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New Materials

New materials cluster
Invest in West Flanders

Pioneering change

Circelarity in Economics

New materials cluster

West Flanders has a long history in textiles. Synthetic fibres and plastics have further advanced the strong reputation of the province, with many West Flemish companies leading the world in materials innovation. The new materials cluster catalyses and supports the development of this core industry.

New Materials research

World-class source of knowledge

The new materials expert group includes Catalisti, Centexbel, Howest, KU Leuven, Sirris, Ghent University, and VIVES. The new materials open innovation hall gathers their shared competencies and equipment for use in research on the use of recycled materials in plastics processing and textiles.

Covered themes include thermoplastic polymers and composites, process optimisation and new production processes, and textile and plastics recycling.

Cluster partnerships

Academy for the Future
TUA_West
Fedustria
Catalisti
VOKA West Flanders
Unizo
Essencia
Agoria
Academy for the Future
With the Academy for the Future the Province of West Flanders links the requirements of the business sector and future-oriented training courses for job seekers, workers and entrepreneurs. The Academy is also actively involved in the promotion of jobs and relevant training courses.
TUA_West
TUA West - Technical University Alliance for economic transformation in West Flanders - is a unique partnership between the Province of West Flanders, the Howest and VIVES colleges, the universities of Ghent and KU Leuven, and the employers’ organisations Voka and UNIZO. TUA West promotes and fosters excellence in higher education and research in West Flanders.
Fedustria
Fedustria is the Belgian federation of the textile, wood and furniture industries. The main aim of Fedustria is to sustain and strengthen these industrial activities in Belgium and represents some 1,850 production companies, including 90% of SMEs. Their combined turnover is about €10,2 billion and they provide about 40,000 direct jobs. Exports account for approximately 70% of turnover.
Catalisti
Catalisti, spearhead cluster for Chemistry and Plastics, serves companies in Flanders by building partnerships between individual companies as well as with research institutions, sector associations and governments as a neutral partner. Catalisti is catalysing innovation and transition in chemistry and plastics.
VOKA West Flanders
Voka - Chamber of Commerce West Flanders represents more than 3,200 small, medium and large enterprises throughout the province. Voka offers the entrepreneur access to the influence, knowledge and network of the largest entrepreneurs' organization in Flanders.
Unizo
UNIZO (Organisation for the Self-Employed and SMEs) is a Flemish organisation for self-employed entrepreneurs. UNIZO West Flanders unites around 15,000 independent entrepreneurs and liberal professions, from starters to SMEs.
Essencia
Essenscia is a multisectoral umbrella Belgian association that represents the numerous sectors of activities in the field of chemicals and the life sciences. It includes 750 companies representing more than 95% of the overall turnover in the sector.
ABV is the professional association of and for the vlaiers and flax fiber processors. ABV wants to unite and represent all companies that have an interest in the cultivation, processing and commercialization of straw flax and directly derived products (eg. fibers).
Agoria
Agoria paves the way for all technology-inspired companies in Belgium that increase our quality of life through the development and application of technological innovations. These companies employ +300,000 people. Agoria’s services are built on following pillars: lobby, consultancy services, business development and the creation of an optimal business environment.