T2 Campus Genk
In 2012, the Ford car manufacturer announced the closure of its plant in Genk, resulting in a high number of job losses. The Strategic Action Plan for Limburg in the Square (SALK) had to find a solution to the economic challenges in the region. In addition, the Province of Limburg struggles with a shortage of technically skilled workers and a high percentage of school-leavers. Therefore, Syntra Limburg, VDAB Limburg and the autonomous municipal company of the City of Genk jointly submitted the proposal to build a technology campus at Thor Park in Genk as a SALK project. This makes T2 Campus not only the largest SALK project, but also the largest Flemish European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project to date. The 2.4 hectare T2 campus opened its doors in September 2018 on the former Waterschei mining site. In addition to the T2 Campus, a number of new developments related to the energy transition or technological innovation and production are taking place at Thor Park. These developments are characterised by a commitment to preserving the industrial (intangible) heritage and to embedding it as much as possible in green open space.
On the T2 Campus, training and guidance in relation to the labour market is combined with technological innovation. The T2 Campus offers a broad but targeted and skill-based range of training courses to facilitate professional reorientation in relation to bottleneck professions. T2 Campus also runs initiatives such as TECHVille to stimulate young people's interest in technical or technological development. This stimulation should lead to an inflow into technical and other STEM disciplines, followed by specialist further education and employment in technical companies. T2 Campus' range of training options is future-proof and responds to companies' need for employees with specific skills. T2 wants to play an active role in the transition to industry 4.0 by anticipating the skills and know-how that will be needed in the future. To this end, the T2 team works with Limburg companies to identify those needs more quickly. Conversely, the T2 campus also makes use of the infrastructure, networks and teachers these companies have to offer.
The T2 Campus mainly consists of three parts. The ground floor is a multipurpose industrial hall, housing various workshops, ateliers and studios for different courses. The upper floors provide space for more traditional teaching spaces where classroom teaching can take place. Finally, a large atrium connects the atelier spaces and the classrooms. This atrium serves as an experiential space for social activities and informal exchanges between the different tech domains.
Thor Park 8040
learning, making industry, energy
policy innovation, cultural change, financing