World Forum on creativity and innovation in Hasselt
The two-day Creativity World Forum CWF which explores creativity and innovation is an annual event which takes place in various creative regions across the globe. Following previous forums in Oklahoma City and Stuttgart, Limburg will play host this year whereas the Flemish agency for entrepreneurial creativity, Flanders DC is responsible for the organisation of the event. Based at the Grenslandhallen in Hasselt, the event will host numerous workshops, with top international speakers like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and well-known American film director Oliver Stone inspiring course attendees to greater innovation and creativity. The Minister for Innovation of the government of Flanders, Ingrid Lieten SP.A, yesterday opened the event in the presence of two thousand special guests, scientists, business leaders and students. She expressed her desire to see a greater collaboration between creative minds, promising 200 million euros for science- and innovation-based projects during the next three years. “Not all solutions to social challenges are found by professors in laboratories,” Lieten said. “To this end I have allocated 500,000 euros to facilitate cross-pollination between great creative minds, scientists and entrepreneurs. A beautiful example that highlights this process is the partnering of artist Koen Vanmechelen and his chicken breeding project with genetics professor Jean-Jacques Cassiman. Getting classically trained scientists and creative minds to meet in Flanders will leave us with a wider range of solutions and ideas.” Lieten further believes that Flanders and Limburg have much to offer in the field of innovation and creativity, mentioning projects like Bioville, the life sciences incubator on the Hasselt University campus, Energyville in Genk, which provides a platform for scientific research into green energy, as well as the future Cleantech campus in Houthalen. In addition to innovation, the provincial council is also set on showcasing the province as a creative region and provincial governor Herman Reynders concluded with a reference to the Fabrication Laboratory FabLab, established on the C-mine in Genk. This complex built on the site of a former coal mine is a creative hub where professional and amateur designers, students and researchers are given the opportunity to test innovative concepts.