‘From business area to inspiring area’

There are plans for the outdoor space of the Dutch Innovation Park to undergo a major metamorphosis. The Werner von Siemensstraat will be transformed into an innovation boulevard, making it the central spot in the Park. Thanks to this transformation, education can flourish even better, the Park can attract the right companies to establish themselves here, and employment can grow further.

In order to clarify where the development of the entire site had to go, a vision was drawn up in collaboration with the municipality, all land owners, the established companies and educational institutions that will allow the “standard business park” to develop into a high-quality campus area.

For this, landscape architects have drawn up a vision for the outdoor space of the Dutch Innovation Park. This vision shows what opportunities there are to improve the public space into one that suits an attractive innovation park. Opportunities to realize new activities and facilities were also looked at. “In this way we can jointly determine where we want to be with the Park in ten years,” says Ron.

From buildings with innovative companies to an innovative area
Outside, the Park mainly has the appearance of a business park where cars are parked and where work is done in the buildings behind the fences. “The desire is to design the public space so that it matches the innovative character of the activities in the Park. Public space can stimulate this enormously. By focusing on interaction, cooperation and meet-ups between the different people who work in the Park, the innovative character and activity are given an enormous boost.”

Knowledge economy
“The new path we have taken is already starting to bear fruit,” Ron continues. “You can see that in the acquisition of the latest new companies. We prefer to have high-tech companies here or companies with an ICT background. They should want to have a link with The Hague University of Applied Sciences and the special ICT courses that are given here. In this way, you anchor The Hague University of Applied Sciences much better here and at the same time, through better cooperation, you ensure that more is created than just a university of applied sciences and companies.” As an example Ron mentions the challenges that are put forward by companies, which students then work on. “Through this collaboration we try to create more employment for the future in Zoetermeer and employment that is more sustainable than employment that is determined by the economic cycle.” The latter is one of the things that drives Ron. “For me it is exactly what the knowledge economy entails. Knowledge in itself is nice, but if you don’t earn money with it, you actually put the cart before the horse. Ultimately, there is no money left to continue to invest in knowledge.”

Innovation Boulevard
The Werner von Siemensstraat is a central place in the Park. This street runs through the middle of the Dutch Innovation Park and connects the Park with the Lansingerland-Zoetermeer railway station. “The street will be transformed into an innovation boulevard and will thus have a stronger connecting function: it will become an attractive area for employees and students, the ‘Park residents’ and their visitors.”