Innovation Boost: €3 million for South Holland Innovation Campuses

The province of South Holland has allocated a financial contribution of no less than €3 million to innovation campuses in the region through the “Opportunities for the West” program. The campuses bring together an innovation ecosystem where companies and knowledge institutions collaborate. They play an essential role in achieving the ambitions outlined in the South Holland Growth Agenda, stimulating innovation, creating new business activity, and reducing CO2 emissions. The money is intended to strengthen the campuses and increase collaboration with SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) partners. Additionally, the subsidy promotes collaboration between the innovation campuses. 

Heading Towards an Innovative South Holland thanks to “Kansen voor West”

The subsidies for the campuses are provided through the multi-year subsidy program “Kansen voor West” (“Opportunities for the West”) which is financed in part by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). One of the programme’s main objectives is to strengthen research and innovation capacity and introduce advanced technologies. 

The province of South Holland has control over a designated portion of the “Kansen voor West” budget, and a portion of this is used to strengthen innovation campuses. For South Holland, this means that five campuses in the region receive financial support: TU Delft Campus and Leiden Bio Science Park receive €900,000 each, while Biotech Campus Delft, NL Space Campus, and Erasmus MC Campus each receive €400,000. With this financial support, the campuses and their networks can take the next step in their development, increasing SME involvement on the campuses. This enables the campuses to play an even greater role in stimulating innovation and employment to transition towards an economy centered on sustainability and well-being. 

On Thursday, 7 March, Deputy Meindert Stolk presented the subsidy cheques to the five innovation campuses during a festive event in Delft. Deputy Meindert Stolk, Economy and Innovation: “We are very pleased with the “Kansen voor West” programme. This programme offers our Province the opportunity to invest in campuses, accelerating the transition to a sustainable, circular, and digital economy. The subsidies I have been able to award will mainly be used for further growth and development. I am certainly looking forward to visiting all the campuses soon and seeing how these subsidies are being used.” 

Delft, 07-03-2024 Foto Martijn Beekman / pzh

A Joint Investment and Collaboration Agenda

On behalf of the Economic Board of South Holland and the province of South Holland, consulting firm Buck Consultants International has developed a joint investment and collaboration agenda for the campuses in South Holland. This agenda provides direction for campus development, and areas for collaboration are identified. Increased collaboration helps to fully utilize the potential of the campuses and accelerate solutions for major societal transitions. 

Buck has calculated that for all these investments – as described in the ‘Investment and Collaboration Agenda’ – at least €54 million is needed. The condition is that campus organizations have the capacity to develop these plans and obtain financing. This financing will in many cases come from various parties, including governments, knowledge institutions, and businesses, at the European, national, provincial, and local levels. 

Innovation Campus Leading Group Driven by a shared ambition to promote technology transfer to and through companies, the five South Holland campuses have joined forces in recent years. In the Innovation Campus Leading Group, they exchange knowledge and ensure that available funding is optimally utilized. The campuses share an ambition but vary greatly in their development phases: from the Erasmus MC Campus (which has only recently begun) to the (university) campuses in Leiden and Delft, which have been mature for years and have laid a strong foundation for further growth. This diversity provides an environment for mutual learning experiences. 

The Innovation Campus Leading Group works with specific attention to the South Holland Growth Agenda. Along with more than 80 key players in South Holland, the Economic Board South Holland (EBZ) is a partner of this Growth Agenda, which strongly focuses on stimulating innovation, creating new business activity, and reducing CO2 emissions in South Holland. Our region has many different physical locations that are crucial for achieving the goals of the South Holland Growth Agenda. 

The five aforementioned innovation campuses (TU Delft Campus, Leiden Bio Science Park, Biotech Campus Delft, NL Space Campus, and Erasmus MC Campus) have a substantial share in this. Do you want to know more about these campuses? Below, we have listed the five South Holland innovation campuses and their visions for you. 

#1 TU Delft Campus

TU Delft Campus is an internationally leading innovation ecosystem focusing on radical innovations in Robotics, Quantum, Health & Tech, and the Energy Transition. Currently, the campus has 31,000 students and 3,600 employees from various educational and knowledge institutions. There are 12 field labs, 200 startups spread across six different hubs, and approximately 50 companies with a total of 5,000 employees on the campus. Researchers, entrepreneurs, and students collaborate on solutions for societal issues – a community pioneering for change. 

#2 Leiden Bio Science Park

The Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) is the world’s No. 8 Bio tech campus and the largest bio tech and Life Sciences & Health (LSH) campus in the Netherlands. The clustering of high-quality education, research, healthcare, and business attracts students, scientists, and entrepreneurs from around the world to the Leiden Bio Science Park. This campus has 425 organizations and employs more than 22,000 professionals. There are more than 22,000 students studying at the MBO, HBO, and WO levels. Everything from the initial research of a molecule to its application in patients happens at LBSP. From startups, scale-ups to corporates like Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb and Galapagos. A unique and complete ecosystem on 125 hectares of land. Therefore, the LBSP is a leading Innovation District, where people from different domains and sectors can meet and collaborate, where living, working, and relaxing take place. In the coming years, more elements will be added to the physical space to increase vibrancy, chance encounters, and stimulate and facilitate open innovation further, thus extending and improving lives. 

#3 Biotech Campus Delft

The Biotech Campus Delft (BCD) is the largest open innovation campus in Europe focused on biotechnology, giving a boost to the transition to a sustainable, biobased economy. It supports the entire innovation cycle, from research and pilot to production. The Biotech Campus Delft plays a crucial role in promoting a biobased economy, focusing on the careful use of natural resources, and ensuring a responsible living environment. The ambition of the Biotech Campus Delft is to be an internationally recognized open innovation campus in the field of industrial biotechnology, with the primary goal of accelerating the establishment of a sustainable, biobased economy through an open innovation ecosystem. 

#4 NL Space Campus

The NL Space Campus serves as the central meeting point for both the national and international space sector. The campus area includes important institutions such as the ESA test center ESTEC, the EUSPA Galileo Reference Centre (GRC), the Space Business Innovation Centre (SBIC), with the ESA incubation program, and Space Expo. Additionally, the Leiden Delft Erasmus (LDE) alliance is a leading partner and knowledge hub in this context. The NL Space Campus aims to be a hotspot for innovative space-related startups and scale-ups where established companies, students, scientists, young professionals 

#5 Erasmus MC Campus

The Erasmus MC Campus aims to be the leading Health-Tech campus in the Netherlands, where entrepreneurs, companies, students, and (healthcare) institutions from all over the world come together. Here, research, education, science, and technology merge to conceive groundbreaking innovations and implement them faster with a view to future healthcare. The vision is to be a campus where healthcare organizations, innovative companies in the field of health and technology, educational and research institutions collaborate in the future to bring the latest technological developments into practice. 

Images Credit: Martijn Beekman / PZH

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