New markets, new competitors, new technologies and new social requirements are just some of the major challenges faced by the manufacturing industry here in Belgium. If our businesses are to be made future-proof, a comprehensive approach needs to be taken.
If a manufacturing company wants to remain successful in the future, it must:
• lower its CO2 emissions, energy consumption and use of materials;
• equip itself with state-of-the-art production facilities;
• foster the participation, creativity and autonomy of its staff;
• develop products that have high added value;
• be capable of responding quickly to constantly changing market demand.
A made-to-measure action plan
An efficient manufacturing industry is vitally important to the prosperity of our region, because if even more manufacturing disappears from Europe, it will irrevocably be followed by planning, design, research and development, provisionsupply, logistics, technical education, engineering faculties and a number of other support services.
The aim of the Made Different action plan is for the Flemish government, the technology federation Agoria and its joint research centre Sirris to strengthen Flanders' manufacturing industry and make it a world leader. The Made Different action plan is designed to give the manufacturing industry in Flanders a future in the industrial landscape of the 21st century. Our approach entails raising awareness, providing information and offering specific guidance. To ensure the latter, we have designed seven paths, each of which spotlights one of the seven necessary transformations our companies need to undergo to become real ‘Factories of the Future’.
50 companies in 2018
So far a handful of companies have successfully followed this path , whereas dozens more are currently working through one or more transformations. By 2018, we want to have at least 50 companies fully ready and 500 businesses taking their first steps towards becoming Factories of the Future.