The industry transforms, Sirris evolves with them

Herman DeracheIn its continuing efforts to support technological innovation in companies and ensure a long-term impact, Sirris is continuing to work on substantive innovations itself, as well as supporting others, and just keeps on raising the bar. Accordingly, in 2016 we embarked on a three-year transformation of our own with a view to staying one step ahead of companies and so helping them even more effectively in their innovative endeavours.

Multiannual plan 2017-2020

In all its deliberations and decisions, Sirris always remembers its core purpose as a collective centre for the technology industry, namely to help companies to realise technological innovations which ensure sustainable economic growth. This remains an absolute necessity today, as it will in future, given the ever increasing pace of change facing companies and the ever more radical nature of the changes going on. Against this backdrop, they can count on Sirris's support in making the right technological choices and translating their innovation into marketable products or services, improved processes, or enhanced business development. The landscape they are operating in is evolving all the time. Where there is change, our companies must follow and Sirris will make this move with them.

 

In a bid to provide some specific direction in this regard, we devised our "Masterplan Innovation"  in 2015, including industrial trends, which we grouped into the themes "Business of the Future", "Product of the Future", and "Factory of the Future".  The plan, which is designed as a practical reference framework, is based on three basic components, which are well known in industry: companies do business, for which they develop goods and services, and these goods and services must then be produced. 

 

However, one unanswered question still remained, namely 'what capabilities and necessary skills do we at Sirris want to focus on in our support for industry?' We extracted the answer from a round of consultations with the companies in our sector, and this now forms the basis for our portfolio.

 

What about manufacturing smart products and also – and above all – rolling these out on an industrial scale? And how could you make money from this? The production environment for achieving this is also absolutely crucial. Here a big role is played by the digital revolution, that distinctive domain involving its own special skills which first have to be mastered. In this light, we are going to focus all out on investing in new resources and personnel over the next three years.

Cross-functional approach

In 2016, our companies could count on us in 1,734 industrial projects and 126 collective research projects, and we were responsible for numerous interventions at 1,334 companies. All this resulted in a turnover of some €23 million, meaning that Sirris has the resources it needs to continue investing, now and in future, in innovation to support our companies. Especially in these turbulent times, we want to keep playing a key role for industry, with our multidisciplinary character and cross-functional approach proving real assets as they grapple with technological challenges.

 

A detailed survey conducted in the spring and involving 500 companies operating in industry and hailing from all over the country showed that a massive 50% of the respondents automatically think of Sirris when they need assistance with technological innovation matters, while we are the first choice for 35%. Since a similar survey in 2011 we have not only become more familiar to industry, with the percentage of those who were well aware of us rising from 33% in 2011 to 50% in 2016, but the number of unsolicited requests for support from us has shot up 10%, once again very much confirming our strong reputation as a collective center for industry with an expert knowledge of groundbreaking new technologies.

 

Jaarverslag 2016         Rapport Annuel 2016 en pdf

Download the annual report 2016 as pdf

in Dutch

In French