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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 high tech in Helmond – De Peel.

DTW-partner of the first hour, high-tech machine manufacturer AAE, ensures that technical companies from Helmond and De Peel join forces and show together that technology is essential. “It’s really crazy what is happening here”, HR manager AAE Manon Pijnenburg and front woman of hotspot Helmond – De Peel, says. “We are with 50 companies in total and at our monthly meetings they are all there, always.” This year, for the first time they have an app that guides children and parents through the hotspot.

Six years ago, AAE participated in the hotspot on the automotive campus and one year later on the food campus. But actually as a company that’s active in the mechatronics they never really felt at home. “They were nice hotspot but we didn’t quit feel the link”, Pijnenburg says. “And when it comes to metal and mechatronics in the broadest sense of the word, there is actually much more in this region and we would like to show that.” So AAE decided to start their own hotspot. “We started with 25 companies and four years later is a total of 50. Even the automotive and foodhotspot joined us and also the Helmond’s so important textile industry. Companies from small to big, a metalworking company, a machine builder or cranes builder, all sorts of companies.” Since last year, Helmond’s hotspot had been expanded with De Peel.

AAE was the host of the hotspot during the High Tech Discoveryroute for the last three years. This year it was someone else’s turn. It was Christmas last year, when the decision had to be taken, where the location of the hotspot would be. Pijnenburg remembers it very well, it was a Thursday night when she sent an email to all companies, whether they would be present at 8 o’clock the following morning. “Everybody was there, it was really incredible.”

“It feels like a true DTW family”Pim van de Mortel, Director MCM

The hosts of this year’s hotspot Helmond – De Peel are two companies from Liessel HVL and MCM. They were there for the first time, last year. “It feels like a true DTW family”, director of MCM, Pim van den Mortel, says. Together with Hans Vervoordeldonk, CEO of HVL, he is the host to the 50 companies this year.


Pijnenburg notices that companies will also do project together especially for the Dutch Technology Week. “For example, Fokker Landing Gear, together with Swanenberg Hydraulic Systems, show how hydraulic systems work in a landing gear. These systems make sure that the suspension moves in and out. It is all about technology, not about the companies.”

“This year’s candle on the cake was the app we developed especially for this edition. The idea had been there longer, but this year we decided to do it. And we fund it ourselves everyone agreed unanimously. That decision was taken in no more than five minutes.”

As from the 8th of May the app is available for downloading. Children and parents can choose from different routes, so they can visit different stands. When they scan the company logo, there is a question. If it is answered correctly, they will receive a trophy in their trophy box. “With this app, we want to create a platform that connects children with technology, even after the DTW”, Van de Mortel tells.

“We want to show how smart a company is form the inside and make people wonder what can be done with technology. The fact that this is so unknown is due to ourselvers”, HVL’s director Vervoordeldonk admits, “We always held the doors closed. Nobody came in at anyone’s company. And we want to break through that.”

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).