This is Part 8 of the series Campuses in North Brabant. In the last weeks, we published the profiles of all 8 innovation campuses that were mentioned in the recent study by Buck Consultants International (BCI). Today we focus on Gate2 Campus Aeroparc Gilze-Rijen. Here are all articles from the series.

Gate2 Campus is one of the twelve “real” campuses in startup phase in the Netherlands. Located at Aeroparc Gilze-Rijen, Gate2 Campus is the meeting place of companies in the area of smart industry, simulation, sensoring, 3D printing, aviation and industrial maintenance,  and high tech systems.

The cluster for aerospace and maintenance in Midpoint Brabant

“Gate2 is part of Midpoint Brabant, a regional collaboration between the nine Mid-Brabant municipalities,” Raymond Oude Groen, Acquisition Midpoint Brabant, explains. “We focus on four key sectors and one of them is Smart Industry. Each key sector has a ‘central house’: an epicenter in which our theoretical ambitions turn into real-life cases and projects. We work together to strengthen the regional economy, to grow the labor force in both quality and quantity, and to become a leader in the Smart Industry sector.”

Gate2 Campus is a forerunner in Smart Industry and has a strong focus on the aviation and maintenance sector as well as on a full range of smart and flexible technologies, among which pilot training, composites, big data, Internet of Things, 3D printing, sensor technology, adaptive robots, augmented & virtual reality, and interactive avatars.

At the Campus, government, entrepreneurs, and knowledge institutions within the aerospace and maintenance cluster work together on new innovative projects. One example is Brabant Surface Technologies (BST), a consortium of three companies from North Brabant. BST offers a wide range of tailored solutions for surface treatment with a focus on the aviation industry. This combination allows for the availability of preparatory treatment and material protection, quality inspection, and quality improvement of aircraft components. “The Campus is a hub for application of new technologies,” Pierre Van Kleef, director of business development at Midpoint Brabant, says.

Gate2: a bridge between education and business

The Campus aims to bridge the gap between the labour market and education by bringing entrepreneurs and educational institutions together. “We set up development projects between companies and knowledge institutes so that companies can test their products while students can learn,” van Kleef explains.

ROC Tilburg and Gate2 Campus are working in this direction. The idea is that implementing innovative technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, in education is a way to stimulate students’ imagination, speed up the learning process, and make an overall impact on education. The Aerospace Engineering course, developed by ROC Tilburg, has taken the step to modernise learning environment through the cooperation of industry, air force, and Gate2 Campus. Every week, second-year ROC students of aeronautical engineering go to the demo rooms at the Campus for practical education. In addition to ROC Tilburg, Fontys Hogeschool and Avans University of Applied Sciences are also joining the innovative training project.

Companies at Gate2 Campus Aeroparc

The Campus houses approximately 100 companies, among which CAE, a Canadian manufacturer of simulation technologies, modeling technologies, and training services to airlines, aircraft manufacturers, healthcare specialists, and defense customers which develops simulators.

According to Van Kleef, companies should consider setting their business at Gate2 Aeroparc Gilze-Rijen because “if you look at the Campus, it is at a very central location in the Brabant area. And it offers a highly innovative environment.” 

Groen adds: “We have set up a soft landing program together with Orange County (Florida, US) and Changzhou (China) to support companies from these regions to grow their businesses in Europe and vice versa. Besides the many advantages of locating their businesses in the Netherlands, we have the unique proposition that we involve new companies within our existing or new projects, open up our network for them, and support them with all the steps necessary to set up their business here, at Mid-Brabant, free of charge.”