Antwerp, a city with strong ecosystems and ideal conference facilities

The world's largest cluster congress is coming to Antwerp. Between 8 - 10 October, our city will host the 2019 TCI Network Global Conference, a cluster event for business leaders, academics and representatives from various governments. Visitors will listen to talks from more than 55 experts, choose from a wide range of cluster tours to follow developments in their chosen field, and finally, everyone will have an opportunity to build connections with the more than 400 (inter)national visitors. Antwerp is really able to demonstrate its ability to act as a model for the international cluster operation, in which cooperation and innovation are so important.

Flanders Meeting&Convention Center Antwerp
Photo: Flanders Meeting&Convention Center Antwerp | Jonas Verhulst

Uniting experts in Antwerp

As a leading global network, TCI Network unites organizations and professionals with expertise in cluster policies and competitiveness. These experts come together once a year to share knowledge and experience in an open, flexible and practical context. This year, Antwerp will be a fitting scene for this event. Hosting the 2019 TCI Network Global Conference gives Flanders, and particularly Antwerp, the unique chance to showcase its clusters and expertise in cluster development while providing ample opportunity for international networking. This hosting opportunity was secured by Flanders Investment & Trade in partnership with Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and VisitFlanders.

Three innovation clusters

Antwerp is the place where innovation can grow. After all, the city is in an excellent position thanks to it being the home of the second largest port in Europe, the second largest chemical cluster in the world, and metropolitan ambitions such as those Antwerp has for mobility. During TCI 2019, participants will become acquainted with the three innovation clusters Antwerp is developing. These are: digital innovation (including inseparable cooperation between the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence), sustainable chemistry, and productdesign. Antwerp is clearly a city full of openings:

  • The centrepiece for Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence is The Beacon. Around 50 companies have now established themselves around the University of Antwerp and the imec knowledge institute. The Beacon focuses on port, industry, and smart city (including smart mobility).
  • Sustainable chemistry revolves around the BlueChem incubator. The direct link with the chemical cluster is an asset that is unique to Antwerp. BlueChem is located at Blue Gate Antwerp, a business park that focuses entirely on the circular economy.
  • Finally, 1 out of 10 companies from Antwerp are part of the creative cluster of product and process design, an essential source of innovation for the broader economy thanks to its focus on design-thinking.

It is the unique combination of these  growing and vibrant ecosystems for innovation and the collaboration with strong economic clusters open to innovation that makes Antwerp a city of opportunities.

Antwerp, congress city

Antwerp welcomes visitors to the three-day TCI2019 congress as befits such an outstanding congress city: including a reception in the recently renewed FMCCA, Flanders Meeting & Convention Center in Antwerp.  This location, near the Antwerp Central train station with international connections, invites conference visitors to get to know Antwerp as a metropolis on a human scale. Because of its worldly character in a pocket format, conference visitors can move through the city and it's centre with ease, while all its assets are never far away.

More information

Last year, innovation hub The Beacon made international fame in the field of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence applications, proving that technology can provide the answer to complex urban issues. Top technological talent from 22 nationalities is active there in 64 companies and research institutions, and during 106 events, a good 4,000 experts in digital innovation were reached at home and abroad. In order to respond even better to the rapid developments in the technological landscape, and to confirm their commitment, the founding partners have now joined forces in vzw The Beacon. This new structure allows them to further grow into a European reference point for the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence applications.
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