BELGIUM: Ostend-based Daikin Europe has won the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy, awarded by Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT). 

This award, by Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT), is said to be in recognition of Daikin’s commitment to Flanders and Europe, highlighted by its €140m investment in its global heat pump research and development centre in Ghent.

The Foreign Investment Trophies are organised every year by Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) to put the spotlight on foreign companies that are making exceptional investments in Flanders. Daikin Europe previously won the Lifetime Achievement Trophy in 2019 and was nominated for the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy in 2017.

The investment in its EMEA Development Center (EDC) is part of Daikin’s Fusion 2025 plan to become a leading company in sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

Daikin has a long history of investments in Flanders, dating back to 1973, when the Japanese company set up its first European production site in Ostend. Today, this site is the company’s headquarters for all its activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, employing more than 2,000 people. 

The site of Daikin’s new EMEA Development Center in Ghent

The EMEA Development Center will be constructed in the Technology Park in Ghent, Belgium and should be operational by 2024. The new building will bring all of Daikin’s R&D people in Belgium together on one site, where they will be able to work closely with Ghent University. 

It is our aim to create an exciting and inspiring work environment, with openness to co-create. Our heating innovations are the result of research into heat pump technology combined with Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence,” says Laurent Van Thournout, deputy general manager of the EMEA Development Center, “and this combination provides opportunities to develop new business models.

This is why one floor in our building will be devoted to start-ups and spin-offs, who can benefit from the concentration of knowhow and expertise it will generate.”

The EMEA Development Center is part of a larger investment plan within the framework of Daikin’s Fusion 2025 plan. Between 2021 and 2025, the company will be investing €840m across the EMEA region.