An internationally renowned university, UCL is home to two science parks, in Louvain-la-Neuve and Seneffe, which create synergies between businesses and the university.
Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park
Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park, created in 1971, was the first of its kind in Belgium and is the largest and most active in Wallonia. Its 230 hectares straddle the commune borders of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve and Mont-Saint-Guibert. Today, it hosts 185 companies and 5,600 employees. The companies specialise in, among other subjects, life sciences, engineering, chemistry, and information and communication sciences (ICT), and their activity is closely tied to university research. Also in the park is the Louvain-la-Neuve Center for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI), an incubator for start-up and spin-off creation and development; it hosts 35 such companies with a combined 170 employees. The park is divided into four zones, named Einstein, Fleming, Monnet and Athena, all within one kilometre of the UCL campus.
Companies looking to set up shop in the Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park must meet certain criteria established by the Science Parks Department and UCL’s Institute for University Site Beautification, Development, Equipment and Management (Institut pour l’embellissement, l’Aménagement, l’équipement et la Gestion des Sites universitaires, or INESU). The Science Parks Department helps businesses assess the suitability of their activity according to these criteria and informs them of set-up terms and conditions.
Seneffe Science Park
Seneffe Science Park has been home to the Centre of Technological Resources in Chemistry (CERTECH) since the latter’s creation in 1996 by UCL with the support of the Walloon Region and the European Union. Today, the centre offers services to businesses directly or indirectly involved in chemistry-related activities and industries. Seneffe Science Park is also home to another incubator, Activalis.
A life sciences incubator on the Brussels-Woluwe UCL campus
At UCL Brussels-Woluwe, the new Brussels Life Science Incubator (BLSI), created with Brussels Region financial support, hosts some 40 specialised companies.