WBI is the Foreign Ministry of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels.

The Federation Wallonia-Brussels stands for the union of all francophone Belgians in one institutional community. It is responsible for all areas that concern culture or the population, in particular education, basic research, cultural policy, the audiovisual sector, youth and sport.

In this context, Mathieu Quintyn, the Science Officer for Germany at Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI – Ministry of Foreign Affairs), has opened a liaison office at the Belgian Honorary Consulate in Munich. He is therefore the contact person for research programmes and cluster activities in Germany. He is also responsible for exchange programmes among researchers.

XR – Technologies in Wallonia: great potential for cooperation

In the field of XR technologies, there are numerous opportunities for cooperation in Wallonia. For example, Prof. Dr. Jacques Verly (University of Liège) is co-founder and member of the European network XR4ALL. There is also NUMEDIART, the research institute for creative technologies at the University of MONS. The TWIST cluster is a media cluster whose mission is to strengthen the innovation and growth of the media industry in Wallonia…etc.

As an international partner of XR HUB BAVARIA, Mathieu Quintyn (WBI), the German Science Council, wishes to strengthen synergies and partnerships between companies, training centres, public and private research institutions in the two regions (Wallonia-Bruxelles/Bavaria). This initiative is supported by KIKK Festival – the festival for creative and digital culture in Namur. Created in 2011, the non-profit organisation KIKK promotes creative and digital culture and organises the KIKK Festival every year, which is now internationally renowned. Every year, a delegation from Bavaria comes to the festival to exchange ideas on creative coding, data visualization, VR/AR, storytelling, machine learning, bioart, design, research, etc.

Wallonia-Brussels: a strong ecosystem for research, innovation and creativity

Wallonia enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of basic and applied research and is internationally recognised as a leading region in technological development. It owes this primarily to the quality and excellence of its colleges and universities. This technological know-how contributes efficiently to the creation and development of top international companies. More than 200 spin-offs have been created from university research and are now conquering international markets as true high-tech showpiece companies.

One reason for this success is the supporting programme CREATIVE WALLONIA. This framework programme has placed creativity and innovation at the heart of an offensive strategy aimed at encouraging the emergence of a general culture of innovation in Wallonia, with close cooperation between educational institutions, businesses, networks, ICT and international players. In 2013, Wallonia was selected by the EU from a total of 45 candidate regions and was named one of the Creative Districts of Europe, which is an international recognition of its enormous development and innovation potential.

Mathieu Quentin