Essential Support for Flanders’ Auto Industry

Renilde Craps, General Director of Flandersʼ DRIVE
Renilde Craps, General Director of Flandersʼ DRIVE

Flanders’ DRIVE ( is an internationally recognised research institute supporting the innovation needs of the Flemish vehicle industry. Its mission is to play a leading part in the transformation through innovation of the vehicle industry in Flanders towards a green and smart mobility industry. It collaborates with companies and other research institutions on applied research and develops technological solutions that contribute to a strong Flemish manufacturing industry.

In Flanders, Flanders’ DRIVE works closely together with over 140 full and associate partners. Together they focus on application-oriented research and develop technological solutions fulfilling the requirements of the industry. Flanders’ DRIVE disposes of state-of-the-art research and test facilities that are located next to the test tracks of the Ford Lommel Proving Ground. On an international level, Flanders’ DRIVE works together with, among others, the research centres of car manufacturers and participates in European research projects and advisory boards.

Renilde Craps, General Director of Flanders’ DRIVE explains the main activities of the research centre: “By closely monitoring the latest trends and supported by a broad international network of companies and research institutions, we have a good understanding of emerging technological domains in which Flemish companies can play a role on an international level as well as of the associated innovation needs.

We encourage open innovation and set up research projects in collaboration with leading Flemish companies, SMEs and other research institutes and with financial support from the Flemish government. Together, we develop technology and expertise, which the project partners can valorise on an international scale. We also enable them to participate in European projects.

Flanders’ DRIVE

For example, in the Electric Powertrain project we designed and developed, together with 12 leading Flemish companies, a power train for the next generation of electric vehicles and validated it in a Range Rover Evoque. The Evoque is now being used as a research platform in the European FP7 project “E-VECTOORC”, in which we are optimising the dynamic driving behaviour and the vehicle’s driving comfort. Together with both Flemish and international partners we are aiming for a clean and energy-efficient four‐wheel drive.

Flanders’ DRIVE also supports individual companies in their innovations. We also share our knowledge and facilitate contacts and cooperation between companies through a variety of local and international initiatives such as seminars and networking events.”

This way, Flanders’ DRIVE aims to give Flemish companies in the vehicle and mobility industry a strong boost towards innovation, growth, job creation and improved worldwide competitive strength.

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