King Filip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium will visit the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven this Wednesday, the 30th of November. There they will attend a seminar and meet with campus inhabitants like Holst Centre and Medtronic.
Michel Decré, Director Research & Technology at High Tech Campus based Medtronic, sees himself more as an ambassador of the campus rather than a representative for his own company.
“Without the Philips ‘breeding room’ and the other companies on campus we would not have been able to work the way we have done for the past years”, Decré says. “At te heart of medical technology there is high-tech hardware, anyone who likes to be innovative in that field has to be able to use expensive facilities like cleanrooms and be provided with ways to prototype quickly. That exists here. On top of that, this is a place that attracts talent.”
Eindhoven is ready for a next phase, it is time to scale-up.
Decré is contemplating about discussing Silicon Valley with king Filip. “I think we can see our future in Silicon Valley’s history. In that, I think we can see that Eindhoven is ready for a next phase. It is time to scale-up. In the US, numerous start-ups have developed into multinationals. The same should be possible here.”
To achieve that, a change in the investment climate is still needed, according to Decré. “I would like to see more local start-ups to remain and grow in our ecosystem. Currently, start-ups are considered a succes when they get purchased by an American based company. Personally, I would like to see take-overs by parties inside the Benelux, rather than from the US.”
“This is a shame, because Europe definitely does have the type of money these companies need. This should flow back in our own region or continent even. Every European that owns a share in Microsoft or Amazon, eventually invests in the US.”
If Decré were to ask the king to provide a service to the Dutch-Belgian business relations, he were to point out an improvement in mobility. “There is no proper highway going south. Other than that, it is mostly a well build relationship. Keep it that way, I would say.”
Another campus inhabitant that will speak with the king and queen is Holst Centre. The High Tech Campus-based research institute has a Dutch-Belgian origin. “I think we are one of the few examples of that”, Steffie van de Vorstenbosch of Holst Centre says.
The message the institute will try to pass on to the king will mostly resolve around the ‘Internet of Things’. Holst Spin-off Lifesense will be one of the companies that will speak with the king and a project for which Holst works with the University in Leuven will be brought forward.
Holst will emphasise its collaboration with local partners and the way it connects those partners with large companies. According to Van de Vorstenbosch, the visit from the king and queen is mostly a good opportunity to show the well-working aspects of the Eindhoven ecosystem.