Utrecht Science Park
A flourishing & innovative ecosystem
Utrecht Science Park is the beating heart of knowledge and high-end technology in Utrecht Region. It is also the largest and most fast-growing science park in the Netherlands. Currently, 10 knowledge institutions and 128 R&D companies (half of which start-ups) are established here, primarily active in the field of Life Sciences & Health (LSH) and Sustainability. Together with a strong community of 51,000 students, they design and create healthier and more sustainable living for today and tomorrow. Are you curious to know more about the Utrecht Science Park? Read this short deep-dive Q&A with Friso Smit, New Business Development Manager at the Utrecht Science Park Foundation: "In this inspiring hotspot, companies, researchers, clinicians and students work together on groundbreaking science, which accelerates innovation.”
Friso Smit - © Lotte Stierhout
What are the core activities of the Utrecht Science Park Foundation?
"There is an enormous amount of expertise, infrastructure and talent available at the Utrecht Science Park. As a foundation, we support interactions and we stimulate cooperation and knowledge exchange between knowledge institutions and innovative companies, for example through storytelling of scientific achievements, business development activities and the organization of events such as informal Utrecht Science Park Cafés. We also create optimal conditions for new and established businesses seeking to set up or expand their R&D operations at the Utrecht Science Park. Together, we provide fertile soil for the discovery, design and development of sustainable solutions for a healthy life in a healthy environment. By implementing the solutions locally where possible, we add societal and economic value to the region."
Why is the science park focused on the clusters LSH and Sustainability?
"Many knowledge institutions and R&D companies active in the field of Life Sciences & Health have found their way at the Utrecht Science Park, such as the Utrecht University, including the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the University Medical Centre Utrecht, the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Hubrecht Institute, Danone Nutricia Research, Genmab and many others. The fact that all these institutes and R&D companies are on mere walking distance, makes it possible to quickly translate research to solutions and apply innovations directly to patients, both humans and animals, which creates a closed value chain. In addition, knowledge and expertise around sustainability have continued to develop, partly because of research at Utrecht University and the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Within and between these institutes, topics such as One Health and Future Food have flourished. The combination of Life Sciences & Health with Sustainability ties in closely with the regional proposition Healthy Urban Living and allows us to facilitate valuable innovation."
Why is it interesting for companies to establish themselves at the Utrecht Science Park?
"Companies located here understand the language of science. They can easily and quickly interact with researchers and students. That accelerates innovation and makes the science park a powerful ecosystem for national and international companies to join in with their R&D activities. There is no other place in Europe where so many knowledge institutions are located on walking distance and working together with companies on major challenges in Life Sciences & Health and Sustainability. That is why facilitating cross-pollination works so well at the Utrecht Science Park."
Could you tell us more about the expansion plans of the Utrecht Science Park?
"In two years' time, a 23,000 square meter multitenant R&D building is ready to use, which will provide state-of-the-art housing for scale-ups in the field of Life Sciences & Health. A second multitenant building is expected to be completed in 2024. Together with Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht and the City of Utrecht (the landowners of the Utrecht Science Park) we are exploring additional development opportunities for R&D companies in the long term. Our ambition is to add 160,000 m2 floor space for private R&D activities over the next 10 to 15 years to expand our ecosystem and let innovation flourish."