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"Breaking patterns enables innovation"

A few words of thanks from Eric van Walle, Director-General of SCK CEN

SCK CEN - Highlights - voorwoord (2021)

Dear reader,

As soon as these words appear on paper, the reality hits me even harder. I had hoped to write that we were able to put a challenging year behind us, that we had navigated the turbulent waters that coronavirus created for us, and that the country has now returned to normality. Unfortunately, the reality is different. We're still in the middle of it. Coronavirus still has the world in its grip and is constantly challenging us to question existing systems and patterns. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, that's precisely where the seeds of innovation lie.

And that comes as no surprise to us, as scientists. Breaking patterns enables innovation. That is why we constantly question ourselves. We dare to let go of what we already know and we dare to redraw what we had already designed. And in 2020 – the year we also reflected on the essence of life as individuals – we were all the more aware of this. Many of our studies and projects are shaking up standards, including our own, and we therefore want to share them with you.

This annual report compiles the 'seeds of innovation' that we planted in 2020 or that thoroughly 'took root' in that same year. Consider, for example, the increased number of operating days of the BR2 research reactor, which enabled us to help a record number of patients, even during a pandemic year; the brand new installation that allows to carry out far-reaching testing of fissile materials, and the newly built lasers, which we will use to isolate innovative radioisotopes in the MYRRHA research reactor. And not to forget the existing infrastructures that we renovated from top to bottom.

A word of thanks is in order. On the one hand to our employees: They continued to give their all in this time of crisis. Thanks to their unwavering commitment, we have been able get through a lot of work and, more importantly, fulfil our duty to the global community. As one of the world leaders, we will not let our nuclear medicine colleagues down! On the other hand, I want to thank our partners, clients and guardians, who have placed their full trust in us.

I invite you to have a browse through this annual report and discover the potential of breaking patterns.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Eric van Walle
Director-General of SCK CEN

Take a look at this annual report and discover the potential of breaking patterns.

to the highlights

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