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Brussels Sustainable Economy is a Brussels Capital Region initiative designed to stimulate new enterprise, and therefore jobs, based on the creation of environmentally orientated economic activity. The project is part of a programme to improve conditions in a disadvantaged inner-area of the city alongside the canal, and targets six specific environmental circuits: eco-construction, renewable energy, waste, water, sustainable food, and green chemistry and green/white biotechnology.

Executive summary

The Brussels Sustainable Economy project has been inspired by the double challenge facing the city in its drive to comply with the Europe 2020 strategy. The economic crisis of recent years has placed growing unemployment and the problems related to energy consumption and climate firmly in the policy spotlight of the Brussels Capital Region. In fact the regional authority has established an ‘Economic-Environmental Alliance’ at the heart of its governance model in order to foster a cross-ministry, cross-departmental integrated approach – to simultaneously encourage economic revival and tackle ongoing environmental deterioration.

One of 37 EU-funded projects aimed at improving conditions in a particularly disadvantaged inner-city area alongside the canal during the programming period 2007-2013, BSE aims to create new business and jobs based on exploiting opportunities and needs in six well-defined environmental sectors. Building on existing regional and local initiatives and policy orientations, the project prioritises eco-construction, renewable energy, waste, water, sustainable food, and green chemistry & green/white biotechnology. These are fields of operation which have a real relevance for urban regeneration in the social, functional and physical context of the target area.

Three different but complementary organisations have joined forces to manage, coordinate and implement the project: Brussels Environment, the Brussels Enterprise Agency and the NGO Groupe One. Each brings specific expertise to the tasks of identifying, encouraging, supporting and coaching new enterprise opportunities. This partnership represents an innovative tactic allowing the project to reach a particularly wide range of stakeholders – research, knowledge and learning institutes, the business community, young entrepreneurs as well as grassroots start-ups and job seekers. In this way it is able to address both high-tech and low-tech opportunities and bottom-up initiatives. The partnership also actively promotes a full lifecycle approach to the question of business development.

Having prepared a strategic plan, the project is now implementing 35 concrete actions, including setting up a business incubator, science park and coaching academy, treating and recycling waste and finding energy solutions for the roofs of public buildings. It represents an exciting step for Brussels Capital Region which expects to generate 3 000 green jobs, 578 new green enterprises and 572 new products and services as a result of the initiative.

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Technical information


Fostering sustainable growth in the inner city

Member State and Region

Belgium (Brussels Capital Region)

Duration of project

60 months (09.2008 – 09.2013)


Total budget: 1 962 338 € - ERDF contribution: 981 169 €

Cohesion Policy Objective

Regional Competitiveness and Employment

Managing Authority

Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Urban Renovation

Gouvernement bruxellois

Ministre du Gouvernement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

CCI nr of OP

2007BE162PO001– Operational Programme ‘Brussels Capital Region’


Etienne Aulotte – Bruxelles Environnement/Leefmilieu Brussel

Brussels Institute for Environmental Management

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel : +32 2 775 77 30


http://www.leefmilieubrussel.be/Templates/Professionnels/informer.aspx?id=3774 (no project dedicated website FR & NL)


Technological and market innovation, New business process, Renewable energies, Employment and labour market