In 2000, the Walloon government founded WSL, Europe’s first technology incubator. It was designed to launch space industry spinoffs from universities across Wallonia and French-speaking Brussels.
We’ve come a long way since then! WSL soon expanded its remit to cover projects involving all aspects of engineering. The move was made in close collaboration with WSL’s natural partners: universities, graduate schools, research centres, the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (Awex) and competitiveness clusters.
That commitment to collaboration, which is deeply ingrained in our vision, is also illustrated by our many other partners in Wallonia, Brussels and outside Belgium.
in Mons, Charleroi and Louvain-la-Neuve
Offshoot in Gembloux
in figures (to end 2020)
1100 millions €
of incubated companies in 2021
(792 M€ in 2020)
(1041 in 2020)
171 millions €
(134 M€ in 2020)
Five-year success rate
of WSL-incubated companies
in added value
Annual direct job creation
Although WSL’s roots lie just outside Liège, in the city’s Science Park, its scope has always been the whole of Wallonia and French-speaking Brussels… Over time, as our success grew, it became essential to be physically present throughout the area. This presence within local ecosystems moves us closer to incubated businesses, universities and graduate schools, investors and other sources of support.
Given the areas of activity covered by WSL-incubated companies, it was only natural that the extension across Wallonia and Brussels continued internationally, all to benefit our startups.
Close ties have been formed with American, Australian and Indian partners. WSL is also accredited by the European Space Agency (ESA).
In 2005, WSL became the first NBIA-accredited incubator outside the US. Underpinning this honorific title is significant work on international development.
In 2007, WSL becomes Europe’s top technopreneur incubator.
In 2020, WSL joined the global top ten and European top three of technological incubators.