The Flemish waste agency together with the city of Mechelen holds the ambition to build up a city lab where innovative entrepreneurs and organizations can use and share a work, production, and meet-up place to create new products and services in the circular economy and social innovation. This lab will be located in the city center in a reclaimed brownfield combined with a long-term vacant office building. The project was already being developed by the agency for urbanism BUUR and Miss Miyagi, a placemaking agency specialized in ab-normal real estate projects, as the pilot project “Potterij”. Switchrs was contacted in this project with the question to design the business model, strategic outlines, and financial plan for this place, in an effort to further attract investors and users.
Plan of Action
Through a series of co-creation workshops in combination with learning from existing cases, we created together with the partners a clear vision and scope for this project, which was rebranded as the Impact Factory. In this process, we installed 4 workshops while working on various tracks (concept design, business model development, financial plan, first partners, and roadmap) individually to keep the momentum high.
The project resulted in a renewed momentum to push this project forward, a clear ambition and lay-out of a business model to support that ambition, and the first interest of some investors in, and users of the Impact Factory. Apart from the business model, there is also a first visual representation of what the place could become.
Once the official assignment of co-creating the business model was done, switchrs took the lead in taking the first steps in filling in the building and further developing the business model. At the moment all partners are working closely together to set-up and launch the Impact Factory as the innovation campus for the circular economy in Mechelen.
Kardinaal Mercierplein 1 bus 1 2800 Mechelen Belgium