This is Part 5 of the series Campuses in North Brabant. In the next weeks, we will publish the profiles of all 8 innovation campuses that were mentioned in the recent study by Buck Consultants International (BCI). Every Tuesday we highlight one of them. Today we focus on Brainport Industries Campus. Here are all the articles that have already been published.

Brainport Industries Campus is one of the twelve “real” campuses in startup phase in the Netherlands. It has taken the leap from idea to startup and is now aiming to become the world’s leading open supply chain for high-tech companies.

The significance of the Campus to the region

Brainport Industries Campus designs, develops and manufactures advanced high-tech equipment and soon it will be “the very first location where high-tech suppliers innovate and produce together”. Steffie van de Vorstenbosch, marketing and communication manager at Brainport Industries, explains why the Campus plays an important role in the region: “Brainport Region is a high-tech region. Of course, we already have High Tech Campus but it mainly focuses on actual research, not on making products. So Brainport Industries Campus is actually a reinforcement of the region. It is a unique Campus where high-tech suppliers are united and work together towards innovation but also towards quicker and agile responses to the changing needs of bigger companies, such as Philips and ASML.”

The ambition of the Campus is to become “the cradle of industrial high-tech”. Its biggest proposition is to reinforce the innovation capabilities of individual companies by venturing, innovating, and producing together with other companies, knowledge and educational institutions: “There are three ways in which the Campus will do that: first, by making sure companies are close to one another; second, by making sure there is a lot of knowledge exchange; and third, by being at a location which gives access to a global network of leading players. The Campus will give companies a lot of attention from foreign visitors and large (inter)national companies. So if you are at the Campus, you will be in the spotlight.”

Collaboration and continuous innovation 

Open innovation is an integral part of the vision for the Campus’ future development. Hence suppliers, specialised companies, and educational and knowledge institutions will be encouraged to collaborate and innovate in high-tech manufacturing.

Vorstenbosch enumerates the factors which stimulate continuous collaboration at the Campus: “Major factor is the location: all people share logistics, catering facilities, and meeting facilities. There is also the innovation program  Fabriek van de Toekomst”. This is a program where companies located on the Campus but also external companies can join. So together they can elevate their production process and innovate at a higher level.” 

In addition to that, the Campus integrates education and business so that educational institutions can collaborate with first-rate companies from the high-tech manufacturing industry. In this way, students can test their knowledge directly in practice, using the latest high-tech machines, while companies can have access to potential employees. “Summa College will open at the Campus on 1 September. The idea is that by combining companies and educators, it is quicker to find each other – for the companies to find new people and for the students to do projects on site,” Vorstenbosch explains.

Steps in the Campus’ future development

The Campus is gradually expanding its network of high-tech power. The high-tech supplier KMWE has started moving on to the Campus. Some of KMWE key supply chain partners will also be located at the Campus which will further enable new business models and co-development of new technologies.

Among some of the other enterprises that will shortly move to the Campus are: the High Tech Software Cluster (HTSC)Anteryon, a manufacturer of lenses, lasers and other optical systems; DMG Mori, Japanese machine builder, Fieldlab Flexible Manufacturing, an innovation program in which the knowledge institutes Fontys, TU/e, Avans, and TNO collaborate with 14 companies to further develop the flexible and fully automated production in small series by using robots; and Fullfact, a software manufacturer that enables companies to increase the productivity of their machinery.

As the Campus is at the first stage of its development, more buildings and facilities will be established in the upcoming years: “This is the first cluster. It will take up to one more year to have it fully operational. Then, there will be a second, third, and possibly fourth cluster. The aim is to have all four clusters up and running in 15 to 20 years. The idea is that all supply companies are in one spot. So the whole supply chain before the product goes to ASML or Philips can be done in one place, in one language, close to each other. This way, companies can be quicker, more flexible, and more innovative.” 

Featured image: Brainport Industries Campus