A new kind of an innovation event that brings together professionals from the water, energy, telecoms and heat value chain to share knowledge and to work on the big challenges in a creative, disciplined process.


Companies across the Utilities industry face similar challenges: ageing infrastructure, increasingly unpredictable supply and demand, and growing impact of climate change. Digital technologies offer a great promise, but a new kind of collaboration is key to solving these challenges: a closer connection between the industry and cities, regulators, scientists, water and energy users and technology companies.


Hack Utilities is an open innovation event for engineers, operations specialists and business developers. It is aimed at creating ingenious and unorthodox solutions for the most pressing issues the Utilities industry is facing.

The immediate purpose of the event is to help you create new projects that you can start implementing the morning after the event. To that end, participants will come up with new project ideas and test them immediately, forge new collaborations and explore new technologies.



    Digitizing networks and infrastructure for better asset management, problem detection and problem resolution. Toward more coordinated and strategic infrastructure works and investment.


    Generating data, sharing data and using data to create more efficient markets and help consumers (and prosumers) manage their energy and water consumption (and production).


    Collaboration between utilities companies and other stakeholders, from practical matters such as coordinating infrastructure works to more ambitious goals such as balancing the grid systems through synergies in electricity, gas, water, heat and hydrogen.


First, it’s a cross-industry event. It will bring together a widely diverse audience, 100-120 people – including city authorities, regulators, lawyers, software developers, university researchers, and specialists in technologies from AI and data science to drones, robotics, and IoT. People from every corner of the Utilities sector (and of Belgium and Europe) who daily face (and solve) similar problems in completely different ways – so there’s a lot to learn.

Second, it’s a very hands-on, interactive, intense event. You’ll spend most of your time working in small groups, interacting with experts (not just listening to them drone on from stage), and thinking hard about both operational and business aspects of your work.


Ideation session

3-hour ideation session will help participating companies to scope out their respective areas of interest and to identify potential synergies in the run-up to the event.

New 2020 edition dates to be announced.

Hack Utilities main event

Day 1

  • Deep dives in the problems and opportunities delivered by a cross-functional team of experts
  • Two rounds of ideation and networking
  • Technology briefings: case studies of technology implementations from Belgium and abroad
  • Team formation and networking sessions
  • Idea stretching and validation with experts and prosumers

Day 2

  • Solution mapping, elaboration and validation with experts & prosumers
  • Presentations to peers and panelists
  • Reception & networking


The event is open to participants from

  • Utilities industries (water, energy and telecom companies),
  • Industrial users of water and energy
    (chemicals and other industrial companies, public transport organizations).

Technology companies providing the following technologies are invited to join too:

  • IoT and sensors
  • Smart cities
  • AI and data science
  • Blockchain
  • Robotics
  • Aerospace and drones

Finally, all the other stakeholders are welcome to join:

  • Researchers
  • Technology startups
  • Local, regional and federal authorities and regulators
  • Prosumers – heavy users of water (e.g. farmers) or private energy generators (owners of photovoltaic installations)


Hack Utilities is the initiative of Hack Belgium Labs, creators of the Hack Belgium, Europe’s biggest Open Innovation Festival. The event is organized in close collaboration with industry organizations such as Flux50, specialist consultancies and research institutions, and Vlakwa (The Flemish Water Knowledge Center), the independent intermediary in the integrated water chain. Challenges of the event are provided by Utilities companies and city authorities. Technology experts represent top Belgian and international companies.