Strengthening Brussels’ media clusters: Organisations, workers and communities of practice at Pôle Reyers and beyond [project completed]


David Domingo (ULB), Geoffroy Patriarche (USL-B), Ike Picone (VUB, overall coordination)


Sabri Derinöz (USL-B) (replacing Sylvain Plazy), Marlen Komorowski (VUB), Victor Wiard (ULB)


Agence de Développement Territorial/Agentschap voor Territoriale Ontwikkeling (ADT-ATO), especially involved in the valorisation of the research project (« godfather »).


Duration of the project

1st October 2014 – 30 September 2018


Media industries , Pôle Reyers, media cities, creative cities, media clusters, communities of practice, media workers, Brussels


The Media Clusters Brussels project is funded by Innoviris (Brussels Region of Belgium) through the « Anticipate-Prospective Research » programme.


The Projet de Plan Régional de Développement Durable / Ontwerp van Gewestelijk Plan voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling (2013), approved by the Brussels Regional Government on 12th December 2013, identifies the cultural and creative industries as one of the four key sectors of the metropolitan economy, and more specifically proposes a media city at Reyers as the first strategic cluster (Pôle Reyers) to develop in the coming five years.

However, despite the fact that the Brussels Region is committed to foster the development of the media sector, there is up until now hardly any empirical data available about the structure and dynamics of media organisations in Brussels.

Hence, this project aims at creating socio-economic value for the media industry in the Brussels Region and beyond by providing decision-makers with the in-depth knowledge they need regarding the media industry in Brussels while accompanying the phases of implementation of the Pôle Reyers.

The project encompasses the different subsectors of the media industry: print and online press, audiovisual production, advertising, web development, and educational institutions. The overarching research question is: How can the structure and dynamics of the media sector in the Brussels metropolis be enhanced to improve its social and economic roles? The mapping of the media industry will go well beyond the production of actual maps, as the research project will create a diverse array of analytic methods for collecting and presenting empirical data about the range and scope of the media industries in Brussels. Moreover, the prospective aim of the project is, amongst others, to envision future scenarios based on the development of the Pôle Reyers and its articulation with other clusters. Further, needs and gaps of the sector will be identified, and recommendations built on benchmarks will be offered to foster the positive developments of such a crucial industry. The research question is addressed from different but interrelated perspectives, by zooming in from a broader view to more narrow subjects of interest in cluster theory, thus addressing the media organisations (VUB), the media workers (ULB) and the media-related communities of practice (USL-B) within Brussels’ media sector.

More specifically, the aims of the USL-B work package are:

  • To build a better knowledge of the existing or emerging communities of practice in the media sector in Brussels.
  • To highlight the implications of communities of practice for different potential media city scenarios.
  • To consider the possible means through which communities of practices, and thus learning and innovation, can best be supported in the Brussels Region’s media sector.

Scientific publications of Engage members

Komorowski, M., Wiard, V., Derinöz, S., Picone, I., Domingo, D., & Patriarche, G. (2018), « A mediapark in Brussels? The media industry and its regional dynamics », Brussels studies, Synopses, no 129, online since 12 November 2018. is external). Also available in French ( is external)) and in Dutch ( is external)).

Derinöz, S., & Patriarche, G. (2018). Understanding the Roles of Communities of Practice in the Media Industry: The Case of Media Workers in the Brussels-Capital Region. Media Clusters Brussels, Deliverable 6.3, 61p. is external)

Derinöz, S., Plazy, S., & Patriarche, G. (2017). Communities of Practice in the Brussels Media Sector: Overview and Preliminary Trends. Media Clusters Brussels, Deliverable 6.2. 64p. is external)

Plazy, S., & Patriarche, G. (2016). A Framework for Studying Communities of Practice in a Media Cluster Context. Media Clusters Brussels, Deliverable 6.1. 41p. is external)

Wiard, V., Domingo, D., & Derinöz, S. (2018). Media workers’ profiles, working conditions, daily routines, skills, and mobility in Brussels. A quantitative survey. Media Clusters Brussels, Deliverable 4.3b, 39p. is external)

Wiard, V., Domingo, D., Plazy, S., Derinöz, S., & Patriarche, G. (2018). Methodological Report on the Survey of Workers and Communities of Practice in Brussels’ Media Industry. Media Clusters Brussels, Deliverable 4.3a. 42p.

Conference papers of Engage members

Komorowski, M., Wiard, V., Derinöz, S., Picone, I., Domingo, D., & Patriarche, G. (2018), « Un mediapark à Bruxelles? L’industrie des médias et sa dynamique régionale », Midi de l’Institut de recherches interdisciplinaires sur Bruxelles (IRIB), 12 December 2018. Discussants: Noël Magis ( and Jan Verheyen (Société d’Aménagement Urbain / Maatschappij voor Stedelijke Inrichting). Video: is external)

Derinöz, S., Patriarche, G. (2018). « Social learning in media production: the case of cross-organizational communities of practice in Brussels’ media industry », 7th European Communication Conference (ECC) Centres and Peripheries: Communication, Research, Translation (Lugano, Switzerland, from 31/10/2018 to 03/11/2018). is external)

Komorowski, M., Wiard, V. & Plazy, S. (2016), “Brussels’ media industry: The place to be for institutions, workers and communities?”, research day “Understanding culture and creativity in Brussels: Is Brussels the new Berlin?”, Brussels, 8 December 2016.

Komorowski, M., Wiard, V., & Plazy, S. (2015), « A New Approach to Media Cluster Research : Bringing the Human Factor Back into Scope », Cultural & Creative Quarters and Clusters: Developing a Global Perspective, Angers, France, 8-9 June 2015.

Plazy, S. (2016), « Roles and Dynamics of Communities of Practice in a Changing Media Sector: The Case of Brussels-Based Journalists », 2016 Conference of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Prague, 9-12 November 2016. is external)

Plazy, S. (2016), « Les communautés de pratiques pour les travailleurs dans le secteur médiatique à Bruxelles », Study Days « Bruxelles à Saint-Louis, Saint-Louis à Bruxelles. Etat de la recherche sur Bruxelles à l’Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles », Brussels, 19-20 May.

Societal valorisation and other outputs by Engage members

Komorowski, M., Wiard, V., Derinöz, S., Picone, I., Domingo, D., & Patriarche, G. (2019), Comment créer un pôle médias performant et renforcer le secteur local des médias? Recommandations politiques dans le cadre du programme « Prospective Research », Innoviris, Brussels. Available online in FR(link is external) and in NL(link is external).

Derinöz S., (2018), Public Policy Exchange « Promoting Cultural and Creative Industries: Maximising their Economic and Social Contribution in the EU », Bruxelles, 27 March: « Promoting Cultural and Creative Industries: Media Clusters & Shared Practices ».

Derinöz S., Domingo, D., (2017), Cycle de conférence Brussels Academy « Médiatiser Bruxelles ? », Bruxelles, 29 September: « Médiatiser Bruxelles ? Etat des lieux ».

Domingo, D., Komorowski, M., Patriarche G., Picone, I., Plazy, S., & Wiard, V. (2016), Anticipate Symposium 2016, Brussels, 15 April. Poster presentation: « Strengthening Brussels’ media clusters: Organisations, workers and communities of practice at Pôle Reyers and beyond ». Online: is external)

Plazy, S., « Video presentation of BROTARU: an example of a media community of practice in Brussels », Media Clusters Brussels, June 2016: is external)

Plazy, S., “Medialab and Storycode, two places for communities of practice in Brussels”, Media Clusters Brussels, September 2015: is external)

Plazy, S., “MCB in Angers to talk about cultural clusters”, Media Clusters Brussels, July 2015:

Press coverage (selection)

« L’industrie des médias et sa dynamique régionale à Bruxelles », La Chronique, 3 January 2019, is external)

Sacré, J.-F., « Le Mediapark va-t-il devenir ‘the place to be’ pour les médias à Bruxelles? », L’Echo, 18 December 2018, is external)

Laporte, C., « Le Mediapark, une initiative à bien évaluer avant de la lancer », La Libre Belgique, 12 Novembre 2018, p.14.

Sacré, J.-F., « Le Mediapark doit propulser Bruxelles au rang de capitale des médias », L’Echo, 23 March 2017, is external)

« Reyers pourrait se muer en cluster médiatique d’envergure internationale », l’, 16 March 2017, is external)

« Brussel is belangrijkste stad voor media-activiteiten in België », Bruzz, 16 March 2017, is external)

More press coverage at