Digitisation definitively breaks through in our companies

In 2019, few could have predicted how 2020 would turn out. Sirris had already been preparing itself and the industry for a digitised future, to ensure businesses are more resilient, agile and stronger. Find out more in our annual report.

We now know that the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a major negative impact on our manufacturing and technology industries. Sirris is ready to contribute to the economic relaunch, though actually, we've been prepared for many years. Awareness of the importance of digitisation and how cooperation can make a difference has only increased faster and to a greater extent over the past few months. The relevance of digitisation will probably increase further in the next few years and we are here to help companies anticipate this. As a collaborative centre, we are and will remain available to assist our member companies in as many ways as we can. With practical advice, innovative processes, applied research, joint innovation, high-tech infrastructure and so much more, we contribute to the future-proofing of businesses, products and factories.

Future-proofing more relevant than ever

Industrial and technology companies need to do more than simply adapt to the new normal. In this highly competitive landscape, they need to distinguish themselves via innovation and digitisation now more than ever. Sirris is here to provide assistance. In the last few years, we have aligned our services to 16 major technological trends in Belgian industry. We make our expertise and infrastructure available to help companies address technology challenges and to future-proof their business, product or factory.

Many of our member companies have approached us over the past year: 1,322 companies have called on Sirris and our 150 experts in technology. Together we have worked on nearly 1,400 innovation projects and 123 joint R&D projects, involving multiple parties. Sirris has invested €1.3 million in its own infrastructure. (Read the 2019 annual report online.)

Investing in the future

We have built a 4.0 Made Real pilot factory at our sites in Hasselt and Liège, to assist the many companies currently investing in 'Factory of the Future' technologies as part of Industry 4.0.

Knowledge and expertise has been built up on the Product of the Future, but businesses are struggling to scale this up to industrial production. We help companies add value through their products, by making them smaller, lighter, smart and connected.

Regarding the Business of the Future, we have attained a clear position in the fields of data innovation and scaling of businesses. We have also delved into relevant topics such as artificial intelligence, digital servitisation and the circular economy.

Read more about how we have helped companies in these three broad areas in the 2019 annual report, which includes 34 business cases in a wide range of sectors.

Resilience is crucial

Building on their practical experience with and at member companies, Sirris experts realise that resilience is crucial, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the economy is slowly getting back on track, we need to ask ourselves how resilient our companies are, i.e. whether they are able to invest in innovation and ensure crisis-proof and efficient production. Now more than ever, Sirris is ready to help companies and fulfil its mission as a collaborative centre.