Agoria, Sirris, MecaTech, Logistics in Wallonia, Cenaero, CETIC, Multitel, and last but not least Idelux and Agence du Numérique - have officially launched the WalHub project, co-funded by Europe and supported by Wallonia. Together, the partners with complementary expertise aim to accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturing companies in Wallonia through the adoption of key technologies.
A recent study conducted by Gartner and Roland Berger provides an overview of the manufacturing sector in Wallonia, highlighting the challenges and obstacles to overcome in order to meet the ambitions set out in the Digital Wallonia program's Future Industry strategy.
Technologies play a major role. The integration of the supply chain, an important lever of competitiveness for industrial companies, complements the offer and also addresses a well-identified challenge at the regional level through nearly 200 audits. 55% of audited companies currently have a very low level of mastery of their supply chain. WalHub aims to change this.
WalHub is one of the 151 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) selected and co-financed by the European Commission. Supported by the Walloon Government through the Digital Wallonia strategy, its mission is to facilitate and promote the digital transformation of Walloon manufacturing companies by accelerating the adoption of 4 key technology enablers:
- Artificial intelligence
- IoT (connected objects) technologies
- High-Performance Computing (HPC)
- Cybersecurity at the level of their production processes and supply chain
Unique integrated approach WalHub aims to increase the "technological maturity" level of the companies it supports by offering consolidated services, from awareness to proof of concept. WalHub, whose experts are interested in the production activities of manufacturing SMEs, has its specificity in a particular focus on the supply chain activities of these companies. Although often neglected by companies, this dimension is essential in terms of continuity and resilience in markets. A particularity of EDIHs, the WalHub customer journey opens up access to experimentation and test before invest: it aims to demystify digital technologies, reduce risks, and facilitate decision-making by beneficiaries in their digital transformation. Thanks to its "skills & training" component, the WalHub support also gives a preponderant place to "human capital" by providing specific help in identifying training needs. WalHub will also pay particular attention to identifying and networking with the right private and public partners, both in Wallonia and in Europe. Finally, it offers a reinforced realization search by supporting the mobilization of the necessary financial tools to implement these transformations.
Target audience and needs As an EDIH Industry 4.0, WalHub targets six sectoral industries in the manufacturing sector: agri-food, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, chemicals, rubber and plastics, aviation and aerospace, machine/equipment manufacturing technologies, and the construction and wood industry.
In a logic of concrete demonstration of the opportunities of these technologies for industry, WalHub structures its action around physical demonstrators in three flagship locations: A6K (Charleroi), Liège Science Park, and Galaxia (Transinne).
Partners WalHub is carried by a consortium of organizations with complementary expertise: the Agoria Technology Industry Federation, project coordinator, the MecaTech and Logistics in Wallonia Competitiveness Clusters, the Sirris Research Centers, Cenaero, CETIC, and Multitel, as well as Idelux and the Digital Agency. This consortium guarantees expertise and a cross-cutting approach where each partner can mobilize its networks and reach all sectors and territories, thus reaching a maximum number of companies.
To learn more about WalHub and consult the services calendar, visit the website: WalHub.