West Flanders is highly committed to the industrial sector. Almost a quarter of all industrial employment in Flanders is generated by companies based in West Flanders. Half of these specialize in machine construction and mechatronics. This branch of industry employs 42,000 people in West-Flanders alone.
Mechatronics in Bruges
The numbers prove the importance of mechatronics in Bruges: in 2014, no fewer than 38% of all wage earners in the industrial sector in Bruges worked in metal and mechatronics. With 4,870 people working in mechatronics in 2014, the Bruges area is the largest employer in all of West-Flanders for this sector. The region of Bruges is not only the leader with regard to mechatronics in its own province. The level of specialization of the regions in comparison to the Flemish Region with regard to mechatronics is also greatest in Bruges.
Researching machines from the future
The importance of mechatronics in the area is emphasized by the fact that it is taught at our educational establishments. Faced with a rapidly evolving economic reality, KU Leuven, The University of Ghent, Howest and Sirris jointly established the Centre for Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics. Its purpose is to research machines from the future and to share the acquired knowledge with companies. KU Leuven has opened a concept factory in Bruges in May 2019.