Official launch of Eindhoven Engine
With the push of a button the Eindhoven Engine was launched on Monday 15 April. The ceremony took place in the Blauwe Zaal of the Auditorium of the TU/e, in the heart of the Brainport region. In the Eindhoven Engine teams of researchers from companies and knowledge institutes will collaborate with ambitious students in projects that come out of social issues. The objective is to bring innovations to the market more quickly. Fontys, TU/e and TNO are jointly responsible for the management of the project.
The Multimedia Pavilion on the TU/e Campus will be the beating heart of the Eindhoven Engine. Between now and five years’ time hundreds of researchers, students and people from the industry will be working together on a range of projects. The intention is to bring innovations to the market more quickly and successfully.
The initiator of the Eindhoven Engine is Maarten Steinbuch. During the kick-off meeting he looked back on how it all began. ‘When people ask me to explain what the Eindhoven Engine is, I tell them that it was ultimately inspired by what used to be Philips’ NatLab, the knowledge workers regulation of a decade ago (people from companies were temporarily deployed with knowledge institutes, ed.) and the successful student teams. Just like in the NatLab era we bring together clever people in one physical location: scientists, engineers and designers from the business world and students who work together intensively on a project. It is important to stress that the projects of Eindhoven Engine are constantly changing: it must be dynamic, in constant flux. These temporary alliances must lead to innovations that society can benefit from in everyday life. Steinbuch: ‘They may be medical innovations or sustainability solutions, but also self-driving cars.’
After a few brief speeches from Jan Mengelers (chairman of the Board of Governors of the TU/e), Clément Goossens (the ‘start-up’ director of the Eindhoven Engine) and Katja Pahnke (Goossens’ successor) the audience had a chance to experience how the Eindhoven Engine will actually work. The people present were divided up into interactive discussions groups where they talked about a number of social challenges that might be addressed by the Eindhoven Engine. ‘By joining together with a range of disciplines and looking at a problem from different angles you find better solutions far more quickly. And that is precisely what the Eindhoven Engine is about,’ Steinbruch explained.
Fontys students & TEC skills
Next on the agenda was a panel discussion. The panel included John Jorritsma and Guustaaf Saveneije (CEO VDL ETG), as well as Nienke Meijer. The chairman of the Board of Governors of Fontys Hogescholen raved about the Eindhoven Engine: ‘In this fast changing world it is important to be flexible and respond to developments instantly. And collaboration is necessary for innovation. That is the only way of tackling social challenges. With our 45,000 students, Fontys can make a crucial contribution. No one can bring innovations to market like they can. Our students are taught the kinds of skills that are needed in today’s world. At Fontys, we call them TEC skills. Our students not only know the latest technological developments, but they are also entrepreneurial and creative. And they are rooted in society. Fontys cannot wait to make its mark on the Eindhoven Engine. Together we will make sure that the Brainport Region will once again live up to its name.’
When the panel discussion was over, it was time for the actual opening. With the push of a button the Eindhoven Engine was officially launched. Next month, the first projects of Eindhoven Engine are expected to be under way.