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In order to achieve the European climate objectives, it's important for sustainable, technological innovations to find their way into the market more easily. A lot of SMEs developing sustainable technologies in Flanders and the Netherlands however experience difficulties in crossing the so-called 'Valley of Death'.  That is why the Connect-SME project wants to support these companies by facilitating pilot site projects. VITO/EnergyVille is the only Limburg partner in the project and the point of contact for pilot site projects within the Open Thor Living Lab.

1-10-2021 - 30-06-2023
Finished project

Demonstration projects: pilot sites and clusters

Through a consortium of six pilot sites and two clusters, the ConnectSME project facilitates demonstration projects for sustainable, technological innovations in Flanders and the Southern Netherlands. The pilot sites offer an open environment to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies, all according to a user-driven, open innovation ecosystem.

SMEs can apply for vouchers, which wil get them access to advice and an opportunity to demonstrate and develop their innovation in this physical testing environment.


The role of Open Thor

VITO/EnergyVille is the only partner from Limburg in this project. Within ConnectSME, VITO/EnergyVille functions as the point of contact for the Open Thor Living Lab at Thor Park. 

Within ConnectSME, Thor Park wil host research, aimed towards technical and economic (market) optimisation strategies for smart charging, integrated with the energy management of the buildings.

EnergyVille has a unique infrastructure to test charging strategies in the smart charging lab.

Southern Dutch SMEs that want to test and demonstrate innovative smart charging technologies at Thor Park can receive advice from VITO/EnergyVille via vouchers. We are happy to help Flemish SMEs in their search for a Dutch testing ground.

More information

This project was supported by:

ConnectSME is one of the projects that receives funding from the Interreg V programme Vlaanderen-Nederland. From 2014 to 2020, the European Commission has made 152 million euros available for the Interreg programme. This comes through the European Fund for Regional Development for cross-border cooperation, reinforcing and promoting innovation and sustainable development in the border region. To this end, a partnership between Flanders, the Netherlands, the five Flemish provinces and the three Dutch ones has developed a programme to invest in smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.


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