Region Brussels

Brussels, capital of digital transformation

It is clear that the region of Brussels and its industry are starting to feel the impact of the digital transformation. This is confirmed by two remarkable observations: first, Brussels has positioned itself as the absolute leader when it comes down the number of digital product manufacturers in Belgian cities during the last five years. Second, ICT is the driving force for innovation within the Brussels industry. During the last few years we have observed in our services a significant increase of the percentage of ICT related technical innovations: from 63% in 2007 to 93% in 2017. This dominant trend confirms the impact of the digital transformation for companies. 

Software and, by extension ICT in general, results in fundamental transformation in nearly every business sector. The software industry in Brussels has become one of the main drivers of differentiation and an important "value creator" for a large number of products and services. Digital technology has an impact on the processes, products and services and the underlying company business models.

Since 2004 Sirris, in collaboration with Agoria and supported by Innoviris, has realised a number of structural initiatives to strengthen the technological industry in Brussels. During the last ten years Sirris has provided advice in 1,290 individual cases for more than 300 companies in the Brussels area on specific technical innovations. On top of this, more than 100 in-depth content sessions have been organised with company groups, more than 50 research consortia set up with both companies in Brussels as research centres and often embedded in an international context. 56 large multi-annual industrial innovation projects have furthermore been set up at companies in the Brussels area which have had a major and disruptive positive effect on their R&D portfolio. This intense output was supported by a few hundred publications and events on topics relevant for the Brussels industry and region.

10 years of coaching High-Tech industry

Smart Connected Innovation Lab helps hardware and software manufacturers to cooperate

The fact that hardware and software are integrated more and more often creates opportunities for both worlds. Hardware manufacturers that want to expand the digital functionality of their products, software developers who want to link to physical products and researchers who want to explore options can apply to the new infrastructure that Sirris has prepared for them: the Smart Connected Innovation Lab.

Companies can assess the feasibility of their ideas, request advice regarding options and help with the implementation of their innovation to integrate hardware and software into smart products. Sirris makes the required resources available. Sirris explores the opportunities for innovation in hardware and software integration for companies by building demonstrators. pushes digitalisation in Brussels

The new Smart Connected Innovation Lab also has a research centre and a gateway to the broad ICT expertise of Sirris, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The Lab follows from the project, which was set up with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project. and ends at 31 December 2020, and aims to help Brussels grow to become a prominent hub for research and development, innovation and technological valorisation within the ICT sector. The project counts on partners Sirris, Agoria, Innoviris, Software.Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and coordinator Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) for this. Within various ICT R&D projects have been set up in a number of relevant domains, such as education, e-health, mobility, internet of things and 5G.

Sirris, NGI point of contact for Flanders and Brussels

Next Generation Internet (NGI), a high priority in the H2020 ICT programme for 2018-2020, aims to guarantee a more human-focussed Internet that supports European values such as openness, cross-border cooperation, decentralisation, inclusivity, transparency and the protection of privacy. The large-scale long-term initiative is mainly focussed on new technology domains, including improving the protection of personal data, new internet architectures, decentralised data systems and new exploration and identification tools.

VLAIO and Innoviris have designated Sirris as the national contact for Flanders and Brussels. NGI points of contact act as the link between important future actors and will raise awareness for the initiative, stimulate it and build and expand the NGI ecosystem. The NGI point of contact provides feedback on the input of these groups to develop the NGI initiative.

Workshop with stakeholders from Brussels and Flanders 

NGI workshops are organised to collect input and stimulate the work of the European Commission. Innoviris, VLAIO and Sirris join forces on 21 February to organise a joint workshop in Brussels. 30 stakeholders were present.