As a leading group with offices in Antwerpen, Brussels and Taipei, Verhaert has more than 30 years of experience in developing innovative products and systems for a variety of industries and governments.

Verhaert was established in 1969 in Antwerp. The founder Paul Verhaert graduated as an industrial designer from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 1968. Initially he started a consultancy office in Belgium for product design with, typical of the spirit of the times, a focus on innovation. He quickly determined that Belgium needed companies able to approach product development in its totality.

As one of the pioneers in Belgium, Verhaert started its services in integral product development, initially with assignments for the development of instruments for medical and nuclear applications. From the 1970s onwards, Verhaert has also undertaken the development of terminals for electronic payment systems such as Bancontact and Mister Cash and for public transport. By the beginning of the 1980s, Verhaert was the largest independent office for product development in Belgium and - under the authority of ESA and the European space industry - Verhaert was developing its first space travel activities.

All these activities are based on a rather unusual core expertise: management of the product development process (control of time, quality, innovation level, technological risks and price). Verhaert has expanded into a group with various business units. Via its Verhaert Applied Technologies department, Verhaert is permanently involved in the development of innovative products and systems for a wide spectrum of new applications. The group's skills in the integration of sensor technology, innovative mechanisms and robotics, control systems and housing forms the basis for pioneering products.

Over the last few years, more than 250 innovative industrial products, ranging from cashpoint systems and state-of-the-art modems to document-binding systems and complex medical and pharmaceutical apparatus, have been developed, to be marketed successfully by our customers.

In addition the company consists of a number of more specialised activities including Verhaert customised systems for public self-service terminals. Within this segment Verhaert is responsible for the development of a large number of terminals for applications such as self-banking, ticketing, information kiosks, electronic payment systems, etc.

Betaalautomaat 'C-ZAM' in opdracht van Banksys, 1994
Betaalautomaat 'C-ZAM' in opdracht van Banksys, 1994

Thanks to the space travel activities that Verhaert started in the 1980s, it has evolved into one of Europe's leading space travel companies specialised in small space travel systems. The company is known for its contribution to the development and construction of space travel equipment (Verhaert Space Instruments) such as instruments for scientific research, in a zero-gravity environment, into the sphere of life sciences and fluid dynamics, and of advanced mini-satellites for earth observation and telecommunications (Verhaert Satellites & Platforms).

In other words, Verhaert is not a classic design office. Rather, it is a company that devotes its extensive design capacity to generating new business and solutions for its customers, through new products and systems.

The creative power of design - the shaping of - is a crucial skill for attaining a holistic concept and is therefore essential in integral product development.

In addition to this talent for design, Verhaert has extensive engineering skills, both for generating product concepts and for elaborating those concepts into mature products.

Today, Verhaert has developed into a group with an annual growth of 200% and more than 150 highly skilled employees, with a very broad expertise palette, ranging from civil and industrial engineers to physicists, product developers and agricultural engineers.

This engineering proficiency is, just like design, essential to the innovative process but it is never a goal in and of itself. Verhaert's approach to product development strives toward true added value through innovation and is therefore strongly user-oriented and is always framed within an economic context.

Notable realisations of the company include: the media kiosks in Antwerp (for the City Antwerp, Telepolis and Belgacom), the Proton payment terminals for dispensers and the Bancontact terminal C-Zam (both by assignment of Banksys), Self-banking Terminals for BBL and Gemeentekrediet, the ticket terminals for Kinepolis, the mini-satellite PROBA in October 2001 (for ESA), and the cot death alarm monitor.