Hydroponics is widely used in the market
gardening and horticultural sectors. The
main advantage of the technique is that it
gives accurate control of the plants’ mineral
nutrition and consequently their growth,
while allowing yields to be monitored.
The technology has captured the attention of
the leading public research laboratories,
as well as some major private groups, both
ARAPONICS CONTRÔLE
LA NUTRITION DES PLANTES
in Europe and the rest of the world.
The system could ultimately also be used
for an alternative source of human protein
production from a plant host. Araponics
is already looking at new developments
beyond hydroponic plant cultivation:
products that could soon find applications
for the mass market.
www.araponics.com (Liège)
Développer et commercialiser du matériel destiné
à la culture de petites plantes en hydroponie
(c'est-à-dire sur milieu nutritif liquide), voilà bien un
marché de niche. Un marché porteur à en croire les
chercheurs de l’ULg qui sont à l’origine de cette
spin-off. Principal avantage : cette technique permet
un contrôle précis de la nutrition minérale des
plantes et donc de la croissance. Et un monitoring
des rendements.
Cette technologie, qui suscite l’intérêt des plus
grands laboratoires de recherche et groupes privés,
pourrait permettre à terme une production alternative de protéines humaines par un hôte végétal.
Araponics envisage déjà de nouveaux développements au-delà de la culture de plantes en hydroponie : des produits qui pourraient également concerner prochainement le grand public.
Global success in the fight against incontinence
Incontinence is a problem that mainly
affects women, but men would be wrong to
imagine that none of them will be affected.
The condition is more unpleasant than
painful and has long been treatable with
surgery. This is where MEDI Line comes in,
with its revolutionary surgical instrument
used in operations to remedy problems of
incontinence. It was invented by Prof. Jean
de Leval for use in a procedure to support
the urethra by implanting a sling made of
prolene (an inert, anti-allergy plastic).
The innovative aspect of his invention lies in
the "inside out" method, an ingenious
procedure that made it necessary to create
new surgical instruments. The technique
means that the surgical intervention is even
more precise, faster and poses less of a
danger to neighboring organs. Also, only a
minimal incision is required to implant the
sling, which limits the risk of hemorrhage.
A global success story.
www.mediline.be (Angleur) ■
SUCCÈS MONDIAL DANS LA LUTTE
CONTRE L’INCONTINENCE
Plus désagréable que douloureux, le syndrome de
l’incontinence peut être pris en charge par la chirurgie. C’est là qu’intervient MEDI Line, grâce à un
instrument révolutionnaire utilisé dans les opérations destinées à juguler l'incontinence chez les
hommes. Objectif de son inventeur, le Pr. De leval :
soutenir l’urètre grâce à la pose d’une bandelette
en prolène (un plastique inerte et antiallergique).
La nouveauté consiste à passer du dedans en
dehors, une méthode ingénieuse qui impliquait de
disposer de nouveaux instruments chirurgicaux.
Ainsi le geste opératoire est-il encore plus précis,
plus rapide et moins dangereux pour les organes
voisins. En outre, les bandelettes sont placées
après une incision minimale, ce qui limite le risque
d'hémorragie. Le succès est mondial.
Setting chocolate on fire!
Molten, eruption, explosion, magma… the
Liège-based chocolate-maker Galler has a
way with words when it comes to its wares.
Almost like a fashion designer’s collections,
the pralines are exhibited in shows held in
glamorous locations. Following on from
fresh flowers, air, water and sea, 2008 sees
a range of new chocolate sensations. Milk
and dark chocolate are spiked with Sichuan
pepper, Espelette pepper, pink pepper and
tea with its smoky notes, in this fiery
explosion of flavor.
Another innovation for this year also plays
with a mix of flavors, with skillfully paired
combinations of beans from around the
world producing exceptional taste
experiences. Venezuela, Papua New Guinea,
São Tomé, Tanzania, Ecuador, Santo
28. Dynamisme December 2008
IL MET LE FEU AU CHOCOLAT !
Domingo: a combination from the antipodes
that transports you to another place. This is
the aim of these “Blended” bars, with their
artful aromas of toasted bread, dried fruit,
herbs or orange flowers.
www.galler.com (Vaux-sous-Chèvremont) ■
Fusion, éruption, explosion, magma, le chocolatier
liégeois Galler a le sens de la formule ! Après les
fleurs fraîches, l’air, l’eau, la mer, 2008 voit une
déclinaison de sensations inédites de chocolat
en fusion. Poivre de Sichuan, piment d’Espelette,
poivre rose, thé aux notes fumées, le chocolat au
lait ou noir joue avec le feu et les saveurs.
Un mélange de saveurs que l’on retrouve dans
une autre innovation de cette année. De savants
jumelages de fèves d’origine débouchent sur des
saveurs rares. Venezuela, Papouasie, Arriba,
São Tomé, Tanzanie, Equateur, Saint Domingue,
ce mélange des Amériques invitent au voyage.
C’est l’objectif de ces tablettes "Blenbed" qui diffusent savamment leurs touches de pain grillé, de
fruits secs, des notes d’herbes sèches, de fleur
d’oranger.
After the black roof comes the "green"
white roof
APRÈS LE TOIT NOIR,
VOICI LE TOIT BLANC "VERT"
Imperbel has already established a global
reputation for waterproofing products,
whether for high-tech membranes or its
liquid finishing products. The Belgian market
leader, which is based in Perwez (Walloon
Brabant), exports two-thirds of its
production, throughout Europe as well as to
the United States. All its products are 100%
recyclable. The company has patented a
revolutionary recycling machine, which has
won it an EMAS Award from the European
Commission for its environmental initiatives
(energy saving and limitation of CO2
emissions). The company recycles 100% of
the waste from its production of bituminous
membranes, as well as old roofing
materials, to produce new bitumen with a
limited carbon footprint. Imperbel is now
also selling reflective white membranes that
reduce the temperature of the roof, as well
as bituminous membranes with integrated
flexible photovoltaic cells for use in roofing.
www.imperbel.be
www.derbigum.be (Perwez) ■
Imperbel, c’est une réputation mondiale qui n’est
plus à faire en matière d’étanchéité. Leader sur le
marché belge, l’entreprise perwézienne (Brabant
wallon) exporte deux tiers de sa production, dans
toute l’Europe et aux Etats-Unis. Ses produits sont
100% recyclables et recyclés dans une machine
révolutionnaire dont elle possède le brevet, ce qui
lui a valu de la Commission européenne un EMAS
Award pour ses efforts en faveur de l’environnement. L’entreprise recycle à 100% les déchets de
production de membranes bitumineuses ou de toitures en roofing, pour produire du nouveau bitume,
avec un impact CO2 limité. Imperbel commercialise déjà des membranes blanches réfléchissantes
qui diminuent la température du toit et des membranes bitumineuses intégrant des cellules photovoltaïques souples.
White biotechnology provides solutions
for industry
LA BIOTECHNOLOGIE BLANCHE AU
SERVICE DES INDUSTRIELS
Wetlands Engineering is a company involved
in the treatment of earth, water and raw
materials: it has focused its development
around a core business of developing,
producing and marketing systems based on
applied bioremediation of organic waste in
soil and water. Its techno-scientific approach
has made it a national and international
player in the world of industrial
biotechnologies, supplying innovative products
to improve environmental performance based
on chemistry, engineering, microbiology,
agronomy, toxicology, automation, electricity
and computing. Wetlands’ contribution to
sustainable development is to bring cutting-
edge environmental biotechnologies to the
market.
Its expertise has also led to involvement in
various high-profile European schemes,
including the Sophied project, which was
launched in response to the issues faced by
the color industry and aims to develop new,
sustainable processes for European industry.
www.wetlands.be (Louvain-la-Neuve) ■
Traitement de la terre, de l'eau et des matières
premières, Wetlands Engineering a axé son développement autour d'un cœur de métier : le développement, la fabrication et la commercialisation
de systèmes liés à la bioremédiation appliquée au
déchet organique, au sol et à l'eau. Une approche
technoscientifique qui en a fait un acteur national
et international dans le monde des biotechnologies
industrielles. Elle fournit des produits innovants au
service de l'environnement, en matière de chimie,
ingénierie, microbiologie, agronomie, toxicologie,
automation, électricité et informatique. Grâce à son
know-how, la société est aussi impliquée dans
divers projets européens de haut vol, tel que le projet "Sophied", qui entend résoudre les problèmes
rencontrés par l’industrie des colorants.
"Long life" rose petals
Roses have the ability to transport us to a
world of dreams and sensuality. Etienne
Rozet, the founder of Le Pétale (Vedrin), was
inspired by a television report on a Hindu
wedding to think of a way of making these
dreams accessible. After several months of
research, he resolved the issue of preserving
the petals, and since 2007, has been selling
natural rose petals packaged to retain their
freshness. The petals can be stored in the
refrigerator for about ten days. He is now
focusing on finding new distribution
channels and developing just-in-time
working methods. "In this market, speed is
very important, as well as maintaining
excellent quality of service and standards of
preservation."
www.lepetale.be (Vedrin) ■
DES PÉTALES DE
ROSE "LONGUE" DURÉE
Avec la rose, on pénètre un monde de rêve et de
sensualité. C’est en regardant un reportage sur un
mariage indou qu’Etienne Rozet, créateur de l’entreprise Le Pétale (Vedrin), a commencé à réfléchir
à la manière de rendre ce rêve accessible. Après
plusieurs mois de recherches, il a résolu la question de la conservation, et s’est lancé, depuis 2007,
dans la vente de pétales de roses naturels dans
des emballages fraîcheurs se conservant au frigo
une dizaine de jours. Aujourd’hui, ses priorités vont
à la recherche de nouveaux canaux de distribution
et au développement du travail à flux tendus.
"Dans ce marché, la rapidité est très importante,
tout en conservant une excellente qualité de service et de conservation."
Dynamisme December 2008 .29
Products
Lucimed
A new look at luminoth
A newcomer to Wallonia, Lucimed designs and
commercialises a concept stemming from research
undertaken by universities : a portable system for treating
luminotherapy. It offers the advantage of allowing the light
to naturally reach the areas of the retina which are most
receptive to treatment, while maintaining the vision and
the freedom of movement of the wearer.
LUCIMED SA
• DIRECTOR: Emmanuel Delloye
• SECOR: paramedical
• FOUNDED: 2006
• LOCATION: Villers-le-Bouille
• NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: not disclosed
• ANNUAL TURNOVER 2007: 300 000 euros
• COUNTRIES EXPORTED TO: France, Finland,
Switzerland, Canada
Out of this the Luminette
was born which resembles
a pair of spectacles and is
worn in a similar manner.
Conscious that they had to add an
ergonomic and aesthetic dimension
to the fruits of their research in order
to commercialise this product, which
wasn’t at all in their area of competence,
the researchers turned towards other
sources of inspiration.
Amongst the people who believed in
Lucimed was Jacques Tilman, Director of
Inov design agency, explains the director
of the company Emmanuel Delloye. The
modeling of the product was entrusted to
this designer. Reason told us to believe in
this project. The mission of the design
studio was clear : make the Luminette
attractive, effective from a medical point
of view and perfectly adapted to users.
What a surprise in the end ! The beauty
of the object took precedence over its
pure functionality, whilst conserving
its healing properties.
Such a result could only have been
obtained thanks to the implication of the
design studio from the beginning of the
process. There were many constraints :
ergonomy, portability, respect of medical
parameters… Not forgetting the purely
economic aspect. Concerning the
commercialization, Lucimed also chose
Urban waste vacuum cleaner
Sweeping genius!
Innovate, innovate, innovate. With its urban vacuum
cleaner Glutton® continues to swallow up entire sections
of the market. Its current technology has proven itself
around the world, but this company is not one to rest
on its laurels. Its latest development: a system that puts
out lit cigarette butts, preventing them from catching fire
within the urban waste vacuum cleaner
LANGE CHRISTIAN SA
• FOUNDED: 1988
• LOCATION: Andenne (Namur)
• LEADING PRODUCT: the "Glutton", invented in
1994, launching the diversification of the
company into urban street vacuuming.
• REVENUE: 2,500,000 EUR (2007) 2008 objective: 5 million EUR.
• MARKETS: Belgium (13% of revenue),
Rest of World (87%).
• WEBSITE: www.glutton.com
30. Dynamisme December 2008
This system is one more
additional application to the
original urban waste vacuum
cleaner that emerged from the
imagination of
Glutton founder and patron Christian
Lange some fifteen years ago.
The company’s principle characteristic is
that it is as oriented towards innovation as
exportation, including globally.
The company, which is present in around
40 countries, is now targeting new
markets in America and the mid-East.
Christian Lange’s credo remains:
“A satisfied customer is the best
ambassador for our products.” Since the
beginning, in 1994, he has been utterly
convinced of the global potential of his
invention. The facts support him: potential
exists all over, which is why he himself
sweeps around the world throughout
the year. At his side are 6 salespeople,
with 3 more in the process of being
recruited.
Performance and reliability are the two
winning sales arguments. “We make
no concessions in the matter. It’s simple:
every distributor in every country must
follow training at our site. However,
sometimes, by special request, we can
also organise the training on-site, at the
client’s location.”
Joining environment and industry
erapy
to pass it on to professionals in this
particular field.
And so the communication specialists
looked into creating a differentiating visual
identity for point of sale on the Internet.
Made of welded plastic, the main part of
the Luminette can be completely recycled.
To avoid any unnecessary pollution and
heavy handling at the end of the products
life-cycle, the battery can be easily removed
to be subjected to its own recycling circuit.
The company subcontracts, moreover,
the production and assembly of the
Luminette. Walloon partners or suppliers
have often been privileged, so as to favour
the local economy. By alleviating the
Luminette of its constraints, design was able
to make the product more attractive and
ready to use. ■
Extract from the book Wallonia + Design + Enterprise,
50 success stories , co-edited by Wallonie Design and
Luc Pire
2009, a pivotal year
Sustained growth at an unwavering rhythm, a
full order list and lots of new projects in hand:
this is the best barometer for the company’s
health. The buildings have doubled in size.
The number of employees is expected to
grow, as well. Cities place order for several
–and sometimes dozens of—machines.
2009 will be a pivotal year for the company.
The prototype for a new machine will be
tested, with the goal of being launched in
2010. Its market? The same: street cleaning
–but with a more environmentally-friendly
dimension. That’s all we know about it: except
that Christian Lange divulges that there’s no
machine like it on the market now. And there,
as well, he delegates and gives responsibility
to his employees… ■
Odometric: a "nose" to
fight olfactory pollution
The environment is a
crucial challenge,
and this is the area
in which Odometric
intends to find its
place in the sun,
with a business that
is all about odor.
Odors emitted by
industry, odors that
can affect local
people and finally,
odors that cause the
authorities to react
with regulations or
controls.
In this age of "not in my back yard",
respecting your environment also means
respecting your neighbor. Companies need
to be able to cohabit successfully in order
to secure the future of their businesses.
Odometric understands this perfectly.
According to founder Julien Delva,
positioning is one of the keys to success for
his company: "we want to be and to remain
at the heart of the three decision-making
centers when it comes to issues of odor.
We are there to serve all three parties: local
people, companies and the authorities. Any
of them can come to us, because we have
positioned ourselves as an objective
partner."
Odometric’s core target market is the
"Grande Région", the cooperation area
covering parts of Belgium, France,
Germany and Luxemburg, although it will
make its first foray into the south of France
in December. What about its Walloon
identity? "A commercial plus-point, in the
sense that our partners expect a special
human contact and have a perception of
seriousness and professionalism" - and as
Julien Delva has French blood in his veins,
he knows what he is talking about.
The company’s expertise is based on its
olfactometry laboratory and an "odor jury"
of sixty volunteers. These are the tools that
allow Odometric to help companies to
anticipate any potential problems relating
to odor nuisance. Its specialist knowledge
also means that it is able to find ways of
ODOMETRIC SA
• FOUNDED: 2008
• LOCATION: Arlon
• BUSINESS: Identifying, measuring, modeling and
evaluating the impact of sources of odor
• 2008 TURNOVER (PROVISIONAL): 110,000 EUR
• WORKFORCE: 2
• MARKETS: Grande Région, France
• WEBSITE: www.odometric.be
working out a solution acceptable to all
parties.
In addition to its human expertise and
chemistry know-how, the company may
very soon have a technological weapon in
its arsenal: Odometric is currently working
on an electronic nose by the name of Fidor.
The advantages of this technology are that
it can detect, identify and quantify odors on
a continuous basis. This innovative odor
measurement and monitoring system
appears to have a bright future ahead of it.
Landfill sites, wastewater treatment plants,
composting centers, livestock facilities,
biomethanization plants and above all
industry are the natural outlets for
Odometric’s business. You only need to
think about the agri-food, chemical, paint,
paper, coating, metal or tire industries to
realize what kind of growth margins this
technology has. ■
Dynamisme December 2008 .31
Products
See without being seen
Founded in 1965 by self-taught electronics
enthusiast Fernand Van Genechten, and
headed today by his son Philippe, BEA
(which stands for "Bureau d’Electronique
Appliquée": Bureau of Applied Electronics)
is considered a leader in detection
technology for automated doors. The
company has been propelled up through the
global ranks by revising and improving radar
technology for other applications. For
example, the Eagle, the company’s bestselling creation, is based on digital
techniques that have profitably replaced
analogue, and which are taking reliability
and user-friendliness to a new level within
the industry. Another non-negligible
advantage: BEA is very keen on "design
process" and works with an external
VOIR SANS ÊTRE VU !
designer, Pierre Nicolaï, who brings legibility
and emotion to these technicallyconstrained products.
www.bea.be (Angleur) ■
Fondée en 1965 par un autodidacte féru
d’électronique, Fernand Van Genechten, et pilotée
aujourd’hui par son fils Philippe, l’entreprise BEA
(pour Bureau d’Electronique Appliquée) est
considérée comme un des leaders de la détection
pour portes automatiques. La technologie qui a
propulsé BEA au rang mondial est celle du radar
revu et réformé à d’autres applications.
Par exemple, l’Eagle, best-seller de leurs
créations, est basé sur le traitement digital,
suppléant profitablement l’analogique et projetant
le niveau de fiabilité et de convivialité à un rang
jamais atteint dans l’industrie. Atout non
négligeable : BEA est férue de "design process" et
travaille avec un designer externe, Pierre Nicolaï,
qui confère lisibilité et émotion à ces produits
techniques contraignants.
Prescription design for leading
medical materials
DESIGN POUR MATÉRIEL MÉDICAL
DE POINTE
Come up with a box that is solid, watertight,
transparent, attractive and respects the
hygiene standards of the medical sector:
this was the challenge that industrial
design agency Phil Design Studio took on for
company Mexys. The engineers of this
Mons-based company developed
- in close cooperation with anaesthetists an electronic key baptised Xlight. Xlight
makes it possible to automatically connect
different types of medical equipment
(monitors, respirators, syringe pumps, etc),
directly to a medical PC, without any need to
change the configuration parameters. When
the key is read, the apparatus is
automatically connected. One apparatus can
be disconnected and another connected at
any time.
www.mexys.com (Mons) ■
Extract from the book Wallonia + Design + Enterprise,
Concevoir un boîtier à la fois solide, étanche,
transparent, esthétique et respectant les normes
d’hygiène en milieu médical : tel est le défi relevé
par l’agence de design industriel Phil Design Studio
pour la société Mexys. Les ingénieurs de cette
société montoise ont mis au point – en étroite
collaboration avec des anesthésistes – une clé
électronique baptisée Xlight. Celle-ci permet de
connecter automatiquement différents types de
matériel médical (moniteurs, respirateurs et
pousses-seringues…), directement sur un PC,
sans aucune intervention dans les paramètres de
configuration. Grâce à la lecture de clé, la
connexion d'un appareil est automatique. On peut à
tout moment déconnecter un appareil et en
brancher un autre.
50 success stories, co-edited by Wallonie Design and Luc Pire
TGH automatic gates: rapid and safe
access to metro stations
ACCÈS RAPIDE ET
SÛR DANS LES STATIONS DE MÉTRO
Based on its extensive expertise in public
transport, Automatic Systems, a world
leader in access control and throughput
management equipment, is introducing a
new line of high-security gates for metro
and railway revenue collection systems.
The TGH 800/810 automatic gates and the
TGL 870 interlock are specially adapted for
people with reduced mobility. The line
integrates the most stringent technical
characteristics: robust and reliable,
enhanced user safety, reduced piggybacking
and tailgating and programmable
opening/closing time. It can also
accommodate future technological
32. Dynamisme December 2008
evolutions such as enhanced detection and
Ethernet connection with supervision
systems. These gates offer the best answer
to varied technical specifications worldwide,
without compromising on configuration or
options.
www.automatic-systems.com (Wavre) ■
Sur base de son expérience dans le transport
public, Automatic Systems, leader mondial du
contrôle d’accès, a développé une nouvelle ligne de
barrières haute sécurité pour les métros et chemin
de fer. Ces nouvelles barrières sont spécialement
adaptées aux personnes à mobilité réduite :
robuste et fiables, ouverture/fermeture
programmable, elles peuvent aussi intégrer les
évolutions technologiques futures nécessitant sur
une détection accrue ou des connexions avec
des systèmes de surveillance. Ces portes offrent
la meilleure réponse pour répondre aux
spécifications techniques variées dans le monde
entier, sans compromis sur la configuration ou
des options.
Closed vial technology
How can injectable drugs like vaccines be
packaged with no risk of bacteria growth?
Instead of using traditional glass vials, which
need to be washed, sterilized, dried, filled
and then stoppered, all in a controlled
environment to limit the risk of
contamination, why not turn the process on
its head? Why not avoid all risk of
contamination by supplying the
pharmaceutical industry with ready-sealed,
clean and sterile plastic vials, and machines
to fill them without opening them (thanks to
a stopper that can be pierced and then resealed using a laser)? This is the idea that
led to the creation of Aseptic Technologies in
2002. Registered under the "Crystal®" trade
name, this closed vial technology is aimed at
a global market, which means that over 95%
LA TECHNOLOGIE DU FLACON FERMÉ
Comment conditionner des médicaments injectables (les vaccins par exemple) sans risquer que
prolifèrent les bactéries ? Plutôt que de recourir
aux traditionnels flacons en verre, qu'il faut laver,
stériliser, sécher, remplir et ensuite bouchonner,
pourquoi ne pas faire le contraire ? Pourquoi ne
pas fournir à l'industrie pharmaceutique des flacons en matière plastique déjà fermés, propres et
stériles, ainsi que les machines pour les remplir
sans les ouvrir (grâce à un bouchon pouvant être
percé et ensuite "cicatrisés" par un tir laser !), évitant ainsi tout risque de contamination ? C’est cette
idée, enregistrée sous le nom de "Crystal®", qui est
à la base de la création d’Aseptic Technologies en
2002. L’entreprise (22 collaborateurs à ce jour) réalise 95% de ses ventes à l’exportation.
of sales will derive from the export market.
The company (22 staff members to date) sold
its first machine in the United States in 2007,
and another very high capacity unit is being
sold to GSK Biologicals in Belgium. Aseptic
Technologies is targeting sales of 20
machines a year by 2015, which equates to a
market share of around 8%.
www.aseptictech.com (Gembloux) ■
Using nanotubes to create
anti-static plastics
© belpress.com
When it was founded in 2002, Nanocyl’s goal
was to become a major player in carbon
nanotube technology. Today, Nanocyl is
among the top 3 companies in this sector. Its
factory, which was inaugurated in 2007,
produces 40 tonnes of nanotubes per year,
99% of which are exported, in particular to
Asia. At the same time, researchers are also
developing a range of new products which
contain nanotubes, and which are marketed
under the names PlastiCyl, EpoCyl, AquaCyl,
BioCyl and ThermoCyl. These products,
which are utilised in the automotive and
electronics industries, make it possible to
produce electrically conductive plastic. This
DU PLASTIQUE ANTI-STATIQUE
GRÂCE AUX NANOTUBES
characteristic is particularly interesting to
protect devices from electrostatic
discharges.
www.nanocyl.com (Sambreville) ■
Fondée en 2002 avec comme ambition de devenir
un acteur majeur dans l’industrie des nanotubes
de carbone, la société Nanocyl figure aujourd’hui
dans le top 3 de son secteur. L’usine, inaugurée en
2007, produit 40 tonnes de nanotubes par an dont
99% sont exportés, en Asie notamment.
Parallèlement, les chercheurs ont aussi développé
une gamme de nouveaux produits contenant des
nanotubes, et qui sont commercialisés sous les
noms PlastiCyl, EpoCyl, AquaCyl, BioCyl et
ThermoCyl. Utilisés dans l’industrie automobile et
électronique, ces nouveaux produits permettent
notamment de rendre le plastique conducteur, ce
qui s’avère très intéressant pour très intéressant
pour protéger les composants des charges
antistatiques.
It’s tough being a fish!
A fish’s life is far from tranquil, what with
water intakes, nuclear power stations,
hydroelectric dams, pumps… Falling foul of
any of these obstacles spells the end of the
road. While working in Norway, Damien
Sonny, an expert in fish migration and
researcher at the University of Liège,
discovered infrasound barriers and proved
that they can work effectively. The principle
is to create barriers emitting sounds that
scare the fish away from these deadly
obstacles. This is the idea that led him to
create ProFish Technology. The spin-off has
already installed a series of infrasound units
at Tihange, to divert fish away from the
mouth of the canal supplying water to the
nuclear power plant. Another installation
near the hydroelectric plant at Merytherm,
on the river
Ourthe, was able
to "divert" at least
a thousand young
salmon on their
way down to the
river Meuse and
to the sea. The
young company
works with a
subcontractor,
the Gemblouxbased firm
Malcourant. Its
own offices are in
Jambes… in the Chemin des Pêcheurs
(Fishermen’s Way)!
www.profish-technology.be (Jambes) ■
DUR DUR D’ÊTRE UN POISSON !
La vie d’un poisson n’est pas un long fleuve
tranquille : prises d’eau, centrales nucléaires,
barrages hydroélectriques, pompes… S’engager
dans ces obstacles signifie la mort. Expert en
migration des poissons, un chercheur de l’ULg,
Damien Sonny, a découvert en Norvège des
barrières à infrasons, qui effraient les poissons et
les écartent des obstacles mortels. C’est sur cette
idée qu’il a créé la société ProFish Technology.
La spin-off a déjà installé une série d’unités
infrasons à Tihange et une autre installation près
de la centrale hydroélectrique de Merytherm,
sur l’Ourthe, qui a permis de "détourner" un bon
millier de jeunes saumons en descente vers la
Meuse. La jeune société travaille avec un soustraitant, les ateliers Malcourant à Gembloux.
Elle-même est installée à Jambes… chemin des
pêcheurs !
Dynamisme December 2008 .33
Products
Table Fusion breathes new life into billiards
“A table even my wife li
Despite its position as world leader in the billiards ball
sector, the company Saluc continues to challenge itself
and always stays up-to-date on the evolutions of its market.
The proof? Just take a look at the new Table Fusion:
a design dining table that conceals a regulation billiards
table. When boldness meets technology…
SALUC SA
• FOUNDED: 1923
• HEADQUARTERS: Callenelle (western Hainaut)
• MAIN ACTIVITY: world leader in the production of
billiard balls made of phenolic resin under the
brand Aramith
• CONSOLIDATED SALES: 20 million Euros
• EMPLOYEES: 181
• MARKETS: 98% of sales come from exports to
about 85 countries on the 5 continents
A billiards table at home?
They take up so much space,
and at today’s real estate
prices, who can devote an
entire room to a game? What’s more, a
classic billiards table (often not very
contemporary in design) is not always
easy to integrate into a modern
interior…When the sales people at Saluc
raised these two problems with the
company’s director, he responded by
giving his Research and Development
department a single instruction: to
design a table that “even my wife will
like”.
From those beginnings in September
2007, Table Fusion was born. These
high-design dining tables hide a
completely undetectable “surprise”
within: a real, American billiards table
that perfectly meets all the technical
specification requirements of the game.
“This product is directly targeted for the
leisure market”, explains Thierry Hoyaux,
the director of Sales & Marketing for
Europe and the Mid-East for Table
Fusion. “That means it has to give
pleasure to the eyes and add pleasure to
the game. One of our objectives is to
recentre the family around a game that
everyone can take part in, and that
creates pure and real emotions, as
opposed to the virtual sensations
generated by video games, for example.”
A beer barrel that reduces transportation co
“The future of beer: the
Marc Antoine De Mees is no stranger to bringing a
company back from the brink of failure. And that is just
what he has done with the brewery Brunehaut, more
than doubling its turnover since it was bought two years
ago. Today, it is the first in Europe to offer a recyclable
beer barrel. Both economically and ecologically
interesting, it’s definitely something to consider…
BRUNEHAUT SA
• FOUNDED: 1890
• LOCATION: Brunehaut (western Hainaut)
• BEERS PRODUCED: Saint Martin abbey beer,
regional beers and “trendy” beers
• TURNOVER: 400,000 euros in 2007
• NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 5
• MARKETS: Belgium (45%), USA Canada, Italy,
Singapore, Japan.
• WEBSITE: www.brunehaut.com
34. Dynamisme December 2008
Recyclable beer barrels are
much more than just
“ecological gadgets”.
There is of course the green aspect: a
recyclable barrel has an ecological
footprint 15 times smaller than a stainless
steel barrel (when considering the
fabrication, the two-way transport of the
returnable barrel, etc.). And in terms of the
environment, the brewery Brunehaut
definitely considers itself “responsible”.
Besides being the first brewery in Europe
to offer its abbey beer in plastic barrels,
the company has also put in place an
integrated structure that allows it to
control everything down to the cultivation
of the barley destined to be used in
brewing its beers.
Much more than an
“ecological gadgets
But the primary aspect that pushed Marc
Antoine De Mees, Managing Director, to
consider the recyclable beer barrels
developed by an Australian company and
manufactured in the USA, was the
immense financial overhead that stainless
steel barrels represent.
“Traditionally, beer is sold by the breweries
in 20, 30 or 50 litre stainless steel barrels.
The breweries today face a growing
economic problem caused by the
Futerro: for a clean and innovative technology
kes”
First sales in April 2008
Currently in the introduction phase, the first
tables were sold in April 2008. “For the
moment, sales follow our fancy”, admits
Thierry Hoyaux. “We go where the wind
takes us. The contacts and successes we
experience at one fair determine our next
prospection steps. That’s why it is
impossible for us to forecast our sales in the
coming months”. Thierry Hoyaux and his
team particularly target specialist designer
furniture stores, high-end kitchen designers,
architectural firms, as well as, of course, the
company’s usual customers, comprised of
billiards clubs and billiards wholesalers
around the world. ■
Bioplastics wrap it up
in Wallonia
Bioplastics from
vegetable origins
represent a tiny part of
world-wide plastic
production, but are
enjoying considerable
growth within that
sector. There are
innumerable
possibilities, but these
are still to be developed.
Futerro, a joint venture
born within the
framework of the
Walloon Marshal Plan,
sees a future market for
itself here.
FUTERRO
sts
one-way barrel”
enormous increase in the price of stainless
steel as well as of transportation costs. What’s
more, the brewery must clean a traditional
stainless steel barrel using chemical products
and sterilise it with steam. Then the barrel
must be filled and sent in a container by boat
and then truck to its destination. Once it has
been emptied, it is returned by truck and boat
as far as Antwerp. Then, it is again put on a
truck and sent to Brunehaut, where it is
checked, repaired if necessary, sterilised and
refilled. As much as nine months can pass
between these two refill operations.” Nine
months during which the brewery is
supporting its investment in a barrel that cost
it 70 euros and the deposit for which – fixed
globally by the beer manufacturing giants – is
barely 30 euros. This is not an inconsiderable
economic issue. Marc Antoine De Mees is
thus convinced that these “one-way” barrels
represent the future. The more so as the
company should soon have a recyclable barrel
that is both smaller and less expensive. Just
what is needed to convince hesitant
customers! ■
Big leaps in technology are often the result
of genius and hard work, but opportunity
– and sheer luck – play their part, as well.
This is the case for the Futerro project, a
joint venture set up to develop a production
technology for bioplastics from vegetable
origins. PolyLactic Acid (PLA) is a polyester
obtained from lactic acid, which itself
comes from the fermentation of sugar
(sugar beet or sugarcane) or from starch
(corn, wheat, potato or manioc). “Since
1991, we have known that PolyLactic Acid
offers interesting potential, and that you
can make polymers with it”, explains
Philippe Coszach, head of R&D at Galactic,
one of the two shareholding companies in
the joint venture. “In the meantime, our
company focussed on lactic acid, because
there was already a market, but the PLA
project continued to progress, although at
variable speeds. Our objective has always
been to develop our own production
process for PLA.”
Factory will be ready in 2009
Then, one day, an opportunity gave new life
to the project. Thanks to the Walloon
Region and its Marshall Plan, Galactic was
convinced to develop its project in Wallonia
(and not in China, where a partnership was
also possible). In particular, it joined forces
with the Research Centre of Total
Petrochemicals.
This created an ideal partnership: thanks to
its significant experience in polymer
• FUTERRO JOINT VENTURE SHAREHOLDERS
(50/50): Galactic (Escanaffles) and Total
Petrochemicals (Feluy).
• OTHER PROJECT PARTNERS: University of
Mons-Hainaut and Materia Nova Natiss.
• DESCRIPTION: development of a production
technology for PolyLactic (PLA) bioplastics from
renewable vegetable sources.
• PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT:
15+ doctors, engineers and technicians
applications, it will also bring expertise to
everything downstream. “In essence,
Futerro is following two objectives”,
comments Jean-Michel Brusson, head of
R&D for Total Petrochemicals. “Firstly, to
demonstrate that there is an economical,
reliable and performant process for
producing PLA. Secondly, to produce
standard PLA, followed by PLA with
improved properties.”
Launched in October 2007, the project will
give birth, by the end of 2009, to a pilot
plant in Escanaffles (Hainaut), capable of
producing 1500 tonnes of PLA each year.
The two project leaders specify that the
project is currently concentrating on the
packaging market. But in the longer term,
many other applications are foreseen:
computers, GSMs, fabrics, automobile
finishings, etc. ■
Dynamisme December 2008 .35
Products
Artbois is a company set up in 1989 by Patrick
Van Horenbeeck. Since 1996, it has specialized
in glued laminated timber. Since January 2007,
it has occupied new large premises in the
Gantaufet industrial area of Etalle (as some
pieces can measure up to 42 meters in length,
the company was starting to outgrow its
original workshops!). In February 2008, Patrick
Van Horenbeeck filed a patent for a new
construction system by the name of Artblock.
Essentially, the system is based on totally
modular, wooden "self-supporting blocks".
The blocks consist of two faces in glued
laminated timber connected by variable length
spacer bars, which determine the depth of
insulation. The Artblock system is attractive,
economical, fast and very practical – service
ducts are integrated into the system from the
© L'Avenir du Luxembourg
10 days to build a house!
outset. It will be used for the first time in
January 2009, for a private customer in the
Gaume region. A second order for two duplex
houses in the Drôme region is also on the
books. More generally, Artbois is aiming its
system at the institutional market: day-care
centers, offices, retirement homes, etc.
www.artblocks.be (Etalle) ■
10 JOURS
POUR CONSTRUIRE UNE MAISON !
Créée en 1989, la société Artbois (Etalle) s’est
spécialisée depuis 1996 dans le lamellé-collé.
Son créateur, Patrick Van Horenbeeck, a déposé en
février 2008 un brevet pour un nouveau système de
construction baptisé Artblock. L’idée ? Des "blocs
autoportants" en bois, complètement modulaires,
composés de 2 faces en lamellé-collé solidarisées
par des entretoises à la longueur variable, définissant l’épaisseur de l’isolation. Esthétique, économique, rapide et très pratique – les gaines techniques sont intégrées dans le système dès le
départ –, le système sera mis en œuvre pour la
première fois en janvier 2009, chez un particulier
en Gaume. Une deuxième commande concerne
deux maisons mitoyennes dans la Drôme. Artbois
vise également le marché des collectivités : crèche,
bureaux, maisons de repos etc.
Gingerbread-flavoured and therapeutic beers
Belgium is a country of beers, and over the
past few years has seen several artisanal
breweries resuscitated. Indeed, this was the
case for the "Brasserie d'Ecaussinnes"
brewery which was taken over in 2001 by
young couple Isabel and Hugues Van
Poucke. Starting out with second-hand
equipment they found in the Czech Republic,
these two enthusiasts have just acquired a
completely new brewery installation which
can produce up to 10 million litres of beer
per year. To differentiate themselves from
the competition, the young brewers offer
new beers like Cookie Beer: an 8% beer
flavoured with speculoos (Belgian
gingerbread cookies). They also produce
Loubécoise, an 8%, maple syrup flavoured
beer, as well as beers with therapeutic
BIÈRES AU SPÉCULOOS ET AUX PROPRIÉTÉS THÉRAPEUTIQUES
properties. 95% of the production is sold
abroad, primarily in Europe, but also in the
USA and Japan.
www.brasserieecaussinnes.be (Ecaussinnes) ■
Pays de la bière, la Belgique a vu ressusciter ces
dernières années plusieurs brasseries artisanales.
C’est notamment le cas de la Brasserie
d'Ecaussinnes, reprise en 2001 par un jeune couple, Isabel et Hugues Van Poucke. Ayant débuté
avec du matériel d'occasion déniché en Tchéquie,
ces deux passionnés viennent d'acquérir une toute
nouvelle installation brassicole qui peut produire
jusque 10 millions de litres de bières par an. Pour
se démarquer de la concurrence, les jeunes brasseurs proposent de nouvelles bières comme la
Cookie Beer, une bière au spéculoos 8%, la
Loubécoise, bière au sirop d'érable 8%, ou encore
des bières aux propriétés thérapeutiques. 95% de
la production est vendue à l’étranger, principalement en Europe mais aussi aux Etats-Unis et au
Japon.
"Ready made" meat dishes
The idea began to take shape two years
ago at Groupe Detry, which specializes in
fresh meats (800 metric tons sold per week)
and cured meats (240 tons/week). In
response to the way the market and people’s
eating habits were evolving, Aubel (a brand
created by the group in 1998) wanted to
differentiate itself from the competition by
developing products that could meet
demands for high quality and freshness,
but also make everyday life simpler.
Since the beginning of October 2008, it has
been marketing a range of meats with
gourmet sauces packaged in trays ready
for traditional slow cooking in the oven.
These are fresh products with a shelf life of
six days. The concept is the result of a
137,000 euro investment, and was tested
LA VIANDE "PRÊTE À L’EMPLOI"
prior to release by around 100 of the
company’s 640 employees.
www.aubel-detry.com (Aubel) ■
La réflexion a débuté il y a deux ans au sein du
Groupe Detry, spécialisé dans la commercialisation
de viandes (800 tonnes/semaine) et charcuteries
(240 tonnes/semaines). Au vu de l’évolution du
marché et des habitudes alimentaires, Aubel
(marque du groupe créée en 1998) souhaitait se
démarquer par le développement de produits
répondant à des exigences de qualité et de
fraîcheur tout en facilitant le quotidien de chacun.
Depuis début octobre 2008, elle propose une
gamme de viande assortie de sauce fine en
barquettes prête pour une cuisson lente au four
traditionnel. Il s’agit de produits frais dont la durée
de vie est de 6 jours. Ce concept, qui représente
un investissement de 137.000 euros, a été préalablement testé par une centaine de collaborateurs
sur les 640 que compte l’entreprise.
Dynamisme December 2008 .37
Products
Very healthy chicken
Created in 2002 by a joint initiative of the
University of Liege and the private sector,
CoqArd SA concerns itself with animal
production. It is, in particular, at the root
of the development of the "Coq Ardennais
Columbus®" chicken, a worldwide first in
balancing Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
The company also participated in setting
up an economic interest group that brings
together companies actively interested in
developing products to create an
Equilibrium Menu. This Menu is the object of
scientific studies into the impact of Omega 3
on human health. In November 2008,
the company partnered with Delhaize to
launch the commercialisation of the
Limousin cockerel, which is raised for
70 days in outside pens and which also
EXCELLENT POUR LA SANTÉ,
CE POULET !
provides an excellent Omega 3 /
Omega 6 ratio.
www.coqard.be
www.menuomega3.eu (Nandrin) ■
Créée en 2002 à l’initiative de l’Université de Liège
et du secteur privé, CoqArd SA s’intéresse à la production animale. C’est elle, notamment, qui est à
l’initiative du "Coq Ardennais Columbus®", une
première mondiale au niveau de l’équilibre entre
Oméga3 et Oméga6. Elle a également participé au
montage d’un Groupement d'Intérêt Economique
regroupant des sociétés actives désireuses de
développer des produits permettant de créer un
"Menu Equilibrium" qui fait l’objet d’études scientifiques dans le domaine de l’impact des Oméga 3
sur la santé humaine. En novembre 2008, elle a
lancé en partenariat avec Delhaize la commercialisation du "Coq de Pêche", élevé 70 jours en parcours extérieur et qui présente également un
excellent rapport Oméga3/Oméga6.
Champion of Europe
Eurogentec continues to lead its field.
The Liège-based biotech company has
positioned itself as a "CMO" (Contract
Manufacturing Organization), supplying very
high quality components (oligonucleotides)
for use in the molecular diagnostic kits
produced by diagnostics companies. The
manufacturing procedures for diagnostic
kits must follow European directives as well
as ISO 13485 requirements. Eurogentec has
therefore decided to adhere to these same
standards for the components that it
synthesizes (oligonucleotides). New
installations have been built, in which these
oligonucleotides can be synthesized
according to strict conditions, so as to avoid
any contamination (use of gloves, caps, shoe
protection, air filters and a positive pressure
CHAMPION D’EUROPE
environment in the various rooms).
Eurogentec was very recently audited for
ISO 13486 certification, and expects to be
officially certified at the end of December
2008. The Liège-based firm will then be the
first CMO in Europe to achieve ISO 13485
certification for the production of
oligonucleotides to be used in diagnostics.
www.eurogentec.com (Liège) ■
Eurogentec continue sa course en tête. Cette
société biotech liégeoise se positionne comme
une "CMO" (Contract Manufacturing Organisation),
fournissant des composants (oligonucléotides)
de très grande qualité en vue de les incorporer
dans des kits de diagnostics moléculaires.
Des nouvelles installations ont été crées pour permettre la synthèse de ces oligonucléotides dans
des conditions strictes pour éviter toute contamination (port de gants, bonnet, protection chaussures, filtre à air, surpression dans les différentes
salles). Très récemment Eurogentec a été audité
pour obtenir la certification ISO 13485, ce qui
devrait officiellement se faire fin décembre 2008.
A ce moment, l'entreprise liégeoise sera la
première CMO en Europe à être certifiée
ISO 13485 pour la fabrication des oligonucléotides
diagnostiques.
The next generation biopharma
Global biopharma company UCB’s concept
of ‘next generation biopharma’ is about
connecting patients, people and science in
new ways to gain fresh insights. It is about
creating a new generation of solutions
addressing the full spectrum of symptoms.
It is about networking to cross-fertilise
knowledge, expertise and resources. UCB’s
Central Nervous System research centre in
Wallonia develops medicines that make a
real difference to the lives of people around
the world. One notable example is Keppra®,
an epilepsy medication that achieved
1 billion EUR?in sales in 2007. Now, Keppra®
XR, an add-on therapy for adults, has
completed Phase III trials. Finally,
Brivaracetam, which builds on UCB’s
proprietary expertise in the SV2A protein,
38. Dynamisme December 2008
LA BIOPHARMACIE
NOUVELLE GÉNÉRATION
has the potential to become the next gold
standard for treating epilepsy and is in
Phase III trials.
www.ucb-group.com (Braine-l’Alleud) ■
La société biopharma UCB lance le concept de
«biopharma nouvelle génération ». L’idée est de
créer une nouvelle génération de solutions
couvrant le spectre complet de symptômes.
On se trouve ici au croisement de la connaissance,
de l'expertise et des ressources. Le centre de
recherche du Système nerveux central d’UCB en
Wallonie développe de tels médicaments.
Un exemple notable est Keppra®, un médicament
luttant contre l’épilepsie dont les ventes se sont
élevées à 1 milliard EUR en 2007. Le Keppra®
XR, une thérapie complémentaire pour adultes,
a passé la phase III (essais). Autre exemple,
Brivaracetam, qui se fonde sur l'expertise d’UCB
dans la protéine SV2A et a le potentiel pour devenir
le prochain standard de traitement de l'épilepsie,
est aussi en phase III (essais).
Products
New advances in meat and fish processing
Prayon has just developed a brand new
range of phosphates to improve meat and
fish processing: the "Carfosel I" range
("I" stands for "Instant"). These new products
outperform equivalent physical mixtures
in terms of solubility and dissolving speed.
These properties become particularly useful
in extreme conditions. For example, Carfosel
I salts dissolve very well even in freezing brines
or brines with a very high salt concentration,
improving the homogeneity of the brine.
The range, which has been on the market
since the beginning of 2008, will enable the
company to win new business, particularly in
the food industry. Iceland is already emerging
as an important client, in particular for salt
cod processing. Germany, which traditionally
uses very cold brining techniques, is another
NOUVELLES AVANCÉES DANS LE
TRAITEMENT DE LA VIANDE ET
DES POISSONS
market with great potential. On a larger scale,
North and South America offer great export
potential.
www.prayon.com (Engis) ■
Prayon vient de mettre au point une toute nouvelle
gamme de phosphates destinés à améliorer
le traitement de la viande et du poisson :
les "Carfosel I" (I pour Instant). L’avantage ?
Une meilleure solubilité et vitesse de dissolution
que les mélanges physiques équivalents.
Commercialisée depuis début 2008, cette gamme
va permettre à l’entreprise de conquérir de
nouveaux marchés dans le domaine alimentaire.
L’Islande se positionne déjà comme un client
important, en particulier pour le traitement de la
morue. L’Allemagne, qui par tradition emploie des
saumures très froides, constitue également un
marché à haut potentiel. A plus grande échelle,
l’Amérique du Nord et du Sud offrent de belles
perspectives d’exportation.
This is not a bucket!
It’s all the rage! The decorative household
bucket developed by OKT Benelux in
Gembloux (38 employees) is a great
example of the successful marriage
of technique and marketing. With its
marine and, more recently as winter
approaches, snowman motifs, this plastic
item completely differentiates itself from
the classic, generally banal and sad article.
The technique utilised – IML (In-Mould
Labelling, which integrates the label
directly into the moulded item during
manufacturing)—has existed for about
15 years, but this is the first time it has
been used with such large motifs.
CECI N’EST PAS UN SEAU !
This "Made in Gembloux" innovation is
a true first in the IML market.
www.okt.com (Gembloux) ■
Il fait fureur ! Le seau de ménage mis au point
par la société OKT Benelux à Gembloux
(38 personnes), est un bel exemple d’alliance
réussie entre technique et marketing.
Avec ses motifs de poissons et, plus récemment
à l’approche de l’hiver, de bonhommes de neige,
cet article en plastique se démarque totalement
du produit classique, généralement banal et triste.
La technique utilisée – l’IML ( "In Mold Labelling",
soit l’étiquette fondue dans la masse) - existe
depuis une quinzaine d’années, mais c’est la
première fois qu’elle est utilisée avec de si grands
motifs. Une innovation "made in Gembloux"
qui constitue une véritable première sur le
marché de l’IML.
Bottled cream
Corman de Goé (Verviers) is considered the
leader in butters made from technological
processes. It has been developing these
products for more than 70 years and exports
them to 80 countries, many of which are in
South-East Asia (Japan, Korea, etc). The
company’s Balade brand light creams and
butters are their flagship products, and lead
their respective markets in Belgium. During
2008, the packaging for the creams evolved,
and they are now available in very modern
25 cl bottles, combining practicality, hygiene
and fresh taste.
www.corman.be (Verviers) ■
40. Dynamisme December 2008
LA CRÈME EMBOUTEILLÉE
L’entreprise Corman de Goé (Verviers) est considérée comme le leader des beurres techniques, des
produits qu’elle développe depuis plus de 70 ans et
qu’elle exporte dans 80 pays dont une bonne partie
en Asie du sud-est (Japon, Corée). Les crèmes et
beurres allégés de la gamme Balade sont un de
leur produit phare, affichant un leadership sur leur
marché respectif en Belgique. Au cours de cette
année 2008, le packaging des crèmes a évolué et
celles-ci sont à présent disponibles en bouteille de
25cl résolument moderne, alliant practicité, hygiène et fraîcheur de goût.
Products
Automatic trailer hitch control
If you own a caravan or trailer, you have surely
already had to check that a rear light or a turn
signal is functioning properly…Did you do this
alone? Of course not! It’s a Mission Impossible
to control the circuit and at the same time to
see if the light is working, several metres
away. Liege-based SME Ceteor (7 employees)
has just launched a new product onto the
market: the Booster Tester, which of course
fulfils its primary jump-starting duty for all
types of diesel or petrol vehicles. But what’s
really new is inside the control system, which
makes it possible to check the connection
between the trailer and the vehicle – all by
yourself. This new tool was specially developed
for all workshops, garages, dealers and
installers of trailer hitches, and completes the
VOTRE REMORQUE SOUS
CONTRÔLE AUTOMATIQUE
range of this SME that exports 80% of its
production.
www.sosbooster.com (Harzé) ■
Si vous êtes propriétaire d’une caravane ou d’une
remorque, vous avez certainement déjà vérifié
le bon fonctionnement d’un feu arrière ou d’un
clignotant… Avez-vous réalisé cela seul ?
Mission impossible que d’actionner un circuit, et
simultanément de contrôler un feu situé quelques
mètres plus loin ! La PME liégeoise (17 personnes)
Ceteor vient de lancer un tout nouveau booster de
démarrage, le "Booster Tester" qui permet, non
seulement de démarrer tout type de véhicule diesel ou essence (sa fonction première), mais également de tester, seul, la bonne connexion entre
la remorque et son véhicule. Ce nouvel outil,
spécialement développé pour les ateliers, garages,
vendeurs et installateurs de prises remorques,
vient compléter la gamme de cette PME qui
exporte 80% de sa production.
Smartlock rides the rails
Alstom’s team in Charleroi is entirely
dedicated to renovating railway signalling
systems. Over the past 4 years, the
Wallonian site has particularly focussed on
the development of the new Smartlock 400
which manages ground signalling
infrastructure (a sort of "new generation"
signal box). This standard product can
satisfy the needs of many operators. In
Belgium alone, it will replace 369 signal
boxes located along the railway network with
31 new units within a very tight deadline (for
2012). The Brussels Metro is also migrating
to this new technology, within the context of
the renovation of the Shuman station.
Foreign operators, too, are very interested,
including Network Rail in the UK, and
operators from Algeria, Australia, etc.
SMARTLOCK SUR LES RAILS
www.alstom.com (Charleroi) ■
A Charleroi, des équipes d’Alstom sont entièrement dédicacées à la rénovation de la signalisation
ferroviaire. Le site carolorégien a notamment planché durant 4 ans sur le développement d’un nouvel
équipement appelé Smartlock 400 qui gère l’infrastructure de signalisation au sol (une sorte de
cabine de signalisation "nouvelle génération"). Ce
produit générique permettra de satisfaire un large
nombre d’opérateurs. Rien qu’en Belgique, il s’agit
de remplacer 368 cabines de signalisation situées
le long des voies de chemin de fer par 31 nouvelles
unités et ce dans un délai serré (pour 2012). Le
métro de Bruxelles migre aussi vers cette nouvelle
technologie, et ce dans le cadre de la rénovation de
la station de métro Schuman. Des opérateurs
étrangers sont également très intéressés, comme
Network Rail en Grande-Bretagne, mais également les opérateurs algériens, australiens, etc.
Having the sea… at home
The passion of waves prompt WOW engineers
since 1988. When creating the company, the
first objective was the achievement of a little
energy consumer wave generator thanks to the
use of resonance. In 1991, the first Wave Ball
was born after several years of research and
development. The Wave Ball won numerous
awards for its innovative aspects and is always
advanced, evolved and developed by integrating
advanced technologies from many projects that
WOW has developed. Effectively, an “Industry
and Technology" activity is born in 1995 in
WOW with the slogan "Engineering your ideas"
and develops a tender for specific projects.
Since 2002, WOW team began to dream of
bringing the sea in private pools. In this context,
the Wave Ball was not suited to private budgets
and the specific technical constraints (coverage
LA MER À LA MAISON
of the pool). New research on resonance led us
to develop a new generator integrated to private
pools, which like a giant Jacuzzi, masters air
bubbles to create waves. In 2006, this system
called "Wave It" is presented for the first time in
the World Pool Fair in Lyon and won the
innovation prize. The official launch was made
in November 2008 at the same place.
www.wowcompany.com (Naninne) ■
Connue depuis plus de 15 ans pour sa Boule à
Vagues dans les piscines publiques, aquariums,
centres de formations,... WOW met aujourd’hui les
vagues à la portée de tous en proposant le Wave It
pour les piscines privées ou publiques. Ce système
fonctionne par injection de bulles d’air à la manière
d’un jacuzzi. Dès 2002, l’équipe de WOW s’est mise
à rêver d’amener la mer dans les piscines privées.
Dans ce cadre, la Boule à Vagues n’était pas
adaptée à des budgets privés et à des contraintes
techniques spécifiques. De nouvelles recherches
sur la résonance permis de développer un nouveau
générateur. C’est en 2006 que ce système, le Wave
It (prototype) est présenté pour la première fois au
Salon Mondial de la piscine à Lyon et y remporte le
prix de l’innovation. La version commercialisable a
été présentée à ce même salon en novembre 2008.
Dynamisme December 2008 .43