Josip Jezic von Gesseneck    2016-04-21

TEDx Binnenhof

Brussels showcases regional innovation

Brussels, Innovation

The Bike Project is a project by industrial design students to create a bike featuring 3D printed parts for versatility in design and at-home part regeneration.

The TEDxBinnenhof screening ( hosted by the ING has captured the essence of innovation in Europe.

Laurent Hublot, Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo, highlighted the following factors for innovation in Europe:
1) attracting talent,
2) a single market,
3) digital infrastructure,
4) access to capital.

Belgium is too small to act alone, there its only survival innovation strategy can be to pool venture capital resources.

Frank Stockx, managing director at ING, highlighted the importance of perseverance in the innovation process: "breathe and don't give up: tenacity is the most understated asset people have."

Several innovations in different domains were show-cased including IRIS for dissemination of research with use of AI crowd-sourcing towards open-source software and even hardware, and the Turbulent micro-hydrogenerators based on decentralization, biomimetics, and compact, modular designs. Finally Steckx hemp cloths reminded us that innovation isn't only found in the high-tech and digital sectors.

Ambassador of the Netherlands in Belgium, Maryem van den Heuvel, closed the event by re-iterating that it is only the entrepreneurial spirit which perseveres that may transform an idea into an innovation. This spirit must also reconcile with the reality that along the way, many ideas will never make it through. Finally, the central theme of internationalization to the EU market was again cast into the spotlight as key especially for such small markets as Belgium.

It is with this reasoning that CHAMBER.BE supports initiatives as well as long-term strategies in Southeast Europe to promote enterpreneurship, including the required capital and infrastructure at the national level, as well as promoting the quintessential market cooperation at both the regional and EU level for Southeast Europe. ■