Marcel Boekhoorn: 'Looking in the right direction'
“Making a significant investment when times are hard will put you in the spotlight. That is logical. When we acquired High Tech Campus Eindhoven a year ago with the Chalet Group, we wrote history. It is the largest single asset transaction ever to take place in the Netherlands.
The real estate sector was and still is suffering. There are many vacant properties and prices are under a great deal of pressure. And yet – or perhaps therefore – we saw an opportunity in 246,000 square meters of business premises and another 130,000 square meters still to be developed. In my opinion, the Campus is an environment with enormous potential. The area is known as the smartest square kilometre in the Netherlands, perhaps even in the world. More than half of the annual Dutch patents come from the companies and research groups based on the Campus.
I believe that high quality research and the innovation it delivers are of crucial importance to the Netherlands and Western Europe. This is what our economy must rely on in the coming years. The Campus is home to an ecosystem that gives form to the technology and products of tomorrow. More than 60 nationalities formulate answers to important social challenges relating to energy, health care and (smart) surroundings. I find this both absolutely essential and extremely interesting. With each new visit to the Campus I see fine examples of technology. And besides technological ingenuity I am also particularly enamoured by the working methods. Open Innovation literally opens doors to new possibilities and in my opinion is the route to success for technological companies.
I have been involved in the development of the Campus for a year and for the time being we are right on track. We are expanding with departments of ASML and Philips Lighting. Mu (accelerator facility for start-ups) is almost completed and the new Solliance lab will open its doors early next year. All in all, High Tech Campus Eindhoven is likely to grow throughout 2013 to accommodate 10,000 employees. This means that we also intend to invest in the available facilities such as labs, cleanrooms, restaurants and parking. We are also negotiating with large foreign organisations that are considering joining the Campus. But the best of all is that we also have seats of honour in the European Innovation League. We are looking forward to future investment opportunities with promising companies here on the Campus. We are very happy with the existing network, so I foresee that we will work even more closely with our innovative players. I mean; whether the economy is shaky or not, there are always opportunities. You just have to look in the right direction.”
Owner High Tech Campus Eindhoven