An Objective 1 project
The Pass emerged from the desire of the Direction Générale des Technologies et de la Recherche du Ministère de la Région Wallonne (the research and technology department in the ministry for the Walloon region) to endow - finally - Wallonia, and Belgium in general, with a large-scale facility for communicating about scientific culture. The park was born thanks to joint financial investment from the Walloon Region and the European Community. The choice of Hainaut, and the Borinage area, eligible for Objective 1 funding, is a radical and not merely an opportunist one. The decision was taken to create a new facility dedicated to scientific and technological culture in an area where the gap between the "knows" and the "know-nots" is likely to grow still wider than elsewhere.
The site is now run by a limited liability cooperative society with a social purpose (société coopérative à responsabilité limitée et à finalité sociale), funded largely by its own equity and also by a grant from the Walloon Region, continuing in its desire to contribute to communicating scientific and technological culture more widely. Occasional projects also benefit from the support of the European Interreg initiative.
Spreading the culture of science and technology
The main mission of the Pass is to help visitors understand how the world is changing, with particular reference to developments in science and technology.
This mission, communicating scientific culture, is aimed at various types of audience:
- school children (supporting work at all levels of the school curriculum);
- teenagers and young adults;
- groups of adults and senior citizens;
- individual and family visitors;
- corporate and professional groups.
In parallel, the Pass aims to encourage synergies between the various bodies involved in promoting scientific and technical culture in Wallonia and internationally, and to support the development of economic activity, particularly in museum design in its widest sense.