The country’s leading operator has chosen to set up its new subsidiary dedicated to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, Ada, at BeCentral, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the BeCentral digital campus has not done things by halves. He offered himself a royal visit which echoes the inauguration of the place five years ago by the same King Philippe, but also and above all an announcement which will give even more importance to this place which in a few years has become the true totem of the Belgian technological community.
The CEO of Proximus, Guillaume Boutin, took advantage of the visit of King Philippe on Monday to announce the choice of the Central Station campus to host Proximus Ada, the group’s center of excellence in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. One hundred and fifty specialists will gradually join the BeCentral community from the summer of 2023, announces Proximus. The digital campus will then occupy the entire building of the Central Station in Brussels, i.e. more than 10,000 m².
Adah is a new Proximus subsidiary launched last July which primarily aims to serve companies in the Proximus ecosystem on the topics of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence with a particular focus on securing the group’s digital infrastructures. Next, these services and skills could be offered to other companies. “We want to develop a real local ecosystem, based on strong partnerships with universities, research institutes, companies and governments. The move to BeCentral fits perfectly into this context and should help us to develop further into a center of expertise with strong Belgian roots and international prestige, capable of attracting, training and retaining local talent”, explains Stéphanie Cox, managing director of Proximus Ada.
“We want to further strengthen the cybersecurity of our businesses and critical infrastructure and ensure that our country’s digital and technological sovereignty remains assured.”
Ultimately, therefore, Proximus would like to make this research center a benchmark in these two areas of expertise, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Two key themes when talking about digital sovereigntya subject dear to Guillaume Boutin, the CEO of the national operator.
“We want to stimulate the development of innovative applications in many areas, further strengthen the cybersecurity of our businesses and our critical infrastructures, and ensure that our country’s digital and technological sovereignty remains assured in a rapidly changing world.”
1000 people trained per year in digital
“With the arrival of Ada, as well as the development of the FARI institute, BeCentral is no longer just one of the biggest places for digital learning in Europe. We are becoming one of the flagship places where we builds the internet”, says Laurent Hublet, the director of the campus. “They say that in Belgium nothing is ever possible. That we don’t dare to be ambitious. With the BeCentral community, we are proving the opposite.”
This announcement comes at just the right time for BeCentral, which is celebrating its fifth birthday. Five years ago, the co-founders of BeCentral had promised to re-enchant an iconic place in the center of Brussels, Central Station. “We promised to make it a place of learning, entrepreneurship and digital inspiration open to all. students. Today, we are ten times more”, proclaims Laurent Hublet.
“The bet was far from won in advance. At the opening, we hosted around 50 entrepreneurs and 50 students. Today, we are ten times more.”
Beyond its digital business hosting activities, BeCentral is above all a place for learning new technologies. In five years, 5,200 people have followed qualifying training allowing them to (re)orient themselves towards digital professions, within this building, which is part of the SNCB’s real estate heritage.
The move of the Proximus subsidiary dedicated to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence within the BeCentral digital campus is not trivial. The first operator in the country is thinking big for its latest offspring. Named Ada, in honor of Ada Lovelace, considered the world’s first programmer, the center will initially accommodate 50 experts.
But very soon, Proximus hopes to have some 150 and preferably local talent. By settling in the BeCentral liner which sits above the most central station in the country, Proximus hopes to attract talents who gravitate in and around the Belgian technological ecosystem. It’s a question of location, but also of image, which is just as important, if not more so, for the youngest talents who will make up the future employees of this center of expertise.
When we know that every year 1000 people trained in new technologies graduate from BeCentralwe wouldn’t be surprised to find some of them on the floor that Proximus and its subsidiary will soon be taking over.
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Proximus sets up its cybersecurity and AI subsidiary at BeCentral
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