May 2018 - To learn from each other

Official opening EnergyVille 2

A sparkling new research facility arose in the old mining landscape of Genk. Here, research on innovative solar energy systems takes place in flexible open laboratories with clean rooms, which even offer daylight and views to the surroundings. In the scenic environment a building has been created that fits into a tightly defined plot. With its façade in dark layers, the building refers to the history of the place and offers the best possible view to it. Under the theme Mining the Energy of the Future, this week will the Grand Inauguration take place and the future will be a bit closer.

Maximum flexibility and experience
The research process of Imec has been translated into a building in an ultra-functional design. As lead player, Imec wanted to realize one large open lab in which dynamic set-ups could be created. That meant as much freedom as possible, both spatially and technically.

By not designing the entire lab as a cleanroom, but making this specific area part of the big lab, a lab environment could be created in which flexibility and experience are maximally utilized. By lifting the lab environment to the 1st floor, the flexibility of the lab has increased for future use and there is daylight and a panorama to the former mining landscape.

Genk as innovative research centre
A flexible workplace concept creates dynamics in the building and around the building on Thor Park itself. Events and new functions such as a restaurant, grand café and day-care are, besides existing functions such as the miners' museum, a nice addition and make the history and innovation visible and tangible.

Genk is more than ever the Flemish centre for innovative research. Under the joint umbrella of KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt a new step has been taken in the acceleration of research into innovative forms of solar energy and battery storage with taking the 5,000 sqm effective floor area of EnergyVille 2 officially in use. The place where the step from fossil to renewable will be made could almost not be better.

- Project Waterschei, Genk (Belgium)

More information: Aron Bogers, Niels Kranenburg