The anniversary of 10 years BiR&D on march 20th 2018

Posted on: 17/03/2018

The 10th anniversary of BiR&D was celebrated at the Palace of the Academies in the presence of His Majesty The King.

More than 200 attendees assembled in the majestic Throne Room for a sublime and memorable academic session.

The opening video briefed the audience how BiR&D was raised as an initiative of Baron Buysse of Bekaert together with a handful of large companies with a big R&D facility in Belgium. It was at the Royal Palace around the table with Prince Filip that BiR&D found ground in 2008. A super initiative to build a network & initiate the birth of an ecosystem in Belgium :

Connecting the dots was one of the central themes of  the academic session.  Connecting the CTO’s and R&D managers was an important first step at the start of BiR&D. 10 years later however, this is no longer sufficient to cope with the emerging challenges in our environment. Open innovation and inter-disciplinary cooperation across a broad field of public and private R&D stakeholders is a must. BiR&D, representing a direct force of approximately 10000 R&D people in Belgium and 75000 worldwide, is playing a pivotal role in this by stimulating the collaboration between its members and between the members and academia, research centers, SMEs and start-ups. By inserting their own intrinsic value, a win-win for all is created, allowing to move faster and adapt swifter to the new reality. The governmental support through different federal and regional initiatives is strongly appreciated. It provides often an extra stimulus for cooperation.

Anticipating tomorrow is the second theme of today’s event. BiR&D members will highlighted  how BiR&D is providing answers to 4 major societal challenges: energy, raw materials & resource efficiency, food and health. It is obvious that working across sectorial boundaries, performing joint pre-competitive R&D, applying new models of innovation, using new R&D methodologies and handling complexity and ambiguity are mandatory to succeed in the next decade.

Enjoy the answers of the BiR&D members to the societal challenges :

Energy :

Raw materials & resource efficiency

Food & Beverage


During the academic session 2 awards were given to 2 young scientists for their excellent multidisciplinary work – see more in the news article about the award.