About the Ghent role

One North East, the regional development agency for North East England, together with the Ghent University (Department of Industrial Management) and 7 other partners, has initiated the European Regions for Innovative Productivity (ERIP) project. With European Union support, via INTERREG IVB North Sea Region Programme funding, the primary goal is to boost the innovation capacity of small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Increasing the potential for innovation is rapidly becoming a more important issue for smaller companies to ensure their ongoing survival, especially with the challenges of the current economic climate. This is especially true for manufacturers which face growing competition from low cost economies and wish to extend their capacities and reach to new and emerging markets. So EU manufacturers are under great pressure to show flexibility to be more innovative and leaner.

The Ghent University (Department of Industrial Management), widely known as one of the leading Belgian research institutions, is responsible for the development of the Lean Change Methodology. As the only Flemish partner the UGent is also responsible for the creation and coordination of the Flemish Innovative Productivity Centre (IPC). Three members of the ERIP team in Flanders will continue the IPC in Flanders as University spinoff company Veltion. Visit the Veltion website to learn more about their services.

The ERIP team in Flanders has also written a book about the ERIP methodology and the case studies from the Flemish SMEs. The book is called 'The Factory of the Future... now! - Sustainable productivity improvement for SMEs' and is written in Dutch. This book clearly describes how you can start with sustainable productivity improvement within your own company. Learning by doing is key here! 4 SMEs in Flanders and 24 SMEs throughout the North Sea Region showed the way. Their experiences and successes illustrate every aspect of the successful method.

The book is written in a way to provide a useful guidance on introducing continuous improvement in your company. You can order this do-it-yourself guide for free by filling in the order form on this page.