10-day Flanders Technology & Innovation festival kicks off

Flemish minister president Jan Jambon launched the 10-day Flanders Technology & Innovation (FTI) festival at the Ghent Winter Circus on Friday. The festival aims to highlight Flemish expertise through a series of public events.

From 15 to 24 March, there will be events in Ghent, Kortrijk, Hasselt, Antwerp, Leuven and Brussels. Antwerp will be a meeting place for financiers, start-ups and scale-ups, while Brussels will focus on artificial intelligence, among other things.

Leuven will host information sessions and events on health and well-being, Hasselt offers insight into circularity, energy and mobility, while Ghent focuses on health technology and agrotechnology. Finally, in Kortrijk, entertainment technology is put in the spotlight. The closing night will take place in the Sportpaleis and the Lotto Arena in Antwerp.

"We will have to fully embrace technology, innovation and positivism and convince everyone to participate"

The intention of FTI is to ensure that Flanders remains "the innovation locomotive in Europe", Jambon said at the launch. Flanders must still be as prosperous in 2030 as it is today. To achieve this, the region will turn to renewal and innovation.

"Companies and sectors must reinvent themselves. That will not happen automatically, but we will certainly not get there by being negative," Jambon said. “We will have to fully embrace technology, innovation and positivism and convince everyone to participate.”

Through the festival, he hopes "to mobilise many thousands of people and to encourage young people to choose a technological profession". "The Flanders Technology & Innovation festival wants to send a wave of enthusiasm for technology through Flanders. We will show the world what we have to offer.'


Flemish Innovation minister Jo Brouns said the festival should "inspire the next generations to choose STEM fields and invite them to be enterprising. Because no matter how great the challenges are, it will always be enterprising people who will come up with answers."

The festival is a successor to the Flanders Technology fair that first took place more than 40 years ago, in Ghent, under then minister president Gaston Geens. The intention is for the festival to take place every two years.

The full programme, with more than 90 events, can be found at fti.events.

#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JILL DELSAUX

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