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Four Factories of the Future, 210 in the pipeline

How does a company transform into a ‘Factory of the Future’? Sirris pushed ahead with its Made Different project in 2015.

Sirris is working with Agoria to support Belgian companies in their transformation to ‘Factories of the Future’. As part of the ‘Made Different’ programme, an ambitious plan for the future launched in 2010, more than 210 businesses are now receiving guidance with seven transformation topics. The companies that have made the greatest progress were recognised at the first Factory of the Future Awards in early 2015. For three years, four companies will hold the ‘Factory of the Future’ quality label – and reap the rewards in many different ways.


  • ‘Factory of the Future’ label for most innovative Belgian companies
  • Made Different transformation plan continues
  • 210 companies receiving support

The ‘Factory of the Future’ label is awarded by Sirris and Agoria to technology companies that invest in the modernisation of their machines, digitalisation, social innovation and ecology. It is part of the Made Different programme, which helps companies to become world leaders in production. An awards ceremony is held each year to recognise the most impressive transformation projects, which become inspiring examples for others to follow.

“Factories of the Future are in pole position to innovate competitively and so anchor their manufacturing activities in Belgium.” (Herman Derache, Managing Director of Sirris)

Support for long-term undertaking

Many Belgian companies are working hard to modernise their manufacturing processes. This is a long-term undertaking, for which the Made Different project offers support. More than 210 companies from a variety of sectors are already making the transition to Factories of the Future. They include both big businesses and SMEs in all the Flemish provinces as well as some 10 companies in Wallonia and Brussels. Agoria and Sirris aim to award the Factory of the Future label to at least 50 companies by 2018 and support 500 companies through their transformation processes.

Positive effects of quality label

Factory of the future awards 2015 - winnersAll this hard work was recognised at the first Factory of the Future Awards in early 2015, when four companies earned the right to call themselves Factories of the Future for the next three years. The winners were: Continental, Dentsply Implants, Newtec and Provan. Among other things, these companies have invested in further automation and digitalisation of their manufacturing equipment and in their staff. The award not only attests to their judicious choices, it also acts as a badge of quality for customers. Indeed, the winners have already landed new contracts as a result of the media and industry attention. Last but not least, they act as role models for other businesses, providing a source of inspiration and a yardstick for modernisation initiatives.

Keeping up the momentum

A similar awards ceremony was held in 2016. This year saw no fewer than seven winners take to the podium: Biobakkerij De Trog, E.D.&A., JTEKT Torsen Europe, Ontex, Punch Powertrain, TE Connectivity and Van Hoecke NV. A third edition of the Factory of the Future Awards is scheduled for 2 February 2017.