Strijp-T is the terrain that was developed by Philips right after Strijp-S. It was the spot where the company has achieved its greatest successes, and where spin-offs such as NXP and ASML have emerged. If you look good enough, you may still find traces of the world’s first CD or cassette tape, or of the X-ray tubes that have been developed there. From the very first steps, Strijp-T had a strong base in the high-tech manufacturing industry and is, therefore, the real birthplace of the Brainport region – and the Brainport concept.
Smurfit/Kappa and Draka moved in after Philips gradually left, but with the arrival of VanBerlo Design, last year, a new phase really started.
Make – Create – Innovate, VanBerlo’s core motto, will apply to the whole of Strijp-T. The fencing around the site, a standard procedure in Philips times, is slowly disappearing, with which the character of the 27-hectare site has been definitively changed. From secret planning to completely open innovation, the tactics that also turned out to be so successful on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, another old Philips terrain that underwent a transformation.
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On behalf of GeVa Vastgoed, the owner of Strijp-T, Boudie Hoogedeure is busy getting new companies interested in setting up their enterprise here. And in order to ensure its future success, it has been agreed with the municipality not to do so according to the old methods. Hoogedeure: “In fact, we are now working on writing a zoning plan ourselves, with the municipality looking over our shoulder. A very fine way to take the necessary steps in these new times and at this special location.”
To be able to continue innovating and connect to this changing world, people, organizations and the way they work really needs to change, says Hoogedeure. “When organizations work together to strengthen their specific force, we can make a difference. At Strijp-T we innovate together, all along the road to making this future world.”
In this way, Strijp-T can also distinguish itself well from other innovative areas such as High Tech Campus, Brainport Industries Campus, and Strijp-S. Hoogedeure: “We see making, creating and innovating in the broadest sense of the word: what do we make, how do we get it done and how do we bring it to the customer? Within the creative industry chain, which is larger than just Strijp-T, a joint effort is being made to prepare innovative ideas for the market. This concerns both physical and digital products. Each organization focuses on a part of the chain in which they are specialists and together with other specialists they arrive at a good end result.”
Hoogedeure has listed the conditions for setting up new businesses on something looking like a beer mat from the local bar:
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The complexity of Strijp-T not only lies in the conditions for new companies but also in the presence of industrial giants such as Smurfit/Kappa and Draka. “Because of their activity, it is more difficult to plan catering activities or housing in their immediate neighbourhood, for example. We must all take this into account in the new zoning plan.”
GeVa may have taken the lead, but this real estate company is not doing the job on its own. For example, on February 8, there will be a symposium in VanBerlo’s Innovation Powerhouse where various stakeholders will meet to discuss the options. Representatives of the municipality, national government and the business community will enter into dialogue with each other to explore the limits of the possibilities. Hoogedeure: “There must be room for experiment, but with due observance of all safety conditions. This means that we are looking very carefully at the criteria we have put on that beer mat, but we are not going to apply all kinds of other restrictions at the same time. We also realize that it must be verifiable. Suppose someone is rejected, how do you arrange an appeal procedure, for example? An official usually has a complete handbook to which he can test. That will not be there now, and that can be very scary for some of them. A lot of mutual trust is needed to make this a success, but at the same time, you can also assume that GeVa has every interest in handling this in a clean and proper way.”
Alderman Staf Depla is one of the speakers during the symposium on Thursday. And not without reason: “Strijp-T is special. On November 11, I was there at the exhibition and closure of the Philips Glass Laboratory. We learned all about the thousands of people who preceded us in this part of Eindhoven: like us, they also were working hard to create the future. From the glass blowers to the engineers. These days, I can also see that drive and that will to collaborate. Together we are looking at the possibilities. We look at what is appropriate, which companies are really of added value here and how we can adjust regulations accordingly. Then, in 100 years’ time, we will probably be able to look back on a piece of the historiography of which we will be very proud.”
To top things off for Strijp-T, Hoogedeure has one wish that he would prefer not to have to wait for, for another hundred years: “It would be nice if the connection with Strijp-S were to be even better, for example by extending the Strijps bultje a little further than now. Then we can really do justice to the continuous Philips history as well as to a smooth common development for the near future.”
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