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Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts explores VUB Photonics Campus in Oetingen


Flemish Minister for Education and the 'Vlaamse Rand' (the Flemish periphery around Brussels) Ben Weyts visited the VUB Photonics Campus in Oetingen. The visit provided the minister with the opportunity to delve into the research activities, laboratories and STEAM projects of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and B-PHOT.

Minister Weyts was welcomed at the Photonics Campus by B-PHOT Director and VUB Vice Rector for Innovation and Valorisation Prof. Hugo Thienpont. The visit's agenda included a thorough exploration of the research projects and laboratory facilities, with particular attention to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects by B-PHOT, including the STEAM Academy.

In response to the visit, Minister Weyts emphasized the importance of such initiatives for the development of science and technology in Flanders. He stated, "This project tries to involve the local community. B-PHOT not only implements the newest technologies but makes it a win-win for the region, which is a good, broader approach. Investments go beyond their original goal. The STEAM Academy should have a spill-over effect on the wider region, this is an example for the Flemish periphery. Our department wants to help youngsters discover their talent for STEM, based on a scientific approach."

"The local community is very interested in our technologies, from youngsters to adults and seniors", Prof. Thienpont confirms. "There is a genuine interest, we saw that during Flanders Technology and Innovation."

Minister Weyts' visit to the VUB Photonics Campus underscores the importance of investments in scientific research and educational initiatives, highlighting the ongoing commitment of the Flemish government to promoting innovation and knowledge development. "The Flemish government has made a serious efforts to catch up in the field of innovation", Prof. Thienpont concludes.

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