In less than six years, Campus Groningen has been transformed from a fledgling campus into one of the biggest and most important mature campuses in the Netherlands. In addition, Campus Groningen is the country’s fastest growing campus and the second biggest in terms of total numbers of jobs. These findings are contained in a report published today by Buck Consultants International (BCI), which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and Netwerk Kennissteden Nederland (Network of Dutch Knowledge Cities). ‘Our campus is currently experiencing exponential growth. Groningen is the place to excel, and this report is the ultimate confirmation,’ says the Mayor of Groningen Peter den Oudsten. Member of the Provincial Executive Patrick Brouns is keen to add: ‘Campus Groningen is a model for cooperation Groningen-style: short lines of communication, innovative and future-proof.
The figures from BCI show that Dutch campuses are thriving. They are attracting more and more companies and have created 5,700 extra jobs in three-and-a-half years. The growth of industry and employment on campuses has continued in recent years, proving that campuses are a popular place of business and a crucial driving force behind new industry. Jan de Jeu, member of the Board of the University of Groningen (UG): ‘The Campus Monitor 2018 shows that investing in Campus Groningen is paying off for the Northern Netherlands. In a short space of time, the Campus has developed into the beating heart of economic development in the Northern Netherlands, right on the cutting edge of research, education and enterprise.’ Henk Pijlman, Chair of the Executive Board of Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (HG) continues: ‘Campus Groningen is the perfect place for the students, lecturers, researchers of HG to come into contact with the business sector.’
Campus Groningen popular place of business
The monitor carried out by Buck shows that since the start-up phase in 2012, Campus Groningen has evolved from a fast-developer in 2014 into a mature campus of national renown. BCI defines campuses as locations with a concentration of industry and knowledge institutes, where partners work together on Research & Development and where open innovation partnerships have room to develop. Campus Groningen satisfies these criteria, as reflected by the fact that it seems to act like a magnet on businesses. Not only has the number of companies and start-ups risen significantly (from 114 in 2014 to 198 in 2018), but employment on the campus has also seen a sharp increase.
This assessment is an incentive for Campus Groningen and its partners to expand collaboration. In order to capitalize on the innovative and economic benefits of campuses, the report recommends investing in shared research facilities (and other facilities) and creating more room for new start-ups and spin-offs. Expanding on this theme is one of the future ambitions that both Groningen campus locations will have to work on. Other important aspects flagged up in the report concern business development, accessibility, knowledge exchange and talent marketing. What's the next step now that our campus has gained national recognition? In conclusion, managing director of Campus Groningen Edward van der Meer looks to the future: ‘We are used to working together from Campus Groningen. Based on our regional partnerships, local power and the identity of Campus Groningen, we will now actively search for collaboration opportunities at national level to generate international impact. Of course we have already made a start, but this will be the next visible step.’
Campus Groningen is the main centre for innovation, research and industry in the Northern Netherlands. It has two branches: Zernike Campus in the north of the city of Groningen and the Healthy Ageing Campus near the UMCG. Campus Groningen is one of the largest and most important campuses in the Netherlands, providing a base for almost 200 companies, 3 knowledge institutes (UG, UMCG and HG) and over 45,000 students, and a total of over 20,000 jobs. In addition to the 3 knowledge institutes, the Municipality of Groningen, Bedrijvenvereniging WEST and the Province of Groningen are also investing in this innovation motor.