20 years of IDEA: looking back, but mainly looking ahead

20 years of IDEA: looking back, but mainly looking ahead

In September 1998, IDEA was founded by Wim Van der Beken and Leo Sleuwaegen as an independent and research-based consultancy firm. Although the structure and services have evolved, the company's original DNA has remained unchanged to this day.

"If I ever write my memoirs, the last three years will take a special place.” (Wim Van der Beken)

During the celebrations, Wim Van der Beken looked back on the last few years. The footprint and impact of IDEA have become more visible. IDEA evolved from being a consultancy agency with recognised strengths in innovation, the labour market and area development, into a highly sought-after policy partner and an active broker of regional innovation programmes, urban and regional strategies and new organisational models for administrations.

The past three years are particularly memorable for Wim Van de Beken: "In 2015, we decided to take our own course, away from ECORYS. We are now expanding the IDEA Group, with Value Partners and MONDEA as the first subsidiaries. The Group has its headquarters in the new ID-House in Joseph II straat. Internationalisation also saw a real breakthrough with projects in France, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Taiwan.


Focus on creating added value

Celebrating a 20-year anniversary is of course more than just a retrospective. Bart Van Herck, who sits alongside Wim Van der Beken as managing director, revealed the plans for IDEA 2021. "In the coming years, we will concentrate on creating added value on three fronts:

  • The further expansion of the IDEA Group and the wider IDEA network, in order to provide integrated solutions for our customers;
  • More added value at European and international level. With projects such as Vanguard and AGROPOL, we will connect cities and regions in line with the primary European ambitions, and we will continue to fulfil and develop this role as a 'connector'.
  • And finally, we are working on updating our range of services, using more open data, stronger links between services because of increasing social complexity and a continued focus on the implementation of solutions (the ‘how’ question).


Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/wSl9f2ig_KI

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