|January 28, 2010|
Vice-President and Minister of Economy of the Walloon Region Jean-Claude Marcourt, Launches the “Euro Green IT Innovation Center”, in a Public-Private Partnership with IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Climate Savers Computing
(Brussels,BELGIUM)—Today, in the presence of the Vice-President and Minister of Economy, Jean-Claude Marcourt, and the Mayor of Mons, Elio Di Rupo, the Walloon Region and IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Climate Savers Computing Initiative launched the “EURO GREEN IT INNOVATION CENTER”. Founded on a public-private partnership, this non-profit association, which will be based in the Initialis Park in Mons and will be opening this spring, will be a centre of expertise at the junction between Information and Communication Technologies (“ICT”) and Sustainable Development. At the same time, it will be a demonstration and pilot project platform in the field of green energy efficiency. The centre will be financed to the tune of 50% by the Walloon Region, which is investing EUR 750,000 in 2010. The other half is provided by the private partner consortium in the form of personnel, consultancy, infrastructure and investment.
“Green IT” consists of two parts. On the one hand, IT industry citizens work to design products that are less polluting, less energy-consuming and easier to recycle, as well as more efficient data centres. On the other, it is a question of innovative projects that will enable, via IT contributions, the building of a more sustainable world. The not-for-profit EURO GREEN IT INNOVATION CENTRE wants to play a major role in this second part, by creating an expertise, reflection and guidance centre for the ideas, projects and young companies that rely on information technologies for the purpose of developing a more sustainable world.
In addition to its role of new green technology research accelerator, the Centre will also have a role of recommendation to the public authorities with regard to the added-value of ICT for improving the eco-energy efficiency of the green economy. The Centre is oriented towards start-ups, SMEs, businesses units and university departments that are developing innovative projects in terms of sustainable development.
According to the Vice-President and Minister of the Economy, Jean-Claude Marcourt: “The EURO GREEN IT CENTRE meets one of the key green objectives of the Marshall Plan 2.Vert, launched a few months ago on my initiative by the Walloon Government, namely: the stimulation of economic development and job creation in Wallonia, through the support for new technologies that contribute to a society that has greater respect for our resources and our environment.”
The Mayor of Mons, Elio Di Rupo, is delighted by the establishment of the Euro Green IT Centre in Mons: “The Digital Innovation Valley that has seen the arrival of Google and Microsoft, and that has been rolled out in Tournai & Charleroi, now welcomes the Euro Green IT Innovation Centre in the area, a centre of expertise for technologies that support and stimulate sustainable development. This Centre will be installed in Mons, and will have important synergies with the Microsoft Innovation Center and Virtualis, a centre for audiovisual expertise. This is a perfect fit with the double objective of the capital of Hainault: the start up of new companies and the development of multinationals in the Digital Innovation Valley on the one hand, and the candidacy of Mons as European Cultural Capital in 2015, with as theme ‘Where technology meets culture’ on the other hand. This valley in Mons, will from now on contain a center of expertise in the energy field, stimulating job creation and the start up of some ten companies a year in the area!”
According to Georges Campioli d’Agoria, this initiative represents a major opportunity for the Walloon companies that are already involved in this field: “As a federation representing the ICT companies, Agoria Wallonia intends to help the Green IT Innovation Centre to achieve its maturity. More and more of our member companies are working on solutions to the great environmental challenges that are before us, whether it be in the search for enhanced energy efficiency for our buildings, for greater mobility on our roads or for telecommuting and videoconference system modes… The best way of predicting the future is to invent it “.
The objectives of the Centre, which will be opening in the Initialis Park in Mons this spring, are clear:
In order to achieve its objectives, two concrete initiatives are being launched as of today:
Green IT Alliance: A broad alliance with the sector’s various players has been formed in order to take care of the reflection, the public awareness campaigns (general public, IT managers) and the co-ordination of the recycling programs. This alliance will be financed by member contributions, while also benefiting from public funds. This alliance could also co-ordinate an annual exhibition on the subject of the use of ITC in sustainable development.
Green IT Innovator’s Lab: In order to enable the launch of innovative pilot projects, which require greater financing, a “living laboratory” will be created which will have the task of implementing, guiding and co-ordinating those pilot projects.
On a purely illustrative basis, the Centre will work on projects such as these:
The private partners explain why they have decided to invest in the not-for-profit EURO GREEN IT CENTRE:
Pierre Leclercq, Euro Green IT Centre Project Leader, +32 (0)498 70 80 38,
Office of Vice-President Jean-Claude Marcourt, Nathalie Lafontaine, Spokesperson, +32 (0)476 93 38 49,
Office of the Burgomaster of Mons, Elio Di Rupo, Juliette Picry, Press Attachée, +32 (0)497 97 08 73,
AGORIA WALLONIA, Jean-François Bodarwé, Public Relations Consultant, +32 (0)476 40 32 77,
CISCO, Quadrant Communications, Rafaël Tirmarche, +32 (0)476 68 94 92,
IBM, Yes Van Seters, Media Relations IBM Belgium & Luxembourg, +32 (0)478 27 10 33,
MICROSOFT, Aurélie Couvreur, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager, Microsoft Belgium & Luxemburg, +32 (0)497 47 47 69,
Climate Savers Computing Initiative, Jessica Repa, Conservation Director, 503-327-8031,
Climate Savers® is a trademark or registered trademark of World Wildlife Fund Inc., an international conservation organization. Used under license.