House of Food | Factory for the future

by: Gaël Staelens, VIVES University College and Katelijne Vancleemput, Factory of the Future

The food industry is an important economic activity of West-Flanders. 925 food processing enterprises are situated in West-Flanders, of which 90 percent SME’s. Although the food industry offers 16.000 job opportunities in West-Flanders, it is facing a number of challenges. Innovation measures are therefore more important than ever.
The challenges that the food industry are facing:

  • Finding motivated and well-educated employees 
  • Critical availability of natural resources such as water and energy
  • Continuous product and process innovation
  • Increasing the low entrepreneurs ratio 
  • Increasing the working space for entrepreneurship 
  • Improving the image of the food industry 
  • Improving collaboration to increase the speed of innovation and growth

The ‘House of Food’ is situated in Roeselare, the heart of the West-Flemish food industry, and is the operating base of the ‘Factory for the Future’ (FfF). FfF is a unique partnership between government, private companies and knowledge institutions that encourages growth of the West-Flemish industry. One of its objectives is to support SME’s, stimulate and prepare them to switch from traditional to future-oriented and innovation-driven enterprises. To do this, they offer services such as: 

  •      start-up facilities: meeting facilities & co-working space for 2 to 250 persons, 
  •      a cooking lab for educational packages, workshops and product presentations, 
  •      a sensoric lab for sensory research, 
  •      a joblab for kids to experience jobs in the food industry and 
  •      a foodlab where companies, students and start-ups can use analytical devices for their product innovation.


    Contact information:
    Gaël Staelens
    VIVES University College

    Katelijne Vancleemput
    Factory of the future