It’s happening! Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) has announced the shortlist for the first-ever Flanders International Business Awards. The professional jury shortened the list of 100 contenders to 3 times 3 nominees. Meet the contenders for Exporter of the Year, Foreign Investor of the Year and Startup of the Year.
In the Exporter of the Year category, the contenders are Dewulf (Roeselare), Globachem (Sint-Truiden) and IndigoCare (Tessenderlo).
Roeselare-based Dewulf has been developing and building agricultural machinery for growing potatoes and root crops for nearly 80 years. They have branches in Belgium, the Netherlands and Romania and export to 37 countries worldwide.
Sint-Truiden-based family business Globachem develops, registers and markets crop protection products. They are active in 39 countries, focusing mainly on major agricultural countries such as France, Germany, the UK, Poland and Brazil.
- IndigoCare from Tessenderlo develops and produces the smart call system iCall for hospitals and residential care centers. More than 100,000 hospital and care center beds in 56 countries are already equipped with the iCall system.
In the Foreign Investor of the Year category, Germany’s Aurubis (Olen and Beerse) and US companies Pfizer (Puurs) and Plug Power (Antwerp) are the nominees.
- German company Aurubis is building a state-of-the-art facility for processing anode sludge in Beerse and a recycling plant in Olen. Together, these projects represent an investment of EUR 103 million.
- American pharma giant Pfizer announced a new investment project in Puurs to expand its production capacity, cold storage capability and packaging lines. This represents an investment of EUR 1.2 billion over three years.
- Plug Power Inc. is building a green hydrogen plant in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. It will be located on the NextGen site, a hotspot for the circular economy, and will be the American green hydrogen company’s first on European soil.
In the Startup of the Year category, Loop Earplugs (Berchem), Sensolus (Ghent) and TechWolf (Ghent) are competing against one another.
- Loop Earplugs was founded by two childhood friends with tinnitus. The startup from Berchem reshaped its industry in no time and made its stylish and always-fitting quality earplugs a sought-after fashion accessory worldwide.
- Sensolus is bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) to the manufacturing and waste processing industries. The Ghent-based company provides tracking technology that allows companies worldwide to track and optimize their entire supply chain.
- TechWolf from Ghent helps companies map the skills of their employees using artificial intelligence (AI). As such, their platform enables HR departments in a variety of countries to make data-driven decisions.
As the competition unfolds…
Who will be the winners? That’s the question for the final jury to answer in early September. This professional jury will be chaired by Yin Oei, CEO of Living Tomorrow, and Sonja Willems, chair of the FIT Board of Directors.
The conclusion of the competition will then follow on 20 September in the iconic Skyhall of Brussels Airport. There, during a dazzling awards ceremony, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon and FIT CEO Joy Donné will reveal the Exporter of the Year, Foreign Investor of the Year and Startup of the Year.