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Kadans Science Partner, an innovative housing company, is teaming up with biotechnology companies Genmab and Merus to develop a new Life Sciences building at the Utrecht Science Park. The building, called The Accelerator, will be located close to the entrance of the Science Park and is currently scheduled for completion in 2022.

“The Utrecht Science Park specialises in a number of areas, one of which is Life Sciences,” explains Johan van Gerven of Kadans Science Partner. “It is evident that there has been a lot of growth in recent years and that as a result, many companies are desperate for expansion. That’s why it’s vital to build such a large building at this point. Many companies are scattered all over the Park and they have seen recent growth, but there are no housing options for them.”

Since the end of last year, Utrecht Science Park has been the new name of De Uithof, the Utrecht district where many university buildings have been located since 1963. The name was chosen to give the area a more international look. From the end of this year, the district will be connected to the central station by a tram line.

Building bridges

The two companies that will definitely be joining The Accelerator are co-developers Genmab and Merus, large biotechnology companies that are mainly involved in the development of cancer medicines. A literal bridge is being built between the Genmab building and The Accelerator.

“But it is a multi-tenant building, so we are still looking for more potential residents”, adds Van Gerven. “A number of institutions have already indicated that they would like to rent the building, and we will soon be discussing this with them. Those that are already located at the Utrecht Science Park are mostly companies.”

However, Van Gerven also expects that companies from outside the Science Park will be interested in taking a spot in the new building, because the European Medicines Agency has relocated from London to Amsterdam. “We’re expecting that plenty of businesses will follow. It’s clear that there are too few housing options for them in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Leiden. We are currently working on that. These companies too could potentially settle here.”

Cross-pollination and cooperation

The building is designed to have large communal areas, which are characteristic for Kadans buildings. On the ground floor, for example, there will be an auditorium that can accommodate 250 people and a restaurant with 300 seats. According to Van Gerven, the aim is to stimulate the Science Park’s ecosystem: “Our building is to become the centre of the business community at the Science Park, where companies, institutions, research institutes and students meet. We also offer our buildings for events: we always have a location for anything that is happening.”

According to Kadans, meetings between the companies housed in the building are also important. Van Gerven: “Our buildings are designed in such a way that it is very easy to meet each other. There is free coffee in a place where all researchers actually meet each other physically. We also do something similar at the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen, where we’re organising a barbecue that attracts 600 people. Ultimately, cooperation and cross-pollination is what want for our tenants. They are, of course, the ones who are in focus. We can and want to facilitate and stimulate that cooperation.”

Kadans also manages a number of buildings at the Eindhoven University of Technology campus. Read about the House of Robotics here.