Supported innovation projects in diamond sector

Antwerp’s diamond companies have put the city on the world map as a diamond capital. A status that Antwerp wants to maintain and strengthen. That is why the city launched the five-year innovation programme “Antwerp Diamond Innovation Opportunities” in 2020.
In 2022, together with the agency Verhaert | Masters in Innovation the city supervised 4 innovative projects.

© Victoriano Moreno

Innovation for the entire sector

Diamond companies have the opportunity to collaborate free of charge with Verhaert | Masters in Innovation. The programme is fully funded by the city. The selected companies are asked to share the knowledge they have acquired with the sector. 

The scope of the collaboration is determined on the basis of six areas where there are growth opportunities: financing, digitisation, automation and robotisation, data analysis, cross-sectoral collaboration and synthetic trade and production.

End of 2021, four companies - Almax easyLab, Chroma Diamonds, VR Diamonds and Antwerp World Diamond Center - presented an innovative concept within one of these six domains and were selected to participate. Over the past year, they have further developed their innovative idea.

Update 2022 | projects & lessons learned

The 4 innovation projects and lessons learned are described in detail in the 2022 report. We briefly introduce them below:


Almax easyLab finds lab for advanced measurements

Innovation in digitisation | cross-sectoral collaboration

Diamonds for optical applications are subject to demanding studies at Almax easyLab, but the company failed to measure traces of nitrogen and boron in ppb levels.

Thanks to the extensive network of innovation agency Verhaert, the company managed to find a specific measuring method. The referral to a research institution that can carry out these measurements also proved successful. This new collaboration enables further growth for Almax easyLab.

Chroma Diamonds develops prototype measuring instrument for coloured diamond

Innovation in automation | data analytics

Because the estimation and maximisation of colour intensity is extremely important when processing coloured diamonds, the Chroma Diamonds team started developing an autonomous device that can measure colour. A calibrated set-up combined with input from an AI database predicts the colour as accurately as possible.

During the process, a quick design was drawn up with the required TOIs (items to be developed). This design forms the basis for further development of the measuring device.

VR Diamonds embraces digital acquisition and marketing

Innovation in digitisation

To ensure the company’s growth, VR Diamonds started looking for new marketing opportunities. They found them in innovative acquisition and greater commitment to digital marketing.

Together with Verhaert, they performed a thorough analysis of their own products and customer profiles out of various industrial sectors. This knowledge was organised and translated into valuable new business opportunities.

AWDC: How to facilitate onboarding at banks

Innovation in financing | digitisation | cross-sectoral collaboration 

The AML (Anti-Money Laundering) & Compliance Help Desk of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) supports diamond-related companies when they are looking for a suitable financial partner. A task that has become increasingly challenging in recent years.

During this innovation process, AWDC and Verhaert worked together with various banking and AML experts. The result is a concept of a digital platform that helps diamond companies efficiently share all the required onboarding information with the bank. Such a digital database can increase trust with financial institutions and reduce the perceived onboarding costs.

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Supported innovations in 2021

You can find the supported innovations in this 2021 report.

Rewatch the entire 2021 webinar via YouTube, in which the 4 innovation projects from 2021 are also presented.