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May 12th, 2022 | by Mathieu Gayet

Faster, stronger, better: the Belgian XR ecosystem strengthens its attractiveness with the creation of the XR Valley association

Cederik Haverbeke took the floor at the Advanced Engineering event in Antwerp Expo to officially launch the XR Valley association. He has great ambitions for this association, as he explained on Wednesday, 11 May, in front of an audience of industry experts. XR Valley is a Belgian not-for-profit association that aims to bring together all Belgian XR stakeholders in order to create a strong Belgian XR ecosystem. The association aims to maximize the amount of XR talent at work in Belgium by encouraging local talent to remain in Belgium and by attracting foreign talent.

Kasper Jordaens, head of XR-vendor relations, describes the mission statement as follows: “Our Mission with this association is to drive economic growth for our region. We want to build the interface of our knowledge economy. We know that software is the crystallization of knowledge, and XR is the natural interface with software. We also want to create a competitive edge for regional End-User Industry Brands in the global market by facilitating access to state of the art technology.”

With this aim in view, XR Valley will actively participate in industry events and organize XR zones, as it is the case today in Antwerp with the XR Valley Experience Zone. We have also started working alongside major Belgian players and are working closely in organizing workshops in Wallonia (XR Connect’ Wallonia) and in Flanders (XR Connect’ Vlaanderen). We’re also launching a steering committee to contribute to an already-existing event in 2023 where we invite the world to discover how we’re driving the XR Industry in Belgium.
- Alexandra Gérard, Head of Events and Communications for XR Valley

“We’re off to a good start,” says Jan Goetgeluk, Chairman of the board. “I want to thank our founding members UZ Gent, HP, Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool, The Pack, Howest and Delaware, for helping us prove the industry is ready and hungry to grow.”

“We have the ambition to launch several key activities that will gather and unify the Belgian XR ecosystem”, says Cederik. “Through new initiatives, we’ll launch concrete projects, starting with our XR Valley Insights Report, mapping out the Belgian XR Ecosystem. We’re proud of our End-User Industry committees and the co-chairs we’ve been able to attract to lead them. Healthcare, Training and Education, Engineering Design and Visualization are the three topics we’re focusing on first.”

”Our XR Valley Hubs network is forming nicely, with AP Hogeschool’s Immersive Lab, the Thomas More Experience Hub, Hangar K and an Undisclosed Location in Gent as our first ones. These Hubs are locations that commit to driving XR adoption in a 25km radius. It is our ambition to support a larger number of XR Valley Hubs in the future and have nationwide coverage.”

The importance of access to growth capital is not to be underestimated either,” adds , “as an angel investor myself I know the hurdle of assessing the opportunity of an XR Venture. I’m confident the XR Valley will play a role in helping financers, including the Government, navigate and understand the potential.
- Catherine Bendayan, XR Valley Board Member

“XR Valley has a lot to offer, as the XR ecosystem in Belgium is lacking structure. Our Association will be able to help XR Vendors to find Talent, but also to help Talent find their way into the XR Industry

and to help schools and universities to teach the Talent the skills that are much-needed in the industry” explains Jelle Demanet, Co-Founder of XR Valley and Head of Schools, Universities and Research Relations. “We are confident that in the near future we will be able to help research labs to connect to XR Vendors and launch initiatives that facilitate collaboration in research and valorisation projects; and support End-User Industry decision-makers in building the strategy and teams to turn XR into a key competitive advantage.”

XR Valley Executive Team

  • Cederik Haverbeke – Managing Director – cederik@xrvalley.be
  • Alexandra Gérard – Head of Events and Communications – alexandra@xrvalley.be
  • Jelle Demanet – Director of Schools, Universities and Research Relations – jelle@xrvalley.be
  • Kasper Jordaens – Director of XR-Vendor Relations – kasper@xrvalley.be

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