Brainport Industries Campus (BIC1), Photo © Rico Vogels
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To keep ASML in Brainport, the company will work with the municipality of Eindhoven to investigate whether Brainport Industries Campus (BIC) is suitable for the chip machine maker’s necessary further development. ASML expects to employ 20,000 new employees there. Part of the recently pledged 2.5 billion euros will be used for this purpose. It concerns the BIC parts previously listed as BIC 3 to BIC 6 in the sketches. Now it is referred to as ‘BIC North’.

Why you need to know this:

The Dutch government recently provided billions to make Brainport Eindhoven more attractive to new and future residents. The underlying aim was to retain ASML for our country. With 20,000 new jobs for ASML in Eindhoven, that seems to be working out.

The number of jobs within ASML in the Netherlands will grow substantially in the coming years. ASML would like to stay close to its main location (with R&D, production and service) in Veldhoven and has therefore expressed a preference to expand in the Brainport region. In its original vision of the future, BIC is divided into six clusters, of which BIC 1 is now fully leased and the realisation of BIC 2 is expected to start in 2025. At BIC North – i.e. the combination of clusters 3 to 6 – there would be capacity for ASML for around 20,000 jobs.

Core business

ASML CFO Roger Dassen sees the plan as part of ASML’s long-term location strategy to enable expansion and support the growth of its large ecosystem. “As we have said before, ASML’s preference is to keep the core business in the Netherlands as close as possible to the existing sites in Veldhoven, as this will foster collaboration between teams and different parts, which is necessary to drive innovation. BIC is an interesting option for us, which we are now exploring together with the municipality of Eindhoven.”

Decisions on ASML’s future locations do need to be supported by “favourable conditions”, such as the availability of talent, infrastructure, housing and a strong investment climate, according to Dassen. Recently announced government measures contribute to this. ASML is also actively involved to address these issues and in this way ensure sustainable growth that benefits everyone.”

Crucial moment

Alderman Stijn Steenbakkers (Brainport and Economy) calls the declaration of intent that the municipality and ASML are now signing a crucial moment and an important step for the future, both for Brainport Eindhoven, and for the Netherlands and Europe. “ASML and the semicon chain form the champions league of our future economy and prosperity, with jobs at all levels and throughout the economic chain.” The choice of BIC is very fitting in this respect, he says. “The company’s profile fits seamlessly into the DNA of the campus. BIC is the centre of production and innovation in our high-tech manufacturing industry, where entrepreneurship, joint innovation, education and collaboration come together under one roof.”

Persmoment bestemmingsplan BIC II met op de foto o.a wethouder Stijn Steenbakkers van de gemeente Eindhoven en Ferdinand Gremmen van SDK Vastgoed. 27-9-2023. Foto: Bram Saeys
Ferdinand Gremmen (SDK Vastgoed, exploitant BIC), wethouder Stijn Steenbakkers (Eindhoven) © Bram Saeys

Steenbakkers also calls the move a choice for a “new economy”: “One that is sustainable, focused on technological development and devising solutions to global social issues such as sustainability, digitisation and health.”

Housing, facilities and infrastructure concerns

Besides opportunities, the possible expansion of ASML at BIC also brings with it new concerns, for example in the areas of housing, infrastructure, healthcare and basic facilities. Commenting on the plans this afternoon, those involved explained that it is of great importance that “the expansion takes place in a balanced way, with an eye for the major challenges and the social cohesion in the city, and that everyone gets the chance to participate.”

For this reason, the municipality and ASML want to further work together on structural social programmes. Examples include plans around strengthening the commitment of ASML and the business community in four social funds in the areas of housing, accessibility, talent and the social programme Brainport for each other. Extra attention is paid in this development to jobs for the practically educated and unused labour potential.

Brainport Industries Campus

For BIC, the initiative provides opportunities to accelerate the development of the campus. The possible expansion of ASML at BIC North will help complete BIC and provide opportunities to develop BIC faster. In this way, the entire innovation ecosystem together with education partners can come even closer together for renewal and innovation. All this will take place within the already planned expansion contours, on the space already intended for this purpose in the BIC master plan, only at a faster pace than originally envisaged. Most of BIC’s land (about 80%) is already owned by the municipality. The remaining land has yet to be acquired. To maintain control over the area development and to prevent unwanted sales and price increases, the municipality immediately established a preferential right to the area.