Atlas Copco

Thanks to our cooperation with Flanders Make, we can remain at the forefront of innovation

Hans Vande Sande works as Technology Leader within the field of smart sensors and data-driven intelligence for Atlas Copco, a global player in industrial productivity solutions and services. “We develop smart, connected machines of the future”, Hans explains. “To be able to remain at the forefront of innovation, we closely follow the developments in the industry and in the academic world. In this context, our cooperation with Flanders Make is extremely important for us.”

Atlas Copco was one of the first industrial partners of Flanders Make. It was one of thirteen founding fathers who set up FMTC, which later developed into Flanders Make. “The cooperation with Flanders Make is extremely important for Atlas Copco”, explains Hans Vande Sande. “As a pivot between the academic world and the business community, Flanders Make is in a perfect position to follow scientific and technological developments from close by. Thanks to the close ties with business managers and researchers alike, they know more about everything that is going on in terms of innovation than anyone else. As such, Flanders Make has developed into a genuine technology watchdog. Besides, the organisation knows its members and their needs. Their staff will always inform you whenever they’ve detected something that may be of interest to you as a member company. Meanwhile, I’m pleased to say, I’ve received quite a few inspiring mails.” (smiles) 

Interesting cross-fertilisation between members

There is also a good mutual understanding between Flanders Make members. “Most of the companies are not competing with one another. Therefore, the activities and events organised by Flanders Make are excellent opportunities to exchange experiences. Everyone has an open mind and is willing to share knowledge. This creates an interesting cross-fertilisation.”

Bilateral research

“It is not at all obvious to acquire the right knowledge when setting up an innovation project. Still, through Flanders Make and its bilateral research projects we can turn to a pool of specialists who – thanks to their extensive research experience for a wide range of companies – always have a broad view of all potential applications of the technology they are working on. These researchers are standing with both feet in reality and know what they are talking about. This makes it easier to make rapid progress.”

We also participate in so-called ICON projects for Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research. “Within these projects, Flanders Make, universities and industrial partners will search for a common base for their project and then apply for a grant from the Flemish Government. Obviously, these subsidies are an interesting aspect, but at least equally important is the leverage generated by the mutual cooperation. For Atlas Copco, it is very clear that our partnership with Flanders Make is beneficial to all parties involved.”