Open Thor Living Lab: a state-of-the-art living lab for the energy transition

Meet Open Thor, a state-of-the-art living lab for the energy transition that, in addition to strategic infrastructure, offers a unique ecosystem of innovation where co-development and co-creation between scientific, industrial and residential partners takes central stage.

Would you like to help shape the technologies of tomorrow within the Open Thor living lab? Or just some more information? Then contact us.

A short introduction to Open Thor

Why an innovative living lab for energy?

In order to tackle major societal challenges such as the climate crisis in a rapidly changing world, cross-sectoral innovations are indispensable. Innovations must be given every opportunity to be rolled out quickly and effectively. Applying, testing and validating integrated concepts in a real context allows to demonstrate the effectiveness of the concept, accelerate scalability, and generate the necessary visibility to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society.

The Open Thor Living Lab: a top-level European innovation environment

The Open Thor Living Lab is a top-level European innovation environment founded by EnergyVille, NV Thor Park and the City of Genk, which focuses on the energy transition in living, working and mobility. The Open Thor Living Lab includes the Thor science and business park, the New Texas social housing estate, the adjacent Waterschei garden district, and the buildings and grounds of KRC Genk, all located in Genk. These five zones each have a different context and challenge and together form a valuable ecosystem of industry, researchers, entrepreneurs, end users, residential residents and governments to develop innovative solutions for system integration, both for business parks and a residential and urban environment.

A wide range of innovative technologies/applications form the backbone for the Open Thor infrastructure:

  • a 5th generation low-temperature district heating network
  • a smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
  • a DC-grid
  • intelligent dataplatforms
  • batteries on district level
  • energy hubs
  • a unique renovation showcase of a former mining site into nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB)
  • renewable energy generation by means of solar panels, thermal installations, concentrated solar thermal energy, …
  • integrated plug & play modular boxes for technical installations

The Open Thor living lab offers a strategic stepping stone for all stakeholders to sustainably tackle the energy transition through co-creation.

said Daan Six, Research Program Manager involved in the living labs.

What does the living lab have to offer you?

With access to this unique combination of infrastructure and knowledge, we offer you:

  • an “easy access” to innovation: you become part of a unique ecosystem with a high innovation ambition.
  • access to interconnected research labs: services or technologies can be extensively tested at both material and system level in our research labs. This can be done within a regulatory sandbox, which makes it possible to perform tests that deviate from current regulations.
  • high-quality technical support: our skilled researchers assist you from A to Z.
  • an international foundation of knowledge: the Open Thor Living Lab can count on the knowledge and expertise of more than 400 international researchers. Through an extensive network of industrial partners, governments and research associates, we always obtain the latest insights.
  • a “safe” and real innovation environment with real residents and end users: the Open Thor Living Lab offers a safe test environment across the entire quadruple helix (research, society, industry and government). Not only does this give you the opportunity to extensively test your products and services, it also gives you unique insights into the validation process of your product or service.
  • access to our network of researchers and participating companies.
  • the possibility to use data for own analyses, testing and simulations.

Be part of this unique ecosystem

Do you want to help shape the technologies of tomorrow? Do you want to accelerate the way for your products to market by innovating with us? Do you want to be a visible part of Open Thor Living Lab by investing in innovative infrastructure? Would you like to be part of this ecosystem with a branch at Thor Park in the immediate vicinity of Open Thor Living Lab?

Or just some more information? Then contact us.


Interessante projecten ingebed in het Open Thor Living Lab

Open Thor

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