Kennispark asks commitment from entrepreneurs and owners
“Now that our ambitions are clear and the plans for the renovation of Kennispark are ready, we are asking entrepreneurs and property owners to contribute financially to the upgrade of our innovation campus,” says director Anne-Wil Lucas about the plans for the area organization Kennispark. “Together with the contributions from the municipality of Enschede and the University of Twente, we can thus make Kennispark attractive for talent, companies and investors in the coming years.
Our innovation park has visibly changed in recent months, for example with the new Ecare building and the arrival of the Broodbode. And there are more great initiatives in the pipeline. For example, the student teams are moving to a building on the Capitool and there are the building plans for the Frauenhofer Project Center and Micronit. “These are good developments, but we are far from there yet,” says area director Anne-Wil Lucas. “If we want to continue to be among the best innovation parks in the Netherlands, we will need a major facelift and we should not wait too long”.
Couldn’t it be quicker?
“In recent years, the province of Overijssel, the municipality of Enschede and the University of Twente have invested in the area organization to help get the renovation started,” explains Anne-Wil Lucas. The plans for an upgrade are now ready. “For some entrepreneurs it’s not fast enough, but for government concepts we’re making big leaps. Behind the scenes, the area organization is putting a lot of time and energy into, among other things, the acquisition of companies to build the Medtech cluster on our innovation campus. But also in collaboration and coordination between all parties on the area strategy and the urban design. Anne-Wil: “Now we are entering the phase that we can really build a Knowledge Park. That is why we are now also asking for a financial contribution from entrepreneurs and real estate owners.
“In the coming years, a budget of 450,000 euros per year will be needed to guarantee the same effort as now,” Anne-Wil explains about the investments in the area organization. “We see this as a joint effort between the University of Twente, the municipality of Enschede and the companies in the park. That is why we are asking property owners and entrepreneurs to jointly contribute 150,000 euros a year”. By the way, this is a very common construction for science parks. “Normally, you pay the fee from the moment you set up at a park, but of course we have to deal with existing entrepreneurs and real estate owners. That is why we opt for a voluntary contribution.
Contribution in proportion and benefit
How it works? Companies and real estate owners conclude a partner contract with the new foundation Gebiedsorganisatie Kennispark. They pay a contribution in proportion and benefit. That means an amount per square meter. For a startup it may be around 70 euros, for a large company it’s 4,000 euros a year. See also the calculation examples in the table below.
Contribution calculation examples
If we bet on € 0.25 per m2 gross floor area for users and € 0.75 per m2 gross floor area for property owners, the distribution will be as follows for companies at Kennispark.
What does this investment yield?
“By converting Kennispark into a modern innovation campus, we create added value for both real estate owners and entrepreneurs,” says Anne-Wil. Real estate finds tenants more easily and increases the value of real estate. “As an entrepreneur at Kennispark you are part of an innovative ecosystem in an attractive environment. That helps attract and retain talent. And that doesn’t only apply to tech companies. Every company benefits from an innovation campus that invites people to stay, with catering, retail and an active community”. Participation also means that you can make use of an area team that is committed to total quality for the long term. That means we do the following, among other things:
- Strategic acquisition on clusters for the innovation campus. Leads are passed on to our partners who contribute to the area.
- Investments in joint facilities: lab facilities, catering, meeting locations, retail, housing.
- Marketing and promotion: focus on national profiling of the area, which should lead to more leads.
- Mediating, supporting and securing subsidies for companies and real estate owners and for the area, such as RegioDeal funds.
- Generating media attention for the companies that participate.
- Community building and programming together with Novel-T.
What is the next step?
“We are now preparing the new area organization. We expect to set up a new foundation for this purpose in early 2021. After that we will approach entrepreneurs and real estate owners”. Within four years, at least eighty percent of the owners and entrepreneurs must participate. What does Anne-Wil expect from the entrepreneurs and real estate owners at Kennispark? “The willingness to invest is there, I am convinced. This is also evident from the support of the entrepreneurs’ association. But if entrepreneurs and real estate owners want to wait and see, we run the risk that the municipality and the university will withdraw. After all, they have already indicated that they will stop financing the area organization in four years’ time if there are not enough entrepreneurs and real estate owners to join. That is why I hope that a number of entrepreneurs and owners will already show their commitment and become the first members of the owners’ association”.
Would you like to know more about investing in Kennispark as an entrepreneur or property owner? Download our brochure. Or contact Anne-Wil Lucas, area director, firstname.lastname@example.org.