Their names may not ring a bell to you now, but these home-grown companies are exporting their products and know-how abroad, and are rapidly making a name for themselves.
Discover these little gems making us proud.
One of the first video game developers in Belgium
Appeal Studios, based in Charleroi, is the first company in Belgium to venture into the world of video games. Its team brings codes to life and creates beautiful virtual worlds.
Recently, this studio became part of THQ Nordic AB, soon to become the Embracer Group: a video game distribution company based in Sweden. This company is known for having bought the rights to two big cinematic franchises: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
One of the largest exporters of beer
The beers and cheeses of Chimay are jewels in the region’s crown and are internationally renowned, especially the beers. The company exports its tasty brews to more than 74 countries around the world.
Despite its export success, the company has managed to stay true to its local roots. We enjoy tasting it fresh from the tap at the Poteaupré Inn, a few hundred metres from Scourmont Abbey where the beers are produced.
L’Oréal’s bottle supplier
Located in the former glassworks of Momignies, Gerresheimer manufactures glass bottles, tubes and jars for the perfume industry, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
The company, found in 15 countries around the world, employs more than 700 people in Momignies, at the southern tip of the Charleroi Metropolitan Area. This site produces cosmetic glass for perfumes, body care and other beauty products.
The steel specialist
The Aciers Grosjean group, which has been in business for more than 30 years, has specialised in the production of finished and semi-finished products made of steel. It has opened 4 shops in Belgium and France, and is gradually becoming an international brand.
It buys and sells steel products mainly in the European Union and in some fifteen other countries. Although it has various depots, its main warehouses are located in Charleroi and Antwerp. It also recycles decommissioned or surplus steel for the automotive, construction and electromechanical markets.
High-tech fibre in our midst
Skylane Optics specialises in optical communication. It supplies more than 40 countries with transceivers, a key technology in the field of fibre optics, in other words: internet access.
The company, which operates in 8 countries, has set up its laboratory in an old farmhouse in the middle of the Walcourt countryside. This research and development centre excels on a global level and aims to remain at the forefront, keeping abreast of new technologies and positioning itself as a long-term partner for its customers.
A leader in gene therapy
Delphi Genetics, located in the BioPark in Charleroi, has just been acquired by Catalent, an American giant specialising in pharmaceutical treatments.
As a subcontractor, the company specialises in treating diseases using a new technological process: introducing genes into the body to treat diseases such as cancer.
One of the best iron recyclers
Comet, based in Châtelet, specialises in the trade of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and their derivatives.
It is known mainly for its expertise in iron recycling. It manages to recover almost 100% of the raw material from end-of-life vehicles and electronic equipment and gives it a second life.
The leading name in pharmaceutical analysis
In the space of only a few years, Quality Assistance has become a leading name in the pharmaceutical and biotech market. It carries out research missions and advanced analysis for pharmaceutical companies.
Based in Thuin for 40 years, the company is in the process of setting up a new training centre; creating around one hundred high added value jobs in the process. In total, more than 350 people will work there.
A key pillar of contemporary architecture
Fixinox is known for its fixing systems for large buildings, which reinforce facades and consolidate foundations.
The company is involved in some major and architecturally daring projects. The stability of the famous police tower in Charleroi, for example, is secured thanks to products developed by the company. The designers of other landmarks, located in the four corners of France, Qatar, Poland and Spain, have all placed their trust in Fixinox.
Other unconventional companies
Whilst we can’t possibly mention all the companies in the Metropolitan Area exporting their products, there are at least three stand-out companies that we have to mention, all of which are based in the Charleroi Metropolitan Area:
- Dirty Monitor: renowned for their extraordinary video mappings,
- the fabulous animation and graphics studio, Dreamwall,
- Univercells, the company making vaccines accessible to all
- the Thales group, which specialises in cybersecurity for the aerospace industry
- and finally Alstom: the leading name in rail transport and mobility.