3 questions to Jean Jouet, new president of the MecaTech cluster
June 24th 2021
Jean Jouet, what is your view of MecaTech, its history, its impact, etc.?
MecaTech is above all a great success story. It is a competent and dynamic team to manage it. It has also become an expertise in selecting and setting up development projects. These are successful projects that have led to great successes. Lastly, the cluster is surrounded by a community of players: large companies, SMEs, research centers and universities that have become accustomed to working together and developing collaborations by putting into practice the adage: “Alone we go faster, but together we go further. MecaTech also has a real impact on the Walloon technology sector. On this point, it should be mentioned that expectations are higher, especially from the supervisory authorities.
How would you describe the collaboration between MecaTech and John Cockerill? What are the respective contributions?
The collaboration is very good. A highlight of the last few years: John Cockerill is no longer limited to the “traditional” areas of its activities, but has initiated or participated in more diversified projects focused on the common strategic priorities of the company and the region. One example is the successful development of specific paints for solar receivers, which are now in full-scale testing on our ongoing projects. There are also projects with John Cockerill’s defense sector involving new materials or artificial intelligence, or our participation in a project focused on renewable energy for green mobility.
What is your ambition as the new president of the MecaTech cluster?
First of all, I will meet with the teams, members and various stakeholders to listen to and collect their suggestions. But let’s be clear from the outset, it will be a change in continuity. I have represented John Cockerill on the MECATECH Board of Directors since 2013 and we have a shared vision, with President Marcel MILLER and with MecaTech Director Anthony van PUTTE.
I will first of all have to consolidate the cluster’s areas of expertise, such as project selection and implementation assistance, but also to increase the cluster’s impact by imagining new modes of collaboration. Over the past few months, the Walloon Region has carried out important work on strategic priorities in terms of innovation. This is the basis on which we will build, involving all the cluster’s members. I am convinced of the crucial role that Industry must play in the deployment of the Walloon economy. The period of exit from the COVID crisis that we are currently experiencing offers us a unique opportunity to bounce back by thinking differently. So let’s go for it!