Belgium receives innovation award at the technology fair in Las Vegas

Belgium received the Ínnovation Champions Award along with 11 other countries and the European Union at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Thursday. The Belgian consul general in Los Angeles travelled specially to Nevada to receive the award.

"Belgium pursues policies that encourage innovation and enable entrepreneurs to develop technologies that improve the lives of millions of people", said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The trade association represents the US technology industry and organises CES.

The award is based on objective criteria such as how governments adopt new, breakthrough technologies or business models, such as the sharing economy or self-driving vehicles. It also looks at the tax system, environmental protection, the speed and cost of broadband internet, diversity, gender relations in the workplace and even freedom of expression.

Made in Belgium

Gunther Sleeuwagen, consul general in Los Angeles, described the award as a "wonderful opportunity to recognise 'Made in Belgium' technological innovation that combines resources and creative thinking to find solutions to people's problems around the world."

After two Covid editions, the most significant technology fair Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off on Thursday, 5 January, in Las Vegas, US. More than 3,100 companies, including some Belgian companies, are coming to show their latest technological gadgets.

Among them are 16 start-ups and SMEs that will have a place at the booth of the Walloon export agency Awex. The Flemish and Brussels export agencies did not invest in a group booth. As a result, CES' official list of participants includes more Walloon than Flemish and Brussels companies.

"Flemish technology companies and start-ups are asking for a booth at other US technology fairs with a strong B2B focus"

Flemish companies were not that interested in a booth at CES. It is also not the optimal formula, CEO Joy Donné of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) told DataNews. "Flemish technology companies and start-ups are asking for a booth at other US technology fairs with a strong B2B focus. Therefore, FIT will be present at RSA (fintech), GDC (gaming) and South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2023." Nevertheless, an attaché from FIT will be present at CES for individual support.

On the first day of the technology fair, car enthusiasts were already treated to some firsts. Sony and Honda previewed the prototype of a new electric car, which will be sold under the Afeela brand. Both carmakers announced their collaboration in March last year. More automakers are forming alliances with industry partners to accelerate the transition to electric driving.

BMW also came to CES with a new prototype: the BMW i Vision. The car has a body that can change colour. Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show, BMW presented a car that could change shades of grey, but not full colour.

The Consumer Electronics Show runs until Sunday, 8 January.


Illustration shows the stand of AWEX Walloon export agency at the Consumer Eletronics Show in La Vegas, USA, Wednesday 05 January 2022.

© BELGA PHOTO and VIDEO Juan Godbille

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