On 20 June, 200 members of the six Agoria Technology Clubs gathered once again in Brussels for the annual summer event. A report in text and images.

Food & Beverage Technology Club

What are some of the technical challenges faced by the Altifort Group? And how is the group responding to those challenges? This was the central theme of CEO Bart Gruyaert's keynote speech to the members of the Food & Beverage Technology Club.

Active in the food industry, the group employs such innovations as smart manipulators, smart valves (both based on AI) and a high-pressure alternative pasteurisation method for food products. They have also launched a pilot product that converts food waste into hydrogen.

Altifort is a Franco-Belgian group active in engineering, production and services related to critical applications of gases and fluids.

Want to find out more about the Food & Beverage Technology Club? Please contact François de Hemptinne.

Transport & Mobility Technology Club

What are the most important takeaways from Charles Ollivier's (Toyota Motor Europe) keynote speech?

  1. Toyota wants to provide better mobility for all.
  2. Toyota is working to evolve from customers owning their own vehicles to customers as mobility users.
  3. Therefore, the company will provide customised mobility experiences, to become the preferred mobility solution to take people and goods from A to B.
  4. Toyota's e-pallet, first presented at the CES in 2018, will become the backbone for a profitable mobility ecosystem.
  5. In order to achieve this, Toyota is co-operating with cities such as Paris and partners such as IKEA.

Want to find out more about the Transport & Mobility Technology Club? Please contact Ward Vleegen. 

Energy Technology Club

The Energy Technology Club had the pleasure of welcoming the Ponticelli Group, which is centred on three main competencies that cover the life cycle of industrial facilities and large infrastructure: engineering, construction and maintenance.

As general contractor, Ponticelli carries out the construction (both grassroots and revamping/hook-up) and maintenance (routine contracts and large shutdown works) for full installations, mainly for the oil and gas and the energy production industries.

Ponticelli operates both in France and on a worldwide basis through various operational divisions located in the major industrial areas of Europe as well as foreign branches or subsidiaries in Africa (Angola, South Africa, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar).

During the company's presentation, we received useful information on the group including recent developments regarding innovation and new technologies applicable to Maintenance (Management and Improvement of Routine Maintenance Contract), Projects (Management / Monitoring and Reporting, including "4D" features, i.e. progress follow-up on 3D Model) and Turnaround (Full Digitization of a Turnaround Life cycle).

The speaker also mentioned that Ponticelli is constantly welcoming reliable new subcontractors in Scaffolding and Insulation, Non-Destructive Examination, Structural Steel (Fabrication and Erection), Civil Works and Electricity and Instrumentation for its various projects.

If you're interested in joining us next time or to find out more about Ponticelli, please contact Patricia Desmeth (patricia.desmeth@agoria.be)

Financial Services Technology Club

The members of the Financial Services Technology Club in turn had the pleasure of welcoming Hans De Cuyper, the CEO of AG Insurance and Chairman of the umbrella organisation Assuralia.

AG Insurance is an established player on the Belgian market. In five years' time, AG Insurance will celebrate their 200th anniversary (making them even older than Belgium itself). As the dominant market leader in Belgium, they are part of the international group Ageas.

Striking statistics

One in four households and one in seven cars in Belgium are covered by AG Insurance. They also have one-third of the market in pension savings. Needless to say, in addition to more than 4,000 employees, AG Insurance also invests heavily in technology. The insurer views technology as a means to achieve compliance with legislation and ownership of data, but also as a way to cope with a changing world.

In this changing world, AG Insurance has a clear vision for the future. What (is the) vision for 2030? How can the insurer respond? Existing insurance policies will differ in the future, with coverage required for new risks as they arise. For example, how will self-driving cars affect the car insurance sector? How will companies insure themselves against cyber risks? How can you offer customers an added value service via digital technology, as bespoke as possible to distinguish it from competitors' policies? Consider, for example, SoSimply – a platform for repairs and maintenance services accessible to all in Belgium. Finally, we will have to choose whether to develop new services like this ourselves or to embed ourselves in a network of partners in order to achieve this. The insurers of tomorrow must face a wide range of challenges.

Want to find out more about the Financial Services Technology Club? Please contact Debbie Thys. 

Building & Infra Technology Club

More than 50 members of the Building & Infra Technology Club attended the session. It was an opportunity to review the plan for the year, as well as to address current prospects.

Our keynote speaker, Luc Demortier, one of the four directors of the Greisch group, gave us an overview of all the projects and technologies the group specialises in.

This 215-person firm can claim some pretty incredible milestones! Greisch's most iconic milestone is clearly the Millau Viaduct, but the rest of the list is just as impressive, including such projects as the Third Bosporus Bridge, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, various stadiums and other real estate projects in Belgium and abroad.

The requirements of and contact with our members are essential to complete their projects; presenting this range of projects is intended to enable our members to identify potential opportunities for all. Everyone will have work to do!

In addition to all these projects, the team's energetic engagement has been strengthened by a full range of tools and services aimed at optimising the energy efficiency and environmental standards of buildings, with the help of the company NEO&IDES whose director, Bruno Busch, also attended the event.

Want to find out more about the Building & Infra Technology Club? Please contact Sylvie Kedzierski. 

Sports & Entertainment Technology Club

Last but definitively not least, the Sports & Entertainment Technology Club welcomed none other than the coach of the Belgian Red Lions, Shane McLeod.

McLeod has been the head coach of the Belgian men's national field hockey team since 2015 and has achieved some notable successes. In 2016, the Lions won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, and won the 2018 world championship. During his keynote speech entitled "Good to Great", McLeod spoke about the transformation that led to the team's success. These tips were valuable and highly applicable to a business setting. The event was a terrific opportunity for club members to make contact with the Belgian Hockey Federation during the networking barbecue afterwards.

As for the Belgian Red Lions... The door to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is wide open to them.

Want to find out more about the Sports & Entertainment Technology Club? Please contact Diego Algaba.

View all photos from the event