KU Leuven: KU Leuven, the City of Bruges and BMCC are joining forces to put Bruges on the map as an academic conference destination

The City of Bruges, the Exhibition, Meeting and Congress Center (BMCC) and KU Leuven have concluded a collaboration agreement to support conference organization in Bruges. In concrete terms, this concerns a commitment between the three parties to organize even more conferences, colloquia and symposia of KU Leuven in Bruges and in particular the BMCC.

Bruges has been a melting pot of entrepreneurs, artists and visitors for centuries. As early as the 13th-14th century, Bruges was a thriving city where international merchants gathered to trade in bills of exchange and the city’s first stock exchange developed. Even today, the city wants to be a meeting place for national and international visitors, researchers and entrepreneurs with the Exhibition, Meeting and Congress Centre.

Mayor Dirk De fauw: “The aim of this new partnership is to generate an increase in conferences and business tourism for our city and the wider Bruges region, and thus to further expand the city’s image as a meeting and conference destination. There are already close ties between the City and KU Leuven. The university has been present in our city since 2017 with a campus at the station. Future physiotherapists and industrial engineers are trained there and researchers are doing pioneering work in the fields of health, sustainability and technology.”

By organizing them in Bruges, we can embed them in a unique setting with a great allure, but also contribute to the image of the city as an academic conference destination.

Rector Luc Sels

“This agreement is an important engine for Bruges entrepreneurship. KU Leuven conferences in the BMCC will connect and inspire entrepreneurs, professionals, scientists and other interested parties about the latest developments in various fields,” says Alderman for Werk en Ondernemen and BMCC Chairman Pablo Annys.

Knowledge institution par excellence
KU Leuven rector Luc Sels: “KU Leuven has the ambition to also organize its national and international conferences and seminars from Bruges. Thanks to our Bruges campus, we are very closely intertwined with the city. We are now extending this collaboration to our conference activities. Our events often focus on research, innovation and social impact. By organizing them in Bruges, we can embed them in a unique framework with a great appearance, but also contribute to the image of the city as an academic conference destination.”

KU Leuven has already planned two international conferences in the BMCC. In 2024, KU Leuven will host the annual conference of the European Academy of Childhood Disability there. In the same year, the biannual congress of EMC Europe, the largest European conference in the field of electromagnetic compatibility, took place with more than 400 participants.

Five-year partnership
With the agreement, all parties commit themselves to further develop conference tourism in and to Bruges and in the BMCC. KU Leuven brings its network, expertise and knowledge and BMCC and the city of Bruges their services and state-of-the-art conference infrastructure in the heart of the city. This cooperation agreement is entered into for a period of five years.

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