DEL20 (2022 edition): A unique opportunity to put innovation into practice

Jan 27, 2023
  • Microsoft
  • DEL20
  • data
  • augmented reality

DEL20, delaware’s ecosystem for innovation, finished up its 2022 edition with the eight participating companies and five start-ups selected by delaware sharing their experiences for half a day. We took advantage of this networking opportunity (long live the return of face-to-face events!) to ask them what this initiative has meant to them. In this update, we’ll also briefly introduce the eight projects of this 2022 cycle.

Since 2016, delaware has used the DEL20 ecosystem to support dozens of companies as they experiment with innovative ideas. By offering its expertise (the equivalent of 25 days of free consultancy per experiment) and by facilitating access to cutting-edge technologies, each year delaware helps some of its customers and prospective customers to truly test their innovative concepts. 

This year, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics were particularly well represented among the eight innovation experiences. Regardless of the technology they were exploring, all the participants appreciated the opportunity to lift their noses from the grindstone for a while and meet with like-minded innovators. 

“DEL20 is a unique opportunity to experiment with new processes, without necessarily being linked to a client’s environment but rather by being connected to a strategic objective of the group. It also provides access to the expertise of data scientists as much as to an infrastructure. Finally, it’s a source of inspiration to be around other innovative projects,” says Christoph Koch, marketing manager at Magotteaux

“What I especially appreciate at DEL20 is that the ideas really come from the supported company. delaware doesn’t impose a preference or a technology. Instead, they help us put our idea into practice, in particular using their integration expertise. delaware knows our existing systems and this helps us when it comes to making choices,” says Ruben Devos, innovation manager at Agristo

“This is an opportunity to develop an innovation for which we had neither the resources nor the expertise in-house. All without taking a big risk, except for the rather inspiring one of opening up a whole host of possibilities,” adds Vincent Lecomte, IT business partner at Minafin

“DEL20 is an opportunity to be part of an remarkable experience, with limited risk-taking and without having to obtain a host of internal validations, particularly with regard to budget. In addition, we learned a lot from meeting some great people,” say Eric Heuschen and Benoit Scalais, digitalization manager and project manager at SNCB

The eight experiments of the 2022 cycle

Mariasteen: the social employment organization created and tested an augmented reality application using HoloLens glasses. The idea is to facilitate the training of workers in how to set up metal working machines, in the context of labor shortages. 

Daikin: the heating and air conditioning specialist explored the use of external data sources (on the web) to perfect its sales prospecting application, using advanced analytics and machine learning to achieve “smart prospecting”, which combines external data and internal systems. 

Minafin: for its Minakem division specializing in health applications, the contract chemistry specialist tested the combination of several technologies (OCR, artificial intelligence, and blockchain storage) to automate the recurrent reading of around 100 pressure sensors at three sites, in controlled-atmosphere areas. The idea is to improve both data quality and operator experience. 

SNCB: conducted in the large Liège-Guillemins station, the DEL20 experiment aimed to develop an artificial intelligence application based on audio recognition (capturing of ambient sounds in the station), capable of alerting station staff to the presence of groups of children. The underlying aim is to filter camera images using a sound-detection system and send security and support personnel to the most relevant locations. 

Agristo: as an employer of staff of quite a few different nationalities — who sometimes face language barriers — the potato specialist experimented with a voice translation application, implementing voice recognition and oral synthesis technologies. 

Magotteaux: like Daikin, Magotteaux tested the potential of AI technologies, data modeling, and data mining to optimize its commercial prospecting mechanisms. The objective is to combine internal and external databases to maximize the sales team’s chances of success. 

De Watergroep: the water distribution company tested quantum computing and advanced analytics capabilities with delaware (via the Databricks platform). The objective was simple: to identify the best places on the Watergroep network to locate pressure sensors to detect potential leaks. 

Joris Ide: with the support of delaware, the steel company trained and supported a small group of “champion users” to create low-code applications. This “low-code lab” used the PowerApps (Microsoft) and Mendix platforms. 

Five start-ups in the spotlight

The DEL20 closing event also served as a showcase for 5 start-ups, spotted by delaware: 


Would you like to explore an innovative idea with us? Contact us to join the 2023 edition of DEL20!