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Wallonia is the Belgian region with the largest number of companies active in the aeronautics industry. It also boasts a number of world leaders and research centres ready to take up the challenge of decarbonising aviation. When it comes to space, it's in earth observation that Wallonia's expertise is particularly evident. Looking to the future, Walloon players are innovating and developing strong skills in reusable launchers and cyber security.

Ready for take-off? Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to return home with stars in your eyes. We'll take you on a tour of one of Wallonia's leading sectors.

Metallurgy and mechanical engineering

The aeronautics and space sector occupies an important place in the Walloon economy and is one of our major assets for the future. The sector's development has been underpinned by the existence of a strong metallurgy industry and, in particular, a network of subcontractors highly specialised in precision mechanics.


Aeronautics: 5% of every Airbus is made in Wallonia

1.5 billion turnover per year, 90% of which is exported: that's the weight of the aeronautics industry in Wallonia, which represents 70% of the aeronautics activity in Belgium!

Safran Aero Boosters, SABCA Technologies, Sonaca and Thales: 4 world leaders around which around 120 SMEs revolve. This industrial network also includes a large number of research centres and units, enabling the whole ecosystem to develop a number of technologies and products for the decarbonisation of aviation.

Did you know? The first space probe was designed at the Liège Space Centre in 1960.

Today, Liège is also home to Be Cover, an aerodynamic test centre that is unique in Europe and the first of its kind in the world, since it can test all types of compressors for new-generation civil and military aircraft engines.

Another recent Safran development, Safran Blades, will produce more than 2,000 compressor blades a day for aircraft engines by 2025.




Space: Belgium is the 6th largest European contributor to the ESA and the2nd largestper capita

With annual sales of €500 million, 90% of which is exported, these are just a few figures to illustrate the Walloon space sector.

Walloon excellence is particularly evident in the field of earth observation, both in platforms and in-orbit instruments(Aerospacelab, Amos, Thales Alenia Space) and in services and applications(Spacebel and Telespazio). These applications are essential for managing climate change (soil management, agriculture, etc.).

These include the hyperspectral imaging initiative of SPACEBEL, which has merged with Constellr (Germany). By combining their complementary remote sensing technologies, these two players intend to make an even greater contribution to global solutions in the fields of sustainable agriculture, forestry and environmental monitoring.

Wallonia has also produced some fine innovations in reusable launchers and cyber security.



The ID2Move test centre and incubator supported by CAP Innove is recognised as the best test centre in Europe. In particular, it is unique in Europe to be able to test underwater drones.



SKYWIN, the Walloon competitiveness cluster, brings together companies, research centres, universities and training centres in the field. Its partnership-based approach is designed to generate synergies around joint innovative projects, with the aim of creating new products and jobs.

Interested in investing in Wallonia in this strategic sector, or in forging partnerships in Wallonia? Don't hesitate to contact our expert Jean-Pierre Chisogne, Senior Industry Specialist Aeropscae