On April 20th, we were offered to have look behind the scenes of a campus which has industrial roots. You saw the differences between a Science Park (Ghent) and an Industrial Park (Brightlands Chemelot).

After a network lunch, we started with a few short presentations. We learned how corporates, knowledge institutes, startups and investors are working together at Brightlands and which initiatives have been taken to get corporates out of their buildings (community management). We also learned more about Brightlands Material Center and its shared research programs, securing application-driven research along the whole chain of knowledge. Also the floor was given to a successful startup Xilloc, to present its view of the ecosystem and its corporation with corporates.

The second part of the program consisted of two innovation round table sessions, each addressing a specific challenge. The two themes were:

  • Academic anchoring. How to create an academic angle on campus of Industrial origin? Not having a Technical University close by means that you lack a natural source of (young) researchers that are passionate to start their own business as well as lack of scientific cutting-edge knowledge and equipment.
  • Building a community. Having corporates located at your Industrial campus doesn’t mean automatically that corporates get out or their buildings and become an active members of the community, interacting with startups, SME’s and knowledge institutes. Corporate have the tendency of having a non-invented here syndrome and are often hampered by internal procedures prohibiting to share information and ideas. So what is needed to involve corporates actively?

Finally, there was a conducted tour of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus

Forr CVN members: the presentations are on the member page