Ghent-based specialist in building automation, OpenMotics, has recently become an official part of Waregem-based Renson, trendsetter in ventilation, sun protection, and 'outdoor living'. And that has opened up several challenging perspectives for both parties. "We at Renson have known for some time now that 'healthy and comfortable living' goes beyond just those products that we develop for this purpose," says CEO Paul Renson. "And now, thanks to this partnership, we have a concrete 'cloud' solution in-house."

Pieter De Clerck (CEO OpenMotics): "As far as we're concerned, building automation should be as natural in a house as running water or electricity. I like to compare the 'cloud' platform that we offer as a digital 'market' for this to the app store to make my point: you only used to use mobile phones for calling and texting. But it's the app store that allowed the smartphone to grow to meet the needs of the users. It's our ambition to be the 'app store for buildings' via a platform of our own services that is simultaneously open to external parties, etc."

Renson and OpenMotics are joining forces – photo from left to right: Alfons Van Sever (COO/CFO Renson), Elleen Vanherpe (OpenMotics), Rino De Muelenaere (Group Director R&D Renson), Pieter Van Laethem (OpenMotics), Stefaan Aelbrecht (OpenMotics), Kenneth Henderick (OpenMotics), Wilbert Ingels (OpenMotics), Paul Renson (CEO Renson), Pieter De Clerck (CEO OpenMotics), Frederick Ryckbosch (OpenMotics)

And that's how OpenMotics found Renson. It became obvious during the initial contacts two years ago that they both shared the same vision: a house must be a true 'home' where healthy living is the norm. "We were specifically looking for a strategic partnership with a manufacturer in the construction sector," clarifies Pieter De Clerck. "The thing about Renson that immediately attracted us is the realisation that is evident there concerning how the industry evolves, and the realisation that you as a manufacturer can strengthen your position by going beyond just the mere offer of 'construction parts'. For example, by marketing 'comfortable living' (or 'creating healthy spaces') as a service too. And we can contribute wonderfully to this."

Rino De Muelenaere (Group Director R&D Renson): "The OpenMotics bundles everything together for 'intelligent living', where, over time, a building can learn from and adjust to the behaviour of the residents and services and technology (ventilation, sun protection, heating, lighting, cooling, etc.). This makes OpenMotics a fundamental player for Renson to effectively prove that we – thanks to all of the data collected in the cloud – can concretely substantiate our 'creating healthy spaces' baseline.

Pieter De Clerck: "We consider this partnership to have enormous potential for growth that we would only have been able to wish for in another situation. I also believe strongly in a step-by-step approach and found this same vision at Renson. The fact is that both sides are capable of shifting gears quickly and we both want to maintain our dynamic. That's why we've also decided to stay in Ghent." Rino De Muelenaere: "It's also important to know that OpenMotics will continue to be a fully independent company – even while keeping the strategic bonds to Renson in mind – and that it will continue to collaborate with other parties.