A number of international companies are established in Charleroi Métropole alongside a particularly dense fabric of SMEs. These are active in a variety of sectors which raise the profile of the region, such as aviation and space, technology, chemistry, health, glass or biotechnology, for example.
In particular, but not definitive: Johnson & Johnsons, Nexans, Ecoplast Technology , N-Allo, Sonaca, Sabca, Thales, Alstom, Dreamwall/keywall, Les Editions Dupuis, Industeel, Quality Assistance, Gerresheimer, Chimay Tradition, l’IRE…
Sectors with a high level of added value
Charleroi Métropole has developed strong expertise in several very high value-adding sectors, from arts and crafts to aerospace, to biotechnology or technological industry.
In the city centre, four sectors with a high level of added value have developed over the last 10 years, giving Charleroi Métropole an international reputation and creating more than 10,000 jobs:
Bio industries, characterised by the Biopark Brussels Charleroi, the neighbouring healthcare hub and the hospitals.
The airport and logistics, marked by the rapid development of the airport Brussels Charleroi Airport which is today Belgium’s second-largest airport, primarily attracting logistics businesses around its site (Johnson & Johnson, Bpost, etc.).
The advanced manufacturing industry, represented by large international corporations that have expertise in aviation, aerospace, transport or even glass.
Charleroi Métropole also stands out thanks to its diverse offering of services linked to arts and crafts, tourism or leisure which are concentrated around its region’s rural centres.
A strategic development plan for the region
Created in 2016 at the behest of the Walloon government and stakeholders in Charleroi, CATCH
(Catalysts 4 Charleroi) is the job growth acceleration plan put in place for the region of Charleroi Métropole. Its objective is to create almost 10,000 new direct and indirect jobs in these sectors between now and 2025.
The CATCH plan focuses on 15 sites in the 4 sectors with a high level of added value for Charleroi’s economy: Advanced manufacturing, airport & logistics, health and bio, as well as creative & digital.
26 business parks, thousands of businesses and jobs
These cross-borough organisations are also developing multiple property options (offices, workshops, laboratories) both in the business parks and in the urban centres. Thousands of specialist companies have been established there and they have also become economic forces in the region.
For example, l’Aéropole de Charleroi is a real success story! This 100-ha science and technology park is one of the drivers of economic regeneration in Charleroi Métropole. There is also l’Ecopole de Farciennes which is emerging. This business park covering an area of about 150 hectares is based on the philosophy of sustainable development.
The Seneffe business park is dedicated to businesses of an industrial nature, as well as companies which have to be far away from residential areas due to urban planning or environmental reasons or being a good neighbour. It specifically hosts industries active in the chemicals sector, and in particular the CERTECH (centre de recherche en Technologie et chimie de l’université catholique de Louvain – UCL) [Centre for Research in Technology and Chemistry of the Catholic University of Louvain] supported by an incubator for companies active in the chemicals industry, the CEFOCHIM.
A number of research centres
A number of research centres, some of the most effective in Europe, have developed in the region of Charleroi Métropole. For example, Cenaero, specialised in aerospace, Cetic, specialised in IT and communication technologies, Immune Health, known for its expertise in the life sciences, Certech, known for its work in the field of chemistry, or Sirris, specialised in the technology sector.
The site of Biopark Charleroi Brussels South brings together university research institutes, technology platforms, companies, structures focusing on research, incubators and a training centre for the biotechnology sector. In total, 1,100 people of 30 different nationalities travel to the site at l’Aéropole de Charleroi, in proximity to the Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) every day!
Biopark actively participates in the Walloon healthcare hub as do the hospitals in Charleroi Métropole: the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire , the site of the Grand Hôpital (GHDC), the Hôpital Notre-Dame de Grâce de Gosselies (CNDG), the Hôpital de Lobbes (Jolimont group), the Centre de Santé des Fagnes (CSF)…