oPEN Lab

On 20 October 2021 you are officially invited to Thor Park, Genk, for the official launch of the oPEN LAB project.

Register now (for free)!



Thor Central
Thor Park
3600 Genk

oPEN Lab Kick off

oPEN Lab - a unique project

oPEN LAB is a 20-million project funded under the European Green Deal Call. Under the coordination of EnergyVille/VITO, 33 partners from 7 countries are collaborating to revitalise urban areas across Europe, leading the transition to Positive Energy Neighbourhoods (PEN) through open innovation actions.

At this event you will be introduced to the project's unique demonstration sites in Pamplona (ES), Tartu (EE) and Genk (BE) These living labs will emerge as innovation hot-spots, testing and validating innovation processes, technologies and services in real-life communities and settings during the duration of the project and beyond.

You will also receive insights, both from EU and local policy and industry, on how living labs can drive innovation in the built environment and foster the uptake of the energy transition.


  • 12h00: Registration and light lunch
  • 13h00: Welcome by Gerrit Jan Schaeffer, CEO EnergyVille
  • 13h10: 'European perspective on innovation in the built environment’, European Commission - Stefan Moser, Head of Unit Buildings & Products, European Commission - DG ENER.
  • 13h25: Strategic importance of living labs from an innovation perspective', by Karl Lauwers, Advisor Innovation Cabinet Minister Crevits, Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation.
  • 13h35: 'Innovation as driver for the Flemish energy transition’, by Frank Verschraegen, Account Manager Energy, Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BE)
  • 13h54: 'oPEN Lab, leading the transition to Positive Energy Neighbourhoods', by Maarten De Groote, oPEN Lab Coordinator
  • 14h05: Presentation oPEN Lab test sites: Genk, Pamplona and Tartu
    • 'oPEN Lab Genk (BE) – From black gold to a positive energy future, a green transition of a former miners’ town', by Erwin De bruyn, director at STEBO & Dorien Aerts, researcher at EnergyVille/VITO.
    • 'oPEN Lab Pamplona (ES) – From an industrial landmark towards a solar-driven sustainable and social inclusive innovation hot-spot', by Jose Costero, Director Strategic Office Pamplona City Council (ES).
    • 'oPEN Lab Tartu (EE) – From a historical Soviet cultural heritage to a lighthouse project representative of 50 million flats', by Kaspar Alev, Climate Change Specialist, Tartu City Council (EE).
  • 14h55: BREAK
  • 15h25: 'oPEN Thor Living Lab: a strategic long term innovation infrastructure for energy in the built environment', by Daan Six, Research Programme Manager, oPEN Thor Living Lab.
  • 15h45: ‘Presentation CollecThor: smart heating and cooling’, by Joris Merckx, CEO Thor Park.
  • 15h55: ‘Urban design for social innovation’, by Virginia Tassinari, Assistant Professor LUCA School of Arts, Lecturer Politecnico di Milano & Co-initiator of the DESIS Philosophy Talks.
  • 16h15: Panel: living labs accelerating the transition towards Positive Energy Neighbourhoods
    • Moderator: Leen Govaerts, EnergyVille/VITO
    • Lieven Smeyers (BE), LITO
    • Prof. Miguel Ángel Alonso del Val (ES), Alonso Hernandez & Asociados Arquitectura S.L.
    • Fiona Zimmermann (CH), HES-SO
    • Arnoud van der Zee (NL), Green Village
  • 16h45: ‘The role of local governments in the energy transition’, by Wim Dries, Mayor city of Genk
  • 17h00: Closing and network event

Practical details

Thor Central
Thor Park 8000
3600 Genk (BE)

Corona measures and conditions
The government imposes some measures when organizing outdoor and indoor events, measures that are also applicable for the kick off event of open lab. Taking these measures into account makes it possible to organize the event in a safe environment.

  • What documents are required to attend the kick off event? 
    • valid Covid Safe Ticket (digital or physical)
    • identity card

      The Covid Safe Ticket is specifically designed to allow access to larger events without having to respect the 1.5m distance.

      Upon arrival you need to show your Covid Safe Ticket and identity card to our hosts. Your Covid Safe Ticket will be scanned. Our hosts will not see any personal data except your name, date of birth and QR code. This limited data is needed to verify accuracy. Please have all documents ready upon arrival to ensure smooth entry.
  • When is the covid safe ticket valid?
    • If you have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the start of the promotional suspension.
    • If you have a valid Corona test certificate: 
      • 48 hours for a PCR test 
      • 24 hours for an antigen test (antigen test can only be taken by a pharmacist)
      • When you have recovered from Covid for a maximum of 6 months.

! No valid Covid Safe Ticket means no access to the event. It is not possible to get tested at the event. !

  • Where can I get my covid safe ticket? 
      Anyone over the age of 12 must install the CovidSafeBE app in advance: (Via the App Store or Google Play) In this application you will find a QR-code that needs to be scanned at the entrance. This QR-code shows the following information:
      • Your vaccinations
      • If you have not been fully vaccinated for two weeks, you must be in possession of one of the following:
        • PCR test result: this is valid for 48 hours the day after your test. You can have the test done at the recognized travel test centers. 
        • Result of antigen test: this is valid for 24 hours the day after your test. You can have this test taken at a pharmacy. 
        • Recovery certificates: these are valid after a positive PCR test from 11 days up to 180 days. The Covid Safe Ticket is identical to the European Corona Certificate. If you already have this certificate, there is no need to request an additional document.
      No smartphone? You can also print your Covid Safe Ticket on paper via


Energy MissionThis event is a pre-event of the Energy Mission. The ‘Energy Mission’ conference is organised at Thor Park, Genk, and aims at bringing decision makers from industry, policy and knowledge institutes together and showcase specific innovations and cases along 3 missions: Industry, built environment and electrification. More info


This event will be held in English.

Participation at the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory.
Do you prefer to participate via livestream? No problem. Just make sure to indicate this in the registration form.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme under grant agreement No 101037080.