• Delegation from Wallonia-Brussels
  • Pascale Delcomminette, General Administrator of WBI and Awex
  • Coordination team from W-B: WBI and BELVAC
  • Stand WBI

The FWB and Wallonia at the Conference on plasma technology08/10/2018

In September, a delegation of Walloon scientists coordinated by BELVAC and the R&I department of the WBI were honoured in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany).

The 16th edition of the International conference on plasma surface engineering (PSE), organised by the EFDS - European Joint Committee on Plasma and Ion Surface Engineering, was held in the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen from 17 to 21 September. Objectives: to leverage our know-how and identify new opportunities for collaboration in R&I in the field of PISE - Plasma & Ion-based Surface Engineering technologies.

This year, with over 750 participants (of whom 36% from the industry), the PSE forum became a leader in trend detection and the development of new solutions for direct industrial applications in the field of technologies relating to the modification of surfaces and thin layers based on plasma, ions and streams of particles. There was particular emphasis on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) this year.

Belgium was chosen as a partner country because of its reputation in this sector.

With the aim of promoting technology and innovation partnerships with Germany, the Research and Innovation department of the WBI and its Scientific Liaison Office for Germany, Mathieu Quintyn, joined forces with BELVAC (Belgian Vacuum Society), coordinated by Professor Rony Snyders (UMONS), to form an ambitious Belgian delegation.

Wallonia was well represented: 25 out of the 30 Belgian lectures and 5 out of the 6 officially registered exhibitors were Walloon. The Walloon-Brussels delegation thus amounted to 7 institutions covering the entire value chain: the universities of Mons (UMONS), Namur (UNAMUR) and Brussels (ULB), the research centres MATERIA NOVA and CRM Group, and the companies IONICS SA and AGC Glass.

The General Administrator of WBI and AWEX, Pascale Delcomminette, joined the Mayor of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Dr. Sigrid Meierhofer, and the conference Chairwoman, Prof. Farzaneh Arefi-Khonsari, in making a speech at the start of the Conference.

There were also other initiatives at the Conference highlighting the visibility of Wallonia:

  • To strengthen the identification of opportunities for collaboration and the detection of new synergies, the R&I department of the WBI ran an exhibition stand to reiterate key information from our operators (coordinates and technology services), along with the different contacts and services offered by AWEX and WBI in Germany.
  • To support the activities at ALS Germany, and in order to consolidate the complementary nature of competences in the chain of value creation, AWEX joined the mission by sending the Economic and Commercial Advisor from Munich, Quentin Derzelle. This advisor opened the networking event, usually known as the Belgian Beer Café, and was available to industrial players to advise them in their steps to commercialise their products and services on the German market.

Finally, the event that marked this particular conference was unquestionably the presentation of the « PSE Early Career Award » to Dr. Damien Thiry (UMONS) for his lecture entitled: “The wrinkling concept applied to plasma polymer films: a novel route for controlling their nano-architecture”.

To conclude, the different meetings organised have allowed the operators’ respective and complementary needs relating to new R&D topics to be identified. This facilitates a consolidation of the strategy of technological enhancement and the open approach to innovation established by ALS Germany and suggests that the prospects for collaboration with Germany in the short, medium and long term are promising:

  • These include the analysis of a possible bilateral symposium between Wallonia and Germany in 2019, together with the associations PLASMA GERMANY and EFDS. The objective will be to link our respective innovation ecosystems by establishing a support methodology for European projects. This “technology mapping” methodology has already proven its worth in the past in several successful projects: CORNET and HORIZON 2020 (Fraunhofer IST, Fraunhofer IWU).
  • Another initiative will be the consolidation of our visibility at the HANNOVER MESSE 2019, where there will be particular emphasis on the development of technology solutions to create new surface properties with the application of thin films, ion implantation, chemical grafting and surface structuration or cleaning.

The PSE conference has certainly demonstrated to international industry experts the dynamic nature and excellence of our ecosystem on different topics.

For more information on this activity and/or research into competences and German partners for the development and completion of a research consortium, please contact:

Mathieu Quintyn, Scientific Liaison Officer for Germany:


Belgische Wirtschaftsvertretungen

Wallonie-Bruxelles International

Maximiliansplatz 12a

80333 München

Mail: m.quintyn@wbi.be

Phone: +49 (0)89 23709967


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