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We drank extremely strong coffee chatting with the other meditators and with each other.
I always felt very awake and alive during these times. I was either heading down the road to enlightenment with my wakefulness and aliveness, or it was the adrenal rush from the caffeine jolt to my body.
Or, perhaps in a more Buddhist sense, it was a balance of the two. Mark had shared with me that he made guitars. One evening, at the Zendo for a meditation sitting, Mark abruptly jumped up from his cushion and left the center.
Later that night in a Zen class, the Zen priest explained that even when someone has an experience that leads them out of the center, it is not for us to jump up after him or her. It is their experience.
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We need to honor that. The following week, walking into the meditation hall early in the morning, I was happy to see Mark back on the cushion, and I took my place on the cushion to his right. After meditation, I lingered over the fuel-laden coffee chatting with Mark and the others. Someone told me later that morning that they had left together to talk about some things.
I figured it likely had something to do with what had sent him fleeing from the cushion a few evenings before. He asked that we send him offers of healing during our prayer service after zazen. I learned this past weekend that Mark had died. His gentle smile; his kind ways. I miss sitting by him and I miss drinking morning coffee with him. There is a Zen chant that goes like this: Let me respectfully remind you Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Do not squander your life. I look at the month of knowing Mark, and wonder how it might have been different had I known it was his last month on this Earth. All I can come up with is this: We should treat every life as precious, and strive to honor those in our lives. We should live in the present, giving our attention fully to those we are sitting with, commuting with, working with, or to those whom we are speaking.
We should stop checking our emails when we are engaged with someone in conversation. We should put away our cell phones when we are in the grocery store checkout and say hello to the cashier and the person bagging our groceries.
We should honor the fact that both on the cushion and in life, people are entitled to their own experience, but there is a time to connect in a shared moment of humanity. Sitting on the cushion, our minds can wander to a myriad of things. Waterways connect with Antwerp, Amsterdam, the Rhine and the north of France.
The motorways connect with all the major networks.
There are trains including the TGV, two airports plus that of Brussels. We also have enviable living standards, with very accessible house prices. Where do you see future growth? The Marshall Plan for development favours the emergence of innovative companies with a critical size, creating poles of excellence that can compete on a planetary basis. In which market do they operate? About 40 in Wallonia Walloon recipe for world leaders How did we proceed to identify our hidden champions?
We therefore applied ourselves to the task of updating that first list. We also went through the press and scoured the web. All in all, those different actions enabled us to update our data and integrate a few newcomers. As previously explained by Hermann Simon page 5the leaders are often fairly discreet companies and they consider that discretion as a component of their strategy.
They find it difficult to gauge their position in the world arena? Those are the reasons put forward for that discretion.
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Their business environment is the subcontracting market and that further justifies their reticence to communicate since they have little contact with the mainstream market. For all these reasons, it is therefore difficult to have a completely exhaustive view of the situation. If you feel that you have been overlooked, please contact the editorial staff dynamisme. They will be delighted to insert you in the list published on www.
No standard profiles Our first finding is that there is no determinism. Sectors with a strong technological content are certainly well represented but some more traditional companies manage to stand out amongst the crowd, whether they are in the textile industry Iwan Simonis founded in …! Size is not a decisive criterion either. Codine 5 persons is evidence of such a firm. In several cases, these companies are subsidiaries of multinationals, but their activity and the added value created in Wallonia stand apart at international level.
Is a good product enough? Is a product enough? Technological progress may be combined with acquisitions of companies which are themselves leaders in their sector IBA, Irisor the opportunity to take control of a recognised competitor MP Colinet, Carmeusebut also with a good market understanding Automatics Systems.
The company participated in the Harry Potter films and in the last three James Bonds. The exploitation of an extremely specialised and challenging niche on a world scale is also a differentiation factor for firms such as Erachem Comilog manganese chemicalsEnzybel papainFlying Cam unmanned aerial filmingHeimbach technical feltsSaluc billiard ballsSidech bismuth or even Zinacor zinc wireworks. Among the 5 competitiveness clusters set up in Wallonia, it should also be The list will be published on www.
Generally speaking, there are no success stories without a real leadership capacity for carrying through a longterm strategy and mobilising its teams around a strong ambition. Il emploie actuellement plus de 2. The firm from Wavre has a string of prestigious references throughout the world www. It is considered as the leader of the market for the detection of automatic doors www. The industrial group has world leadership or co-leadership in the segment of recovery boilers for steam and gas combined-cycle power stations, gun-turret systems for light armoured vehicles and steel galvanisation lines.
InCMI topped the millioneuro mark for registered orders. It currently employs over 2, persons spread throughout the world www. Over years later, AGC Flat Glass Europe, the heir to this great glassmaking tradition, is still using the acquired expertise to drive the glass market forwards — both in terms of quantity and the all-important quality.
Traditionally, of course, the company has always excelled in producing glass that is sold in traditional forms. To a degree, this is a commodity market. But from the nineties onwards, the company invested heavily in expanding markets such as first the Czech Republic and later Russia.
This means the company was very well placed to benefit from the increasingly global world market — and particularly in markets that are still seeing very strong growth. Creating added value Amtoys started life only 15 years ago as an importer of European toys into Belgium. Founders Katia De Paepe and Simon-Pierre Gilliot followed the usual path of micro-companies, with the garage being used as a warehouse and the laundry room as an office.
After four years of hard work, they had little to show for it and began to seek out other approaches. So they took the bolder move of producing their own range of plushes, and from the outset targeted high quality products.
So Nouky, the friendly teddy bear, was born in To consolidate on what was already becoming a recognised brand, it opened Noukie shops in Brussels and Paris. Over the next two years, they expanded the network by adding further shops in Belgium and France but also Italy, Germany and Abu Dhabi. The next phase of their growth was almost an accident. One of the most surprising success stories of recent years is Amtoys, makers of the Noukies range of plush toys and DVDs.
Leadership through innovation Heris. We are increasingly in a situation where the added-value becomes more important not only for us, but also for our customers so they can be more profitable.
So the current research is focussed on health, the environment, safety and comfort. This innovation is built on very solid foundations. They contacted a scriptwriter and developed five short pilot programmes for the MIPCOM Junior trade fair, generating 80 screenings and numerous enquiries.
They also found an understanding partner in Awex. She points to a trade mission to Canada that led directly to further sales of the Noukies TV series over there. Expansion through partnership and knowledge Ina Liege-based company started providing the rapidly expanding industrial base of Wallonia with lime and limestone products.
Since that time, the group — still a family business — has grown to include some 80 production facilities across 12 countries in Europe, North America and Africa. This global scope enables it to serve customers worldwide, delivering products in bulk, on pallets, in bags or containers via road, rail and sea. The company s focus on the needs of its clients is reflected in its ISO quality certification at most of its production facilities.
In it was the first lime producer to be ISO certified in Belgium. For Rodolphe Collinet, the continued success can be attributed to a number of factors. We then undertook to share this expertise with partners in different countries around the world".
At the time, the goal was remarkably simple. As lime is a ponderous commodity, it was seen as a more strategic move to share the benefits of the research and investment with strong local players.
So we organised to work with partners in a strategy of joint ventures. Then, over the years, as the business evolved, we eventually acquired some of the partners into what is now a worldwide group". Apart from the weight of lime products, this policy fit with another aspect of the business: So it was better benefit from the local expertise as well". He cites the use of lime as a stabiliser. Largely considered a family business, the lime and limestone producer Carmeuse has seen considerable growth over the past twenty years through a long-term policy of expansion through investment and partnerships.
HQ in Louvain-laNeuve, 70 locations worldwide Founded in: The company produces and markets the Balade and Carlsbourg butters, among others www. These niche products are used in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, or even the textile industry www.
The company is supplied with ore mined in Gabon and is able to propose the widest portfolio of products in this sector. The company has also developed a copper recycling service www. It is the international headquarters of the GlaxoSmithKline multinational group for vaccine research and development activities.
The company distributes 35 doses of vaccines every second www. A niche in which it holds a leading position www. These are the most advanced solutions that can be found in the sector. Responding to a customer request in the early s, Codine developed its first detection system, launching the firm on a highly successful path. Today Codine is the European leader in discreet alarm systems for protecting publicly displayed works of art. Numerous museums, churches, galleries and luxury firms count on Codine systems to protect their valuable assets.
The company has won a dozen different innovation and quality awards. A museum is not an industry. It wants to take time to be sure the technology is effective.
We can work on a longer time scale, providing tailor-made solutions and long-term service. Its pioneering electromagnetic proximity detection system Have you ever been to the Louvre in Paris?
Or the Royal Museum in Brussels? But hopefully not too close. Meet a European champion in the field of protective systems. The continued ageing of the population — and this almost everywhere in the world — means that cancer as no. Born exporters The first clients of IBA were all from abroad. In fact, New York placed the first order, while Tokyo and Sydney were second and third. Louvain-laNeuve is the nerve centre and where the testing of equipment is done.
IBA is a world leader and this most notably in the production and distribution of radiopharmaceutical agents used in medical imaging, and the IBA was founded in as a spin off of the Cylcotron Research Centre from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
The objective was to use particle accelerator technology in both the medical and industrial fields. Twenty-one years later, IBA is going from strength to strength, and perspectives are, sadly, still very good.
Delivering solutions of a unique precision in the fields of cancer diagnosis and therapy, and improving the hygiene and safety of everyday life through sterilization and ionization solutions. Other detection solutions are based on gravimetric, piezo-seismic, infrared and laser technologies. How important is research and development? Only when you are the best can you go abroad.
So we must be at the top of the market and be the first with new technology". We are extending outward in a spiral". Up to other jobs can be added, as much of the manufacturing work is sub-contracted to other companies in the Walloon area. UCL is still the third largest shareholderand much of the talent needed to take the technology and the business forward comes from the region. Laurent got involved and learned how much the system needed improving.
Professional video technology generates 60 images every second 25 for film. But producing a smooth sequence of slowed-down movement requires more images. Typically, slowmotion cameras shoot images per second. Certain models can reach 1, But these systems suffer from major drawbacks. Slow-motion filming generates vast amounts of data. Difficulties in processing and storage meant that only short sequences could be filmed with long delays before viewing.
These drawbacks translate into higher media production costs. Quick adaptors I-Movix is set to change all this. Clever data handling results in simpler information storage and real-time monitoring without delays.
This allows film crews to shoot longer scenes and broadcasters to show instant, highquality slow-motion replays. This permits slow-motion filming even under dark conditions, for example during evening stadium events. As an SME, we have flexibility and can adapt quickly. Unlike a large company with a complicated structure, at I-Movix Laurent can exploit his own ideas. Some of our developers wear a double hat — researcher and marketer — so products evolve quickly.
Moreover, our Chief Technical Officer, who is Japanese, has formed excellent relationships with our key Japanese suppliers". If you really want to observe fast-moving objects, slow-motion video is the answer. But achieving this is trickier than it sounds. A very young company from Mons is making big waves in the media industry with its breakthrough hyper-slow-motion technologies.
Inturnover was 86 million euro for staff figures of persons www. International expansion dates back to the sixties, with the development of extremely resistant metal balls, used to crush stone and reduce it to powder. The invention was soon to find outlets in the mines and cement making www.
It exports practically its entire production, particularly to China, where it has been established sinceand to America www. It was one of the first companies to be set up in Europe to market these new materials www.
Production started in in the United Sates and in in Europe, on the new production site of Thimister-Clermont www.
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Employing 1, persons in twenty or so companies located in more than 10 countries, Prayon markets its products in over countries www. They are a must for billiard players all over the world. At the outset, the firm was active in the manufacture of synthetic tannins and changed its business to the production of billiard balls in the fifties.
This niche metal is used in a growing number of applications, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The SME from Tilly is undeniably the world leader in its sector with a production of 2, tonnes per year www. The firm is integrated into the Safran Group 1, persons and is known worldwide for the design and manufacture of modules for aeronautic and space engines.
More particularly, it is the world leader in electrical supply and distribution equipment for satellite platforms www. Having earned its reputation as a specialist in ship unloaders, Vigan has completed more than 1, installations worldwide and looks like going from strength to strength www. XDC has already ensured the deployment of more than digital cinemas in Europe, but also in China, Brazil and the United States www.
The main application of this product is to protect metal structures against corrosion. The zinc coating can be used for bridges, gates, cast-iron pipes, gas bottles, etc. The tiniest imperfection in the cloth could cause a deviation in the path of the ball and prove catastrophic in a competitive match.
Guillaume Henri Simon Simonis founded his factory in Verviers in because the local water was ideal for washing wool. Precisely when the company began manufacturing cloth for billiard tables is not known, although it has been in production for at least two centuries. Exclusive specialisation in this market came about more recently. Nearly all its output is exported to about 50 countries. The main markets are in Western Europe and increasingly Eastern Europe, as well as in North America, where it has a commercial subsidiary.
The Asian market is smaller but growing. Innovation married to know-how What role does innovation play for Iwan Simonis? The only manufacturer exclusively focused on billiard cloth, the company has devoted itself to uncompromising standards to become the undisputed leader in its field. Being located in Belgium is an advantage. What about the growing microbrewery market popular in the U. New ideas Innovation has always played a key role at Meura: The hot block is where malt and hops are ground and boiled.
The cold block is where fermentation takes place. We have the hot block. We use the most up-to-date technology to ensure quality and remain the market leader.
At the same time, we marry innovation with knowhow, because nothing replaces the experience accumulated over centuries". The company has been innovative in other ways too. Iwan Simonis was a pioneer in sponsoring. It is also the official sponsor and supplier to all major pool and carom competitive events. Fortunately this field is growing, thanks in part to TV broadcasts of the sport. Through a devotion to high quality it looks certain that Iwan Simonis is set to retain its leadership in this niche market.
Construction of the rest of the machinery is subcontracted to firms in Belgium and abroad. Equipped with a complete test brewery, half-a-dozen researchers work together with students. There is also collaboration with other academic institutions. How will changes in the industry affect Meura? Brewing technology will see big changes in the coming years". Increasing visibility in North America The aviation industry remains a very high-profile sector, showing strong growth over the past few years and with excellent previsions for the coming decade.
Yet it is also a sector that requires very high levels of specialisation and close cooperation between the suppliers and clients. From its operational HQ in Gosselies, near Charleroi Airport, it researches, designs, develops and produces aerospace structures and their subsystems.
It also maintains a strong presence in both military and space programmes. Sonaca is constantly seeking to develop new technologies and solutions to enable aircraft to meet the considerable challenges of the future.
For this, Sonaca puts a lot of emphasis on research and the highest levels of workmanship in its production centres. It requires a good product, good design and the latest production technologies — in a word, an ability to innovate". One of its latest projects in the pipeline is PLM, a system that manages all the data needed for the design, digital models, technical documents and resource planning of projects.
This reinforces its presence in the highly important North American market. It is currently in the process of consolidating its role in the North American market.
Grain Cake Bakery Co. Today it is one of the largest and most productive rice cake producers in Europe.
Continental Bakeries obviously liked what they saw, as they bought the operation in August Success is best achieved when there is real dialogue and a genuine partnership with their customers. In strict confidentiality, there is an open discussion about what product and what market the brand or supermarket is going for — this combined with their production and product knowledge is a sure way to end up with a new and innovative product that the shopper wants and buys.