In addition to sectors in which Wallonia is among the world leaders (steel-making, metal construction, glassware, and heavy chemicals), there is a new generation of emerging businesses that are focused on high-added-value sectors. These benefit from the support of private and university research centers and intense R&D activities.
In Wallonia, six sectors have been structured into competitiveness clusters as part of the regional economic development plan.
- aeronautics and aerospace (Skywin)
- life sciences (Biowin)
- transport and logistics (Logistics in Wallonia)
- agri-industry (Wagralim)
- fine mechanics and nanotechnologies (Mecatech)
- green chemistry and sustainable materials (Greenwin).
Other sectors of activity are also organized into clusters.
- renewable energies (Tweed cluster)
- sustainable management of buildings (Cap 2020 and eco-construction clusters)
- waste processing (Val+ cluster)
- photons technology and light components (Photonics cluster)
- plastic products (Plastiwin)
- telecommunications, information technologies and communications (Twist and Infopole TIC clusters), which, in particular, supplies an entire audio-visual network (cinema, digital comics, amusement parks, serious and social games, transmedia, etc.), that is recognized internationally.
Numerous businesses in all these sectors have achieved a truly international reputation, with some of them now ranking as world leaders. The majority of these are SMEs (which account for 95% of Wallonia's economy); these companies are dynamic, flexible, and innovative and rely on multi-lingual sales teams and a highly qualified workforce. Wallonia's central position within Europe and its multi-channel communication infrastructures also ensure speedy delivery times and just-in-time services.
Some examples of today's products and technologies:
In the traditional sectors: lime production, maintenance and engineering (boilers, turrets, galvanizing lines), the manufacture of metallic pebbles, cranes for sea ports, hollow-glass-cutting machines), machines and tools for oil and gas exploration, and textiles and technical felts).
In the innovative high-tech sectors: vaccines and biotechnology products, the manufacture of carbon nanotubes, research and diagnostic tool for molecular biology, radio-isotopes for clinical diagnostics, electronic instruments and systems for the aerospace industry, the manufacture of telescopes, image digitalization for slow-motion replays, digital cinema logistics and broadcasting, measuring equipment for radio tracking, digital-simulation software, instruments for the ophthalmic industry, the manufacture of industrial-measuring systems, telephony solutions for trading rooms, and synthetic foam products.
In more unusual areas: remote-controlled flying cameras, billiard tablecloths and billiard balls, the manufacture of rice cakes, synthetic corks for wine bottles and even soft toys,…