First companies confirmed for innovation hub NextGen Demo in the port of Antwerp-Bruges

First companies confirmed for innovation hub NextGen Demo in the port of Antwerp-Bruges

Power to Hydrogen and TripleW to test groundbreaking technologies in port environment

This week, the first concessionaires signed for NextGen Demo, the innovation hub that is part of NextGen District in the heart of the Antwerp port. Power to Hydrogen and TripleW have chosen to use the port environment to test their innovative projects in energy transition and circularity. The demo projects of both pioneers align perfectly with the ambitions of Port of Antwerp-Bruges and will make a significant contribution to the transition to a climate-neutral society.

Innovation Hub within NextGen District

Port of Antwerp-Bruges has cleared an area with a total surface of 88 hectares for NextGen District with the ambition to establish a hotspot for the circular economy. NextGen Demo is a zone of about 2 hectares within this cluster in the heart of the Antwerp industry, where demonstrators (start-ups and scale-ups, spin-off companies, and pilot projects) can test new technologies and circular demo projects that have outgrown the lab, on a larger scale and in an industrial environment before moving to commercialization.

Gamechangers Power to Hydrogen and TripleW

NextGen Demo, as an innovation hub, aims to be the ideal catalyst for sustainable innovations in the field of feedstock raw material and energy transition. The two companies that have signed first perfectly match this ambition.

Power to Hydrogen wants to accelerate the transition to a green hydrogen economy through AEM (anion exchange membrane) electrolysis. This advanced technology is a potential solution to drastically reduce the cost of green hydrogen production using renewable energy. The technology has never been applied on an industrial scale before, and the AEM electrolysis stack for the NextGen demo project, which will be installed in the fourth quarter of 2024, will be the largest in the world. This demonstration is also being financially supported by global utility leaders, including American Electric Power, EDP, E.ON, and ESB as part of the Free Electrons utility innovation program.

TripleW, a foreign investor that has been active in Belgium for some time and has chosen Belgium again with the scaling of this project, has developed an industrial process to produce lactic acid made entirely from food waste. The high-quality lactic acid serves as a raw material for biodegradable plastics and biochemicals. TripleW wants to expand the application of this innovative technology to a broader range of food waste streams and end products by demonstrating its scalability and adaptability with the project in NextGen Demo. The project is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2024.


The appeal of NextGen District has meanwhile attracted global pioneers. For example, Plug invests in a green hydrogen factory, Bolder Industries, PureCycle, and Triple Helix will respectively recycle car tires, polypropylene and polyurethane foam, and PET trays, and Ekopak is committed to circular water use. The industrial port network with global top players and the ecosystem will contribute to synergies between the players at NextGen Demo, NextGen District, and the other port companies.


Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “NextGen Demo is the quintessential place where new technology finds its access in the exciting fabric of the port and industry. Demonstrators here have the space to grow and join a valuable network of fellow pioneers, partners, and customers. These first two projects fit perfectly within our strategic vision and our ambition to be, in addition to a green energy and raw materials hub, also a circular hub. I am convinced that the innovative technologies that both companies will test in our port environment can be trailblazers.”
Annick De Ridder, Chair of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “This testing ground for technological and sustainable innovation will contribute to the strengthening, synergy, and diversification of the port platform. With this cluster of circular companies at a prime logistics location, we can accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral society. These two new pioneers bring investments and innovation, which is very good news for our port and our prosperity. I want to thank both companies for their trust in NextGen Demo and look forward to the announcement of changemakers who will follow them.”
Paul Matter, CEO of Power to Hydrogen: “Hydrogen is an important product for the industrial cluster in the port and for the transition to climate neutrality. With our installation in NextGen Demo, we want to demonstrate that AEM electrolysis, which significantly reduces the cost of green hydrogen production, is capable of operating sustainably in a port environment. This project will continue to position Port of Antwerp-Bruges as a leader in the development of a green hydrogen ecosystem for Europe and the world.”
Tal Shapira, CEO of TripleW: “Our demo project introduces a scalable, sustainable solution for two pressing issues: food waste and plastic pollution. We have chosen NextGen Demo because it is a leading platform for innovative technologies with a focus on sustainability and circular economy. It offers an ideal location for industry leaders, potential partners, and investors interested in groundbreaking environmental solutions.”


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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management.

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp