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Belgium on the international stage

                          Belgian frigate for Operation Atalanta


     NASA calls on Belgian to analyze snowfall on Mars

On May 25, 2008, NASA's Mars Lander Phoenix landed on th...
Researchers at Catholic University of                           Ghent University and IMEC Reveal
    Leuven discover expla...
Detection of colon cancer thanks to a swallowable capsule
Results of a study recently published in the New England Journal...
Formula 1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps (28-29-30 August, 2009)

  In late August the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Spa-Franco...
Rogier van der Weyden 1400/1464 – Master of Passions
    (M Leuven, 20 September – 6 December 2009)

The exhibition Rogier...
Belgians at the Venice Biennial for Contemporary Art (June 3 to November 22, 2009)
The Venice Biennial is a leading intern...
38th Festival de Wallonie                                Brussels, Art Nouveau's capital

(June 13– October 13, 2009, in B...
KlaraFestival Forza Musica! – 6th
                                               “International Brussels Music Festival”
Belgium eighth world
                                               Verhaert Space from Kruibeke prepares mini satellite f...
© Desso Sports Systems

                 Belgian artificial turf for sports fields
       Mexican football will from no...
British company Chiltern expands                        BelgiansolarenergycompanybuildssolarparksinChina
    European oper...
Important contract for Tractebelin India
Tractebel Engineering, one of Europe's largest
engineering consultancies, offers ...
    EVENTS IN BELGIUM                                                     UPCOMING EVENTS 2009
For general touristi...
Belgium Unlimited 5 En
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  1. 1. © OPT
  2. 2. Belgium on the international stage Belgian frigate for Operation Atalanta On August 17, 2009 the frigate Louise Marie of the Belgian Navy left Zeebrugge to participate for four and a half months in Operation Atalanta. This is the European Union's operation to combat piracy off the Somali coast. Last year Belgium committed itself to participate in the EU's Atalanta EUNAVFOR, which was launched on December 8, 2008. The Louise Marie is participating since September 1, 2009. The mission will last until December 13, and the return to Zeebrugge is planned for December 23. The frigate's mission will mainly consist of escorting ships carrying goods from the World Food Program, patrol the Gulf of Aden, and take action against pirates in accordance with Resolution 1851 of the UN Security Council. © Jos Hansoul - Defense New composition federal government On July 17, 2009, the Belgian federal government underwent a number of changes and shifts. Some ministers were replaced, and others' powers were amended. At Foreign Affairs Yves Leterme has taken the place of Karel De Gucht, who is now European Commissioner. Yves Leterme
  3. 3. Science NASA calls on Belgian to analyze snowfall on Mars On May 25, 2008, NASA's Mars Lander Phoenix landed on the red planet, and operated until November 2 of that year. It was the first mission to the far northern part of Mars. Dr. Frank Daerden, scientist at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA), was the only European to take part in the analysis of the latest data on clouds and precipitation in the Martian atmosphere. The Phoenix carried a Canadian weather station to measure the local Mars weather. One of the instruments aboard this weather station is the LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), which is able to very precisely detect clouds in the Martian atmosphere using a laser beam. The LIDAR discovered that during the local summer and autumn, a nocturnal cloud layer is formed at an altitude of 4 km. These clouds were found to be composed of water ice. This newly discovered type of clouds on Mars is very similar to our familiar cirrus clouds on Earth. Photos of the Martian clouds taken by the cameras on the Lander were able to confirm this. The most notable discovery was that of precipitation of ice crystals coming from these clouds. In many cases, this precipitation reached the Martian surface. This phenomenon had never been seen on any planet other than Earth. One can actually call this ice rain, or possibly even snow. BIRA-scientist Frank Daerden has many years of experience in the study of ice clouds on Earth and on Mars. The Phoenix team therefore invited him to join them to analyze the cloud and precipitation measurements. Based on the LIDAR measurements, Dr. Daerden was able to determine the size of the falling ice crystals. On average these ice crystals measure 127 µm (micrometers). Ice particles of this size have never before been observed on Mars. These ice crystals are very similar to particles of ice precipitation on Earth. Under Dr. Dearden's leadership, BIRA also developed a computer model for the study of ice clouds on Mars, which will be very useful in further analysis of the Phoenix measurements. On July 3, 2009 the results of the study were published in the scientific journal Science. © NASA
  4. 4. Researchers at Catholic University of Ghent University and IMEC Reveal Leuven discover explanation for self- New Optical Forces cleaning system atmosphere The University of Ghent (UGent) and the nanoelectronics research center IMEC demonstrated Contrary to popular wisdom that plants and trees filter the repulsive and attractive nanophotonic forces, air, scientists -until recently- were of the opposite opinion depending on the spatial distribution of the light used. because trees and plants give off massive amounts of These fundamental research results might have major isoprene, a chemical compound that has an annoying consequences for telecommunication and optical feature: it breaks down hydroxyl radicals, naturally signal processing. occurring substances with the special ability to cleanse the atmosphere. In regions with high isoprene levels like tropical rainforests one would expect, at least according to Photon impulse is usually considered to be relatively standard chemical models, low levels of hydroxyl. weak. In our macroscopic world, photons bumping into an object exert an almost negligible force on this But recent measurements of different research teams have object. Nevertheless, this picture changes shown that the conventional wisdom has it quite right: dramatically when the object size is shrunk to wooded areas with high isoprene emissions, such as in the nanoscale dimensions. When light is confined to very Amazon, are rich in hydroxyl radicals. This is entirely small cross-sections and large gradients exist in the contrary to the model predictions. spatial field distribution of the light, the optical gradient force induced per photon increases dramatically. Using advanced fabrication technologies, including DUV (Deep Ultraviolet) lithography and critical-point- drying, the researchers created two parallel waveguides on a silicon-on-insulator chip. The waveguides are freestanding, acting as movable strings. They have a width of 445nm, a height of 220nm, a length of approximately 25µm and they are separated by a 220nm gap. By sending laser light through the waveguides the researchers generated optical forces between them. Depending on the spatial distribution of the light (both in amplitude and phase) the strings were attracting or repulsing each other. The repulsive force that had never been demonstrated before makes this experiment of fundamental scientific importance. A team from the Catholic University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. KUL), led by professor emeritus Jozef The experiment might eventually have a major Peeters, has determined the cause of this anomaly using impact to achieve very high speed telecommunication theoretical chemical research. The oxidation of emitted for optical forces provide an interesting option for isoprene namely ensures a recycling of the hydroxyl implementing all-optical signal processing functions radicals. This explains why the level of hydroxyl radicals on a chip. All-optical routing is one of the key over rainforests is vastly greater than previously assumed. challenges in developing faster communication Further research is to confirm this process. networks (such as the internet) and the new technique opens up new routes towards solutions for Exact knowledge of the chemical processes is the main this bottleneck. prerequisite to be able to put in place long-term effective measures to preserve the self-cleaning capability of our The detailed experimental results were published in fragile atmosphere. Professor emeritus Peeters' research, the August issue of the premier scientific journal just published in the premier journal PhysChemChemPhys, Nature Nanotechnology. is also highlighted in the leading magazine Highlights in Chemical Science. © UGent – IMEC
  5. 5. Detection of colon cancer thanks to a swallowable capsule Results of a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine show the efficacy of a new instrument, a capsule, to detect colon World first in Belgian cancer. The group of European physicians responsible for this publication hospital: was lead by two Belgian gastroenterologists, Jacques Devièvre and André Van Gossum, both of the Erasmus Hospital in Brussels. cultured cells heal heart To date, colonoscopy is the most common technique for the detection of A Belgian hospital colon cancer. However, for the patient this method is rather (Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg / uncomfortable. ZOL) has implanted heart muscle cells into a cardiac The new capsule, produced by the company patient that were grown Given Imaging-Israel, is to be swallowed by from his own bone marrow. the patient with a full glass of water. This is a world first. Throughout the journey through the intestine, the capsule takes 4 photos per second. Tests ZOL is the only Limburg performed on 328 patients have demonstrated hospital to take part in a that the system works quite well. © Given Imaging Israel global pilot project led from the United States. Research Nevertheless, at present the capsule's results are less satisfactory than a is being conducted on how colonoscopy, and will therefore not (yet) replace that procedure. Still, the stem cell therapy - where two techniques could be complementary in nature. Work is already in cells are removed from a progress on a second version of the capsule, which will allow for the taking patient's very own bone of more images, at a better angle. marrow - can help heal damaged heart muscle. © c3bs Paralyzed foal can walk again thanks to University of Ghent researchers Researchers at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University have succeeded to help a paralyzed foal walk again. A severe heart attack tends Research showed that the paralysis in the three week old colt was due to a to cause up to fifty percent spinal cord injury. During the operation, which was conducted in early July, of the heart muscle to die a vertebral bone (lamina) as well as a cyst which pressed on the spinal cord back. Until now, these was removed. This technique is relatively commonly applied to small patients could only be animals, but was never before performed on larger ones. Surgeons from treated with medication, various large and small animal research groups closely cooperated during and a defibrillator. Today, the operation. stem cell therapy actually © UGent cultures heart muscle cells, During post-treatment, the foal received which are subsequently antibiotics, severe pain treatment, and placed back into the heart. physiotherapy. After the fourth week the The research is promising animal is scheduled to undergo intensive and may eventually lead to rehabilitation treatment, whereby it will use a a technique to avoid heart specially designed trolley to support and transplants altogether. readjust the hindquarters. The colt, named Vitelle, is now taking a daily stroll through the lobby of the animal clinic. It has already successfully moved both rear legs.
  6. 6. Formula 1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps (28-29-30 August, 2009) In late August the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, an annual sports event that guarantees many surprises, sensations and emotions, took place. The names of the greatest F1 drivers ever adorn the records of achievement of this legendary circuit. It is a very technical circuit where long, straight lines alternate with breakneck corners. With its outward sloping turns, creeping hairpin turns (La Source), and the famous "Raidillon" (Eau Rouge), this circuit offers both drivers and spectators thrills that no other circuit can match. At one time, Michael Schumacher described the Spa-Francorchamps circuit as follows: "Putting pedal to the metal, burning rubber driving full throttle up the amazing Raidillon of Eau Rouge is absolutely an indescribable thrill. In my opinion this is by far the best circuit, period!” (From L’humanité, 2001) Likewise, the 2009 version of the Grand Prix was extraordinary. The originally advertised participation of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who would replace the injured Felipe Massa for Ferrari, provided for excellent ticket sales. And the victory went to … Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen from Finland! It’s was his fourth victory in five years. The Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) finished second, close to a second behind Räikkönen. © B. Lorquet 33rd Belgacom Memorial Van Damme meeting, September 4, 2009 (KingBaudouinStadium,Brussels) The memory of Ivo Van Damme (1954-1976), the most accomplished Belgian athlete ever in the 800 and 1500m middle- distance run, lives on in one of the most important athletics meetings in the world: the Memorial Van Damme. Ivo Van Damme attained his most remarkable results at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, where he won silver medals on both the 800 and 1500m. Van Damme lost his life in a traffic accident on his way home from training camp in the south of France. A year later a number of sports journalists, inspired by Wilfried Meert, organized the Memorial Van Damme for the first time as a posthumous tribute to the young athlete. © Helena Van De Velde The 33rd Memorial attracted top-level athletes like Usain Bolt, (Jamaica) - 200m, Tyson Gay (USA) - 100m, Asafa Powell (Jamaica) - 100m, Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) - 5000m, Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) - pole vault, Sanya Richards (USA) - 400m, Shelly-Ann Fraser (Jamaica) - 100m, Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) - high jump... This year the Memorial Van Damme added a main attraction: a men's 4x1500m. © Helena Van De Velde That specialty still held the oldest world record: 32 years ago, on August 17, 1977 in Cologne, the West German team led by Thomas Wessinghage ran the distance in 14:38:80. For this event at the 33rd Memorial Van Damme, Kenya dispatched its most accomplished world-class 1500m athletes with only one goal in mind: to crush the world record. And they were successful: W. Biwott, G. Gathimba, G. Rono and A. Choge improved the 1977 world record at the 4x1500m relay with more than 2 seconds: 14:36.23! The sprint events displayed very fast times. The Jamaican Asafa Powell won the 100m in 9.90 and beat the American runner up Tyson Gay. With 19.57 Usain Bolt broke Tyson Gay's stadium record at the 200 m. At the 5000m, Kenenisa Bekele finished in 12.55.31. After an exciting end of the 2009 Golden League meetings Yelena Isinbayeva, Kenenisa Bekele and Sanya Richards can share the 1 million dollar jackpot among them. They each won their respective 6 Golden League events.
  7. 7. Rogier van der Weyden 1400/1464 – Master of Passions (M Leuven, 20 September – 6 December 2009) The exhibition Rogier van der Weyden 1400/1464 – Master of Passions illustrates the originality and importance of the most influential painter of the 15th century and the first to depict real people with real emotions. In bringing more than 100 masterpieces to M, Leuven’s new museum which opens on September 20th, it promises to be one of the cultural highlights of 2009. The beginning of the 15th century saw the emergence of a talented generation of painters in the Low Countries. With their exceptional eye for detail, they were an innovative force in Western painting. These artists went down in history as the Flemish Primitives. Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck tower above the others. Van Eyck is an outstanding observer and van der Weyden is the inimitable master of passion and subdued emotion. Van der Weyden is generally regarded as the most influential painter in the Southern Netherlands in the 15th Rogier van der Weyden, St. Mary Magdalene century. Indeed, his artistic idiom was copied all over Reading Europe. National Gallery London The prestigious exhibition in Leuven is a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover the artist. His originality and influence are illustrated by means of over 100 masterpieces on loan from major European and North-American collections. Some works return to Flanders for the first time in six centuries. Exhibition dedicated to Belgian artist James Ensor at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Musée d’Orsay in Paris The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) dedicates an exhibition (23 June – 21 September 2009) to the Belgian artist James Ensor (1860-1949) and presents approximately 120 paintings, drawings and prints. The exhibition will travel to Paris (Musée d’Orsay), from 20 October 2009 to 4 February 2010. James Ensor, a native of the Belgian coastal town of Ostend, was a major figure in the Belgian avant-garde of the late nineteenth century and an important precursor to the development of Expressionism in the early twentieth. In both respects he has influenced generations of later artists. This exhibition examines Ensor's contribution to modernity, his innovative and allegorical use of light, his prominent use of satire, his deep interest in carnival and performance, and his own self-fashioning and use of masking, travesty, and role-playing. Most of the works in this exhibition were made during Ensor’s most creative period, from 1880 to the mid- 1890’s. James Ensor, Skeletons Fighting over a Pickled Herring, 1891 Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels The intrigue, 1890 Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
  8. 8. Belgians at the Venice Biennial for Contemporary Art (June 3 to November 22, 2009) The Venice Biennial is a leading international art celebration being held in Venice every two years. Various disciplines are covered: visual arts, architecture, music, theater and dance. 77 countries are represented in national exhibitions across various pavilions in the Giardini, and other sites in Venice. Besides the artists selected by the participating countries, a curator composes a themed exhibition in the Arsenale. The Belgian pavilion in Venice is alternately utilized by either the French or Flemish communities. This year was the Flemings turn. Flanders was represented by Jef Geys for the current edition of this leading international art event. Over the past 50 years, Jef Geys has established an impressive artistic body of work consisting of paintings, drawings, spacial installations and projects. Jef Geys' submission for the Biennial is a project entitled "Quadra Medicinale". For this project four of Geys' acquaintances collected twelve street plants in the surroundings of their homes (New York, Moscow, Brussels and Villeurbanne). The result is an inventory of the common plant. It is a pavilion on instinct, on survival in the big city, an ode to the ordinary. © Jef Geys « Quadra Medicinale », 2009 Belgian Pavilion, 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Photocredit : Katrin Greiling Besides Jef Geys several other Belgians are in attendance in Venice: • Wim Delvoye built “Torre”, a Gothic tower in the Peggy Guggenheim museum. • Alex Vervoordt organizes an exhibition at the Palazzo Fortuny: “In-finitum”. • Jan Fabre fills the Arsenale Novissimo with the installation “From the Feet to the Brain”. • Jacques Charlier's drawings in poster form titled “100 sexes d’artistes”, were found to be too explicit by the organizers. Consequently, Charlier took refuge to a boat moored in front of the Giardini.
  9. 9. 38th Festival de Wallonie Brussels, Art Nouveau's capital (June 13– October 13, 2009, in Brussels and in various 5th Art Nouveau-Biennial: “From Art Nouveau to Wallonian cities) Art Deco” (Brussels, 3 - 25 October, 2009) The 5th Art Nouveau-Biennial, organized by Voir et Dire The Festival of Wallonia has become one of those Bruxelles, will take place in October during the first four not-to-be-missed events in Wallonia's musical life. weekends in that month. The Biennial 2009 theme is Six festivals invite the public to discover the “From Art Nouveau to Art Deco”. architectural and musical heritage of the region. Each year a shared theme forms the common Since its first occurrence in 2001, the Biennial's denominator of the entire festival's programming. visibility has continued to increase, as have its visitor This year the main theme is "Brittannia". The numbers. Thus, the Biennial attracted over 5000 Festival of Wallonia takes us to England, the visitors in 2007, and has since become an event with a country of origin of the four composers whose truly international scope. birthdays the festival this year celebrates: Purcell, Händel, Haydn and Mendelssohn. The guest of honor for this occasion is James Bowman. During the Biennial each district of the Belgian capital The avant première took place on June 13 and 14, opens mansions, private homes, schools and shops, 2009 in Brussels (Flagey). Thereafter, each of the and public buildings exclusively to the public, who are festivals took/will take place in various Wallonia invited to uncover Brussels' stunning interiors. cities: Namur: July 3-11, 2009 Every weekend another Brussels neighborhood stands Saint-Hubert: June 27-July 26, 2009 in the spotlight. Besides visiting interiors, the public can Stavelot: August 2-15, 2009 also attend various conferences and participate in other Brabant wallon: September 13 - October 10, 2009 activities around the Art Nouveau and Art Deco theme. Liège: September 5 - October 13, 2009 Voir et Dire Bruxelles also offers several professionally Hainaut: September 18 - October 10, 2009 guided tours, which can be taken either on foot or by bus, or even by bike!
  10. 10. KlaraFestival Forza Musica! – 6th “International Brussels Music Festival” (Brussels, August 28 – September 11, 2009) The Klara Festival, which is co-produced by the Festival of Flanders Brussels, Bozar Music, Flagey, and Klara broadcasting, each year manages to offer the best of classical music but always with an interesting special perspective. Added original concepts have engaged a wide audience. Classical music is no longer corny and boring, but bursting with energy! Forza Musica! No other slogan can embody what the Klara Festival truly signifies. On the occasion of the First Night of the KlaraFestival, listeners who had planned to show up as well as unsuspecting passers-by are presented with classical concerts on various city squares, and in train and subway stations. Every festival day, three scheduled events could always be counted on: at 12:30 pm lunch concerts in Flagey, evening concerts at 8:00 pm (alternately at the Palace of Fine Arts and in Flagey), and around 10:00 pm late nights, held in turn at café Belga one evening, then outside the Heilig Kruisplein / Place Sainte-Croix in Brussels the other. Artists with established reputations, as well as new talent got a chance to perform. This year's program allowed the perception of two specific lines of force: the Far East, which is poised between traditional and contemporary creations, and Sweden, an honored guest on the occasion of its presidency of the European Union. For two weeks straight the Klara Festival was able to be followed live on radio Klara. Festival van Vlaanderen (Festival of Flanders) The magnificent architectural heritage of Flanders represents great opportunities and infrastructure for musical events. For over five decades, the Festival of Flanders has used this to rouse the interest of young and the old toward classical music. By supporting young Flemish artists, and by being at the forefront of innovative trends, the organisation contributes to the cultural effluence of Flanders. Seven festivals, each in their own obstinate yet unique way, amplify their own activities. Some examples: in Antwerp - “Laus Polyphoniae”; in Bruges – the “Musica Antiqua” festival; in Brussels – the “KlaraFestival”; in Ghent – “OdeGand”; in Limburg – the “Basilica Festival” (in Mechelen and Vlaams-Brabant). Regional accents support the entire classical repertoire from the Middle Ages to the present, with occasional excursions to traditional world music. All in all this adds up to a noteworthy supply of concerts of more than 550 performances and educational projects in over 80 cities and towns.Visitors from in- and outside the country can discover the activities at the Festival of Flanders from June through October. The broad offerings guarantee that there is clearly something for everyone!
  11. 11. Belgium eighth world Verhaert Space from Kruibeke prepares mini satellite for launch exporter In July and August 2009, Verhaert Space, a company from Kruibeke (Oost- Vlaanderen province) readied the Proba-2 mini satellite for transport to the The annual World Trade Plesetsk launch site in Russia. All research, engineering, testing and assembly Report 2009 published by the of Proba-2 took place at Verhaert Space. Plesetsk is where Verhaert Space will World Trade Organization once again piece the satellite back together, and conduct final testing before its (WTO) shows that in 2008 anticipated launch on November 2. Belgium, with 477 billion U.S. dollars, was the eighth largest Proba-2 is built at the order of the exporter in the world. European Space Agency. The launch of Proba-2 is scheduled eight years res09_e/pr554_e.htm after that of Proba-1, the first Belgian satellite which, indeed, is still in working order. The Proba-2 will be orbiting the Earth at an altitude of Smiths Detection sets up Global 728 km in order to be able to optimally observe the Sun. Government Relations Office in   Brussels Two instruments to study the sun are Smiths Detection, part of the Smiths loaded on the Belgian satellite. LYRA Group (United Kingdom), is a major acts as a UV radiation meter, and player in the provision of threat records the Sun's behavior by means detection and screening technologies of timelines. The SWAP telescope will © Verhaert Space for Military, Transportation, Homeland take images, and thus create a Security and Resilience applications. motion picture of the sun and its activity, to include (invisible) solar Smiths Detection offers advanced eruptions. security solutions in civil and military markets worldwide, developing and Redu ground station will receive and manufacturing government-regulated forward all Proba-2 data. technology products that identify explosives, chemical and biological agents, weapons and contraband. Smiths Group employs around 22,000 people in more than 50 countries. Scania, the Swedish truck manufacturer, expands distribution center Opglabbeek Swedish truck manufacturer Scania has decided to expand its Opglabbeek (Limburg province) distribution center. Scania delivers parts from its Opglabbeek facility to 900 of its clients in 75 countries. © Smiths Detection The company has been located in Opglabbeek for over fifteen years; two years ago it acquired six hectares of additional business park sites. At that time Scania also took an option on three additional acres. The company is of the opinion that it is vital to maintain high-level relationships with regulators and The acquisition required an investment of policy makers around the world. € 1.3 million. The expansion of the Opening a Brussels office underlines Opglabbeek distribution center is the its commitment to developing a long- result of that location's take-over of the term working relationship with the EU activities of the Södertälje distribution to help formulate policy and regulation center in Sweden. Initially this doubled for the protection of critical national the capacity to 64,000 m². This move © Scania infrastructure. now adds another 32,000 m². _4715.php
  12. 12. © Desso Sports Systems Belgian artificial turf for sports fields Mexican football will from now on have a Belgian touch. The Mexican Football Federation has signed an agreement for a long term collaboration with Desso Sports Systems, a Belgian company from Dendermonde (Oost-Vlaanderen province). Desso Sports Systems is an artificial turf world leader. It annually produces 3 million m² of artificial turf for, among others, football, tennis, hockey and rugby fields. Top clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, AZ, PSV Eindhoven and RSC Anderlecht play or practice daily on this artificial grass cover. The Mexican Football Federation selected Desso Sports Systems because of the myriad of positive references it received from top level European clubs already using Desso fields. Desso is also a pioneer in sustainable manufacturing, and continually seeks to avoid waste production. Belgian technology wins Wimbledon (again) Every single point that Roger Federer scored during his historic victory at Wimbledon 2009 was (in part at least) the result of Belgian state-of-the-art technology: the racket strings Federer uses are manufactured in Antwerp, by the company Luxilon. Luxilon specializes in the extrusion of monofilaments, and manufactures products which are used in aviation, the medical sector, telecoms, textiles and – increasingly – sports. The first racket strings by Luxilon were developed in 1997 and were an immediate hit, thanks to the Brazilian player Gustavo Kuerten who won Roland Garros with this revolutionary product. Through the years, the Luxilon strings – also known under the brand name Big Banger – have changed the way tennis is played dramatically; they allow players to hit the ball harder and more precisely. That’s why not only Federer but almost all the top-ten ranked players choose Luxilon strings. Also, a growing number of amateur players are discovering these Belgian-made, hi-tech strings.Meanwhile, the small company Luxilon –with only 25 employees – keeps investing in innovation and regularly issues a new version of its products. A partnership with tennis racket manufacturer Wilson and several top-flight tennis players allow Luxilon to optimally evaluate and improve its new Big Banger strings. N. Van Malderen (Luxilon) & Roger Federer, 2008
  13. 13. British company Chiltern expands BelgiansolarenergycompanybuildssolarparksinChina European operations with new office in Brussels The solar energy firm Enfinity from Waregem (West- Chiltern is a leading global clinical research Vlaanderen province), organization, with extensive experience conducting and staffing international Phase I to specializes in the development, Phase IV clinical trials across a broad range of implementation, management therapeutic areas for a wide variety of and financing of renewable clients. Chiltern has conducted trials in more energy projects, and than 40 countries and employs 1,400 staff across particularly in projects 29 countries. concerning wind and solar energy. Enfinity focuses its The company announced that it has opened a activities on solar and wind new office in Brussels and appointed Maurizio Passanisi as new country manager for Belgium energy investments in and The Netherlands. Passanisi has over 15 countries with special incentive years of experience working in both programs. Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research areas. The West-Flemish company “Belgium and The Netherlands have always been attractive locations to conduct clinical trials,” already has several projects in Passanisi commented. “The quality of the Europe under development, research is outstanding. Belgium and The and intends to establish new © Enfinity Netherlands have many key opinion leaders offices in Europe, U.S. and Asia involved in clinical research lending additional to support its expansion. weight to the data and keeping these countries at the forefront of modern research.” Recently Enfinity pocketed a contract to build a 10 megawatt solar Chiltern’s primary goal is to deliver expert, high park in the Chinese Danhuang region. The solar park is being built in quality services around the world and these cooperation with Chinese nuclear power producer CGNPC and actions demonstrate its commitment to regional Chinese solar cell manufacturer LDK Solar. Ultimately, Enfinity expansion in order to serve its clients needs intends to increase the Danhuang region solar power plant's capacity globally. to 500 megawatts. In addition, the company also received authorization to build a solar park with a total capacity of 10 megawatts in the Shizuishan region. GUPC Consortium with Jan De Nul is awarded contract for Panama Canal project The GUPC consortium of which Belgian construction and dredging company Jan De Nul forms part was awarded a multi billion dollar contract in Panama. The consortium scored highest on the technical evaluation and delivered the best price proposal for one of the most prestigious hydraulic engineering projects in the world. GUPC – Grupo Unidos por el Canal – had the “best value” proposal. With the offer of US $ 3.12 billion the consortium did not exceed the Panama Canal’s allocated price of US $ 3.48 billion. The construction of the 3rd set of locks is the most important part of the of the Panama Canal expansion project. © Jan De Nul Group This mega project is one of the largest and most prestigious hydraulic projects of the last decades. The work includes the construction of 6 lock chambers. Each of these lock chambers has a similar size to the “Berendrecht lock” in Antwerp, Belgium, at this moment the largest lock in the world. The project will take 5 years and create more than 6,000 jobs. During that period 40 million m³ of soil will be excavated and 5 million m³ concrete will be poured. The project will allow larger vessels to sail between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean trough the Panama Canal. Once completed, the capacity of the Panama Canal will be increased with approximately 80 %. The consortium consists of Spanish constructor Sacyr Vallehermoso, the Italian builder Impregilo, Belgian company Jan De Nul and local construction company Cusa. Works are expected to start early 2010.
  14. 14. Important contract for Tractebelin India Tractebel Engineering, one of Europe's largest engineering consultancies, offers a wide range of © Tractebel Engineering engineering services for the energy sector, the industry, the tertiary sector, as well as for communities and national or international organizations. Tractebel Engineering has signed an important contract in India. Indian Gas Limited has entrusted a consortium including Tractebel Engineering and other Belgian companies, such as G-Tec, FITA and Logistics in Wallonia, with the study of a master plan for the development of the port of Manappad, at the far south of India. It involves gathering the basic information, drawing up the traffic and capacity forecasts, determining the works schedule and the phases of the project and lastly designing the infrastructure plans of the port and the terminal. The new port should be operational in 2012. Three Belgian beers awarded in Hong Kong Three Belgian beers won first prize at the Hong Kong International Beer Awards. The aim of this competition was to reach a definitive conclusion of the finest beers available in Hong Kong. The beers were judged by a jury. Belgian beers won first prize in three different award categories. The framboise (raspberry) beer from Lindemans brewery was elected best fruit beer. Hoegaarden’s (< AB InBev) white beer won the “Belgium Style Standard Strength Speciality Beer (- 6%)” category. Last but not least, Delirium Tremens from Huyghe brewery was awarded 1st prize in the “Belgium Style Strong Ale (+ 6% ABV)” category. This beer was also elected second best beer in all categories. © Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong
  15. 15. Agenda EVENTS IN BELGIUM UPCOMING EVENTS 2009 For general touristic information about Belgium: Europalia China. October 2009 – February 2010 Brussels and other Belgian cities http://www.wallonie- Whales and dolphins. 14 October 2009 - 29 August 2010 Brussels, Museum of Natural Sciences Ambiorix, King of the Eburones. 5 December 2009 - 13 June 2010 CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS Tongeren, Gallo-Roman Museum Chris Burden. 30 May - 27 September 2009 Antwerp, Museum Middelheim SPORTS Brussels Marathon Beaufort 03, Art by the sea. 4 October 2009 Beaufort Inside & Beaufort Outside, Triennial for Contemporary Brussels Art 28 March - 4 October 2009 Different locations MUSIC FESTIVALS REUNION. From Quinten Metsijs to Peter Paul Rubens. Masterpieces from the Royal Museum reunited in the Cathedral. 5 June - 15 November 2009 Antwerp, Cathedral of Our Lady FAIRS Castles in the air. Gaasbeek castle 11 September - 15 November 2009 CONFERENCES Omo: people and design. 7 November 2008 - 3 January 2010 http://www.conference- Tervueren, Royal Museum for Central Africa Persona. Ritual masks and contemporary art. 24 April 2009 - 3 January 2010 FILM FESTIVALS Tervueren, Royal Museum for Central Africa International film festival Flanders-Ghent 6-17 October 2009 2009, year of the comic strip. Ghent 28 February 2008 – 31 December 2009 Brussels