Shared spaces and co-creation: the new MMP

As the site of Eindhoven Engine’s co-location, MMP (previously MultiMediaPaviljoen) plays a key role in Kadans Science Partner’s mission of creating and supporting innovation ecosystems. Kadans Commercial Manager Pim van Os and Eindhoven Engine Managing Director Katja Pahnke discuss how recent renovations help realize this vision.

A mix of old and new

MMP, a multi-tenant office used mainly by TU Eindhoven initiatives, was purchased by Kadans in 2019. Plans for renovation began immediately, as Pim explains.

“It was an old building without the right structure for users – it was actually a bit like a student house! There are three aspects for us: you need to inspire tenants and guests, you need to connect different functions and you need social interaction. Innovation often comes from unexpected corners, like the coffee machine. This is how we approached our renovation plan.”

Kadans aims to stimulate maximum usage of shared areas, 
increasing the chances of collaboration.’ – Pim

The result is a mix of old and new, bringing together aspects of the building’s former industrial nature with updated elements like flooring and furniture. Kadans aims to stimulate maximum usage of shared areas, increasing the chances of collaboration but also generating a friendly atmosphere in which people look forward to their work. “We didn’t do this alone,” Pim notes. “We did it in good consultation with one of our partners: Eindhoven Engine.”

Katja Pahnke and Pim van Os. Photo: Kimberley van Nuland (Kadans)

Living lab for the ecosystem

Over the year, Kadans and Eindhoven Engine held weekly meetings to discuss the renovation’s requirements and the building’s future needs; in other words, how it can generate interdisciplinary cross-pollination and thereby accelerate innovation.

“We know that Kadans brings together the academic world and companies to work in a shared space. That’s the added value for us,” says Katja. “We see ourselves as the living lab for this ecosystem and, with the Engine formula, we’re able to live this culture of co-creation. More people are coming to us with project ideas and asking what they can do to become part of this community.”

“We see ourselves as the living lab for this ecosystem and,
with the Engine formula.” – Katja

The collaboration is therefore mutually beneficial for both parties. With its connections to regional institutes and companies, Eindhoven Engine is a lead generator of new tenants to grow the Kadans ecosystem. In turn, Kadans recognizes that a building is only as strong as its users and will continue to utilize Eindhoven Engine’s input on the ideal conditions for these parties to excel.

Something to look forward to

Although the pandemic has delayed a formal opening, Eindhoven Engine is looking forward to reboarding as soon as is safely possible. While COVID-19 is an opportunity to reshape our behaviors, nine months of remote working has also driven home the need for shared spaces.

Katja: “As Pim mentioned, innovations are often created in unexpected meetings between people who didn’t know they could find added value in each other’s domains. We have to organize this way of meeting, knowing and connecting with each other. We need an attractive environment for this, we need color, lights and a certain vibe. There’s more to it than just desks and chairs.”

“I think that people will be working from home for two or three days a week in the future – but when they come to the office, the facilities and atmosphere need to be perfect,” Pim agrees. “I think we’ve achieved that with the new building. You immediately see its vibrant heart.”

“And we’ll have a restaurant!” adds Katja. “That should attract a lot of hungry people, who are good for unexpected meetings.”