Today, Leuven MindGate and Visit Leuven unveiled a collection of panels spread across the city. These panels are meant to make the inhabitants of Leuven proud as well as inform visitors of the most incredible inventions which have been made in Leuven.
"For centuries, Leuven has been a city of innovation. Sadly, our inhabitants and visitors aren't too aware of this", said council member of tourism Dirk Vansina. "A lot of research and innovation is hidden behind the doors of our knowledge institutions and their spin-offs. We want to bring out these stories using these panels; in an accessible and multilingual way."
That is why Leuven MindGate and Visit Leuven got to work together with Leuven-based designer bureau Fugzia and designed twelve panels. Each panel has a very interactive way of explaining a Leuven-made invention: a part of the text remains invisible until you use a red magnifying glass attached to each panel.
The unveiling took place in front of the University library where the panel addressing the CURV-material was placed. This material was originally developed by Samsonite and was later on improved and optimized for suitcases by professor Ignaas Verpoest of KU Leuven's Department of Materials Engineering and Samsonite. The material combines solidity with and extremely light weight. The first prototypes of these suitcases were also made in Leuven by professor Vandepitte of KU Leuven's Department of Mechanics. Production started in 2009 with over 500 000 suitcases - made out of the CURV-material - produced per year.
"We should be extremely proud of our city. The number of groundbreaking innovations which have been made in Leuven is huge. A hearing implant which lets deaf people hear again, the most widely used HIV medicine in the world or this record breaking suitcase", Mohamed Ridouani, council member for economics, adds. "And there's more to come. Together with Leuven MindGate, we want to cash in on that leading position in health, high-tech and creativity and allow Leuven to take that step towards the world class by collaborating between different companies and sectors."
Discover all twelve panels here