When you go abroad and ask the experts, there is no discussion: Eindhoven is the high tech capital of Europe. According to Daan Kersten, cofounder and CEO of Additive Industries, the city has established itself firmly on the high tech map of the world. “If we say we come from Eindhoven and we are developing a complex machine, then nobody has any doubts. Everybody understands that if you are a manufacturer from Eindhoven, your fundament is good.”

Daan Kersten is columnist for E52. In a weekly column “Tomorrow is Good”, he writes about a better future. He does so, alternating with Lucien Engelen, Maarten Steinbuch and Carlo van de Weijer.


Daan Kersten spoke about his experience of the last two years at the farewell party of Mayor Rob Gijzel, last Friday. Kersten praised the role Van Gijzel played in the development of Additive Industries. “If he’s looking for a job, he could easily start to work in sales for our company. Besides, he has the key to our front door, and he knows our story quite well, so if he wants to guide his guests through our factory, he’s very welcome to do so.”

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    The success of Additive Industries is very much related to the city. Here in Eindhoven, we find it quite normal that you find technology on every street corner, Kersten says. “Technology in its most complex shapes. You can find specialists in areas you have never heard of. Precisely this ensures that we can gather people with all sorts of expertises together on very short notice, and thus can solve the most complex problems quite fast.”

    But that’s not the whole story of Eindhoven’s success, says Kersten. “It can only work this well because we are able to use the knowledge that companies like ASML and Philips have built up over the years. This collaboration is only possible if you have something in common. And that’s the Philips DNA, it unites us all. In our region people are all trained in the Philips way, they have learned the processes like Philips conceived them, which is something that Philips has done incredibly well. If we want to do a project with people from different companies in the region, you don’t have to waste time on agreeing on how to make drawings, or what models to use, because they already know. And that means you can start building very quickly.”

    Moreover, it’s not only work that binds the technicians in Brainport region. “We all know that – after we have talked very deeply with each other over technology – we like to grab a beer together. So every Friday afternoon, with all the partners and suppliers with whom we have been developing our machine, we meet in the Ketelhuis. We even ask our foreign clients to make the appointments on Fridays, so they can enjoy this beer with us.”

    Picture: Daan Kersten (left) and his business partner Jonas Wintermans

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.