And while this may sound strange, international players consider the region’s small size to be an asset, says Loeckx.
“Flanders is the perfect test market for new smart energy technology. Our region is small but complex, with a complicated state structure, many knowledge institutions and multi-layered legislation. We are thus able to devise complex solutions and test them against a real energy system. This paves the way for a “triple helix” collaboration where companies, knowledge institutions and governments work together. This enables them to optimise products with a reasonable test basis.”
The international approach is a striking leitmotiv in Loeckx’s discourse. “But this makes perfect sense, given our connections with other countries. Our systems are an energy hub for Europe, for both gas and electricity. Flux50 organises international missions with Flemish companies, to mutually share knowledge there.
We are involved in numerous partnerships, such as the International Clean Network, European technology and innovation platforms and the European Digital Innovation Hubs.”