The Belgian manufacturing industry will benefit from additional investments of hundreds of million euros in the coming years. “We want to bring the new industrial revolution to Belgium,” announces Urbain Vandeurzen. He and other Belgian top entrepreneurs have set up a new investment fund to do just that.
We know Urbain Vandeurzen from LMS International. Vandeurzen founded the specialist company in simulation and test solutions for the automotive and other industries, grew the business, and sold it to Siemens in 2013. Since then, he has played an ever greater role in the Belgian manufacturing industry, as former chairman of the Flemish investment company Gimv, as chairman of Flanders Make, and now as an investor.
The Belgian investment fund is aimed at 3 segments:
1. technology designed to make factories and production processes smarter
2. digital healthcare
3. retail & consumer
Smart factories in Belgium
“We want to breathe new life into the manufacturing industry in Belgium and the Netherlands,” Urbain Vandeurzen said in De Tijd newspaper. “Our fund encourages Industry 4.0 companies, an industrial revolution of smart factories equipped with autonomous, networked machines which are controlled by big data and computing power and manufacturing customised products at the cost of mass production.”
Vandeurzen and Co will invest in companies that have already something to show: a high-tech product that is finalised, generates revenue and is exported.
Focus on R&D and internationalisation
There is no doubt as to which pillars Vandeurzen will support in the companies in which he invests.
Didn’t he already reveal his recipe for success to BeAutomotive? “Specialisation, extensive innovation, partnership and development centres.“
“Before, the big foreign companies used to call the shots in Belgium. Without them, there was no work. Now, jobs and innovation can be created by our own entrepreneurs. I therefore advocate a strong internal R&D department, in conjunction with internationalisation. Companies should seize the real growth opportunities, in Asia, which accounts for half of the world economy.”