Foto: Bram Saeys; 30-11-2016; HTC Holst, bezoek Koning Filip en koningin Mathilde; belgisch koningspaar bezoekt de High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
Author profile picture

King Filip of Belgium visited High Tech Campus on Wednesday, on the concluding day of a three day visit to Holland. The conversation on campus seem to come back to one word: collaboration, inside the country as well as across borders.

The King first arrived at the Conference Center at High Tech Campus Strip. Later, he was joined by Queen Mathilde upon visiting Holst Centre.

Joint initiatives between Holland and Belgium took central stage on Wednesday. Where Holst originates from a collaboration between the Flamish IMEC and Dutch TNO, start-ups such as the Dutch ByFlow have started to partner with Belgium-based Callebaut.

ByFlow was part of the selected start-ups to actually meet and talk to the king during a meet & greet. Other parties that were invited to speak were Medtronic, Solar Team EindhovenAmber MobillityPhotonDelta and Team BlueJay.

3d-chocolate dessert
To ByFlow, an Eindhoven-based start-up which has produced a 3d-printer that is easy to pick up and transport, the royal visit served as an opportunity to introduce the public to the partnership between them and chocolate-producing Callebaut.

The King was shown a profile of his face, depicted on the Belgian Euro, being printed in 3d-chocolate. Later, a lunch was served with a 3d-chocolate dessert.

The King’s flat profile could be created from scratch in five days. “Idealy we would like to print the entire face and head of the King in chocolate. But the technique is not quite up for that yet in this short amount of time”, Pascale Meulemeester of Callebaut says. “But we are heading in the right direction “, says Nina Hoff, one of ByFlow’s founders.


De koning ziet hoe zijn eigen profiel in 3d geprint wordt. Foto: Bram Saeys
De koning ziet hoe zijn eigen profiel in 3d geprint wordt. Foto: Bram Saeys

By 3d-printing food Callebaut and ByFlow wish to stimulate the durable production and transport of chocolate. By 2025, specific goals should have been met that support this durable wish. “Chocolate has to be slafe-free and been processed under good circumstances “, Meulemeester says, “Furthermore, our carbon footprint should be close to zero.”

Printing food should help with this. However, governmental support should give an extra push to the process.  “Digital technology should help us improve the durable character of our product, but it is mostly an instigator. Strict legislation should make it so that every chocolate producer goes about its work in the same way. ”

For Team BlueJay, the creators of a drone that was designed to fly indoors, meeting the King mostly seemed like an opportunity to put the drone in the international spotlight. “This drone is produced to an open platform, we benefit from having some extra eyes and brains to think a long with us in the process”, Ties van Loon says, van Loon is one of sixteen TU/e-students working on the drone.

De koning praat met de studenten van BlueJay. Foto; Bram Saeys
De koning praat met de studenten van BlueJay. Foto; Bram Saeys

“Besides that, it is an honor to meet him”, fellow student Iris Huijben says about meeting the King. We have grown from a student team to being a club that seemingly is relevant enough to meet the King.” The King himself was particularly interested in the drones grabbing claw, according to Huijben. “We see this thing every day, his fresh approach to the drone revives our energy to keep going on the project.”

Holst Centre, ByFlow and BlueJay have all been started by groups that started to work together. Throughout the visit, collaborating seemed key in the talks given an de conversations held. “Collaboration speeds up innovation”, Campus-director Frans Schmetz said in his opening speech at the start of the day.

A large part of those collaborations is international. This is especially true on campus, where 85 different nationalities work together. Within that group, besides the Dutch, the largest population hails from Belgium.