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At appealing locations, top technology companies give a peek into their organization. As a valve to the Dutch Technology Week, the High Tech Discovery Route brings you along all high-tech hotspots in the region. For young and old, for professionals and lovers, this day is full of surprising discoveries for everyone! There is a lot to see, to do, to experience it’s a day where you experience, as a visitor, that you are living, working in a high-tech country where you can be proud of. In a series of articles, E52 already took a look at the DTW High Tech hotspots. Today Strijp-S.

“The special thing is that a lot of people ask us: ‘What are you going to do during the Dutch Technology Week’”, Chris Voets says. Seven years ago he and Hugo Vrijdag started the Ontdekfabriek at Strijp S. “What the Dutch Technology Week does in one week, we do the year around.”

According to Voets such a week of technology gives a huge energy boost and technology gains the attention it deserves. “We can be proud all of us, proud of what we are doing here. And ‘here’ is not just this region, or the Netherlands, but alos the children who ‘just make things’ in the Ontdekfabriek. For example they can disassemble an old computer and make something new with the components, such as a moving animal which they can take home.

“You shouldn’t tell children it is fun to light a light, make it the nose of the clown”Chris Voets, founder Ontdekfabriek

Since the beginning the Ontdekfabriek takes part of the Dutch Technology Week (DTW). At first with ‘Your smartest idea’ and since last year as a stage for all the members of Brainport Industries, corporate sponsors such as Lenze, NTS Groep, Frencken Europe, KMWE dutch aero. “We are really facilitating these companies. These are practical issues such as providing enough extension cords on the day itself and we make the day as a whole.” Voets learns the entrepreneurs the language of children as well. “You shouldn’t tell children it is fun to light a light. Give the magic to the light, make it the nose of the clown.”

A kind of game form connects all the activities. Children can play a part of the game at each workshop. There are prices and a photo will be taken of the winner because Voets considers it important to give the talented little inventors a stage. “To be a good inventor is something special, just like a child who can sing very well or play soccer.”

“We want to be the first sparkle in children, so they are inspired by technology. At the Ontdekfabriek it is not about the whole educational thing, but about doing thing and making things. If they really like technology, they are going deeper into it and join a club or later on choose it in their study program. We are more like a first introduction.”

Voets, a father of a 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter himself, considers it important that parents discover what their children like: “Learn to know your child because you have to help them choosing the right education. And ‘no’ is also a good answer. But who knows, there’s a spark.”

Visit these hotspots on the 20th of May, from 11:00 till 17:00: De Ontdekfabriek and Strijp-S (Eindhoven), Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven North (Best), High Tech Helmond – De Peel (location HVL – MCM in Liessel/Deurne), High Tech Campus Eindhoven and Kempen Tech (Hapert).