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Technopolis®, the Flemish Science Center, Mechelen, Belgium
Role in the ACCENT project: Organisation of activities, contribution of resources, Local Citizens’ Debates
Technopolis® is a permanent platform for science and technology in Flanders and has evolved from a non-profit organization, the Flanders Technology International. (F.T.I) F.T.I was founded in 1988 by the government of Flanders with as most important aim the organization of the international technology exhibition Flanders Technology International. In the early nineties, the mission of F.T.I was expanded and its objectives were included in the following mission statement: “Bringing science and technology closer to the people”.
The Flemish science centre, Technopolis®, was opened to the public in February 2000 by F.T.I. The centre already has a lot of experience in the development and realization of interactive exhibitions, workshops, lectures, shows and demonstrations. Technopolis® welcomed in 2008 more than 340 000 visitors. Technopolis® also has a wide range of outreach activities to achieve their mission statement. This includes science festivals and science weeks, a travelling science truck, educational tools and programs for schools, activity books, cooperation in television programs, science theatres and a lot more. All these projects and activities fit in the policy of the Flemish government.