Nurturing creativity & innovation

The Bijloke: a place where ideas can mature, creativity can blossom and innovation is stimulated.


Finally, De Bijloke is a place where people come together to work towards an innovative world. The progressive attitude of the site and its residents, their drive to make the world better and their perseverance, are reflected throughout its history. In the first instance, this can be seen of course in the medical and care that the site has provided to the poor over the course of the centuries. The site aimed to offer the best medicine and care. Innovation, with a view to well-being and welfare, also played a central role. This manifested itself, for example, in the form of medical breakthroughs by well-known figures such as Jan Palfijn, who invented the forceps.


For eight centuries, the impressive roof of the medieval hospital and the other historical buildings on the site have provided shelter to the sick. The Bijloke was a place where nurture played a crucial role. Nowadays, the site is devoted to the ‘nurturing’, ’nourishment’ and ‘maturing’ of ideas and aims to enable congresses and other activities to take place in an atmosphere of intellection. It is no accident that the name ‘Bijloke’ originates in the Flemish word ‘beloken’: a closed, private, intimate space where you can devote attention to and nurture both people and ideas.


For centuries, the site fulfilled the role of a pioneer and incubator of ideas in the areas of medicine & healthcare, while acting as a place of science that provided scope for experimentation. This pioneering role is primarily reflected in the establishment of the maternity department in the 19th century and the building of the Anatomical Institute and new civil hospital in the 19th and 20th centuries. Groundbreaking ideas promulgated by important historical figures, such as the physicians Jan Palfijn (17th century) and Jozef Kluyskens (19th century), are the result of medical creativity.

Given that context, the site’s historical, medical and scientific background means that it has a particular affinity with the biotech, medical, healthcare and culture sectors.