26 Regio Deal projects give an enormous boost to Brainport Eindhoven

Progress report Regio Deal Brainport Eindhoven

A report that looks back on four years of Regio Deal Brainport Eindhoven. A period in which Brainport Eindhoven succeeded in developing 26 ambitious projects with a combined value of more than 370 million euros and providing them with co-financing. With the Region Deal, Brainport Eindhoven gives an enormous boost to the level of facilities, attracting and retaining talent and new social innovations that are significant for the region and far beyond.

Now 19 projects have been started within the Eindhoven Engine. Together they ensure an innovation acceleration in the Brainport region in the field of energy, mobility and healthcare among others. More than 70 partners and more than 380 involved researchers, students and employees from the business community have now linked to Eindhoven Engine.

Projects, partners and the pandemic: the year in review for Eindhoven Engine

Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, 2021 went well for Eindhoven Engine: four new projects have been added, Eindhoven Engine Academy is gathering pace and OpenCall 2022 is ready to run. Bert Pauli, Head of the Supervisory Board, looks back on a positive year and ahead to our upcoming ambitions.

Strength in adversity

Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Co-location has largely been exchanged for online activities, while events such as the hackathon have been postponed. But in challenge lies opportunity, and the pandemic has allowed us to pilot a system which supports people in asking questions and finding one another. Regular talks with projects and virtual networking have also allowed us to follow the newest developments in Brainport and beyond, helping us to expand our reach even with reduced physical contact.

“Overall, we are very satisfied with our progress and currently have 19 projects,” says Bert. “The Academy is helping them with design thinking, systems thinking, leadership development and business model innovation, while community activities are increasing serendipity between people from different projects – from outside of the box, so to speak and helping to increase crossover potential.”

Partners in equilibrium

Such crossovers between projects – whether in terms of individuals, knowledge or resources – are a crucial part of the Engine’s work and have continued this year with the addition of projects from OpenCall 2021. These also highlight our diversity as an organization, ranging from climate systems and digital twins to energy towers and noise measurement. By encouraging collaboration across domains, we aim to answer interlinked questions facing humanity and our environment.

on the move

From left to right: Arnoud de Jong, Katja Pahnke, Guustaaf Savenije, Maarten Steinbuch, Bert Pauli, Elke den Ouden, Staf Depla (Superadvisory Board and Directors Eindhoven Engine)

“I’m happy to see that the newest call has increased our number of partners, including both SMEs and bigger organizations,” continues Bert. “It’s also boosted the visibility of our shareholders: TU Eindhoven, TNO and Fontys. This is a trusting relationship with various perspectives on why the Engine is important, including the valorization of new ideas and access to bigger consortia in the region. The Engine is a showcase for entrepreneurship and agile innovation and it’s good to have all these partners in equilibrium.

“The Engine is a showcase for entrepreneurship and agile innovation and it’s good to have all these partners in equilibrium.”

Bert Pauli,
Head Superadvisory Board Eindhoven Engine

Investing in the future

Looking to 2022, the most important task is to allocate the 2.4 million euros received via the Regio Deal to as many as seven new projects. With a little luck, this will coincide with the return of co-location, furthering crossovers between these projects and those already running. The biggest ambition of the Supervisory Board and the Eindhoven Engine management is now to develop a financing structure and business model for after the conclusion of the current call structure in 2025.

“In the Regio Deal,” Bert concludes, “we focus on a balance of projects, outreach and Academy activities. What we see now is new developments in which Eindhoven Engine can play a role, such as the National Growth Fund. We’re already involved in proposals for quantum technology, next-gen high-tech and Data-driven Mobility and Smart City (DEMS) and can contribute to networking, ecosystem development and orchestration. This could help with our goal of finding other financing possibilities to keep on accelerating innovation for years to come.”


Media: Zoeken naar nieuwe concepten buiten comfortzone gevestigde ontwerpprincipes

[In Dutch]

Het onderzoeksproject ‘Advanced long-range piezoelectric wafer stage’ voor ASML is ruim twee jaar geleden van start gegaan onder de vlag van TUE’s High Tech Systems Center, en later ondergebracht en verruimd in de Eindhoven Engine. Dit artikel geeft een update van dit ALP-project, waarbij nieuwe concepten voor waferstages worden gezocht buiten de comfortzone van de gevestigde ontwerpprincipes. Het idee is dat juist door er compleet tegenin te gaan wellicht een potentiële route voor de toekomst wordt gevonden.

Read more


Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

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.”



Impactful Innovations Webinar – part 3

On 10 July, the third webinar of our Impactful Innovation series was held. The goal of the webinar series is to not only share challenges, innovations and impacts across Eindhoven Engine projects but also to actively work towards cross-project group interactions in order to unlock our collective intelligence.

This particular webinar was dedicated to two exciting topics. In the first presentation, Joep van der Velden (Kropman) took us into the world of continuous monitoring and fault detection of large HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) in order to reduce CO2 emissions. This was followed by Lukas Dekker (Catharina Ziekenhuis, TU/e), who presented the need and vision for value-based, outcome- and technology-driven future healthcare based upon innovation ecosystems.

It is very inspiring to see that these webinars are contributing to cross-organizational interactions. Big thanks to both Joep and Lukas for their excellent and enthusiastic presentations and, of course, to all participants who are enabling our collective intelligence. We look forward to the next webinar!

This particular webinar was dedicated to two exciting topics. In the first presentation, Joep van der Velden (Kropman) took us into the world of continuous monitoring and fault detection of large HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) in order to reduce CO2 emissions. This was followed by Lukas Dekker (Catharina Ziekenhuis, TU/e), who presented the need and vision for value-based, outcome- and technology-driven future healthcare based upon innovation ecosystems.

It is very inspiring to see that these webinars are contributing to cross-organizational interactions. Big thanks to both Joep and Lukas for their excellent and enthusiastic presentations and, of course, to all participants who are enabling our collective intelligence. We look forward to the next webinar!

Joris Dufils, Eindhoven Engine

Eindhoven Engine gives green light to new innovation projects collectively worth €16.8 million

With an investment of over €2.2 million, various challenging, innovative projects with potential impacts on society and the economy are being given space within Eindhoven Engine. Together, these projects represent an investment of €16.8 million. The money for the Eindhoven Engine OpenCall comes from the Regio Deal Brainport.

Following the submission deadline of 4 June, a team of experts has examined the 11 projects submitted. Each of the projects was first assessed against formal criteria which had been published in advance and which set a high quality standard. Paul Merkus, coordinator of the OpenCall: “The text of the OpenCall 2020 was clear, which allowed the evaluation process to run smoothly and fairly. The team of experienced, independent experts was able to determine the ranking of the nine eligible proposals on the basis of these criteria. I’m proud of that.” Yesterday, the Advisory Board of Eindhoven Engine – with representatives from the knowledge institutions TU/e, TNO and Fontys and the business community – also gave a positive recommendation on the proposed selection of projects.

“We see a nice mix of diversity in the consortia.
Eindhoven Engine is picking up
more and more steam.”

“In this time of the corona pandemic in particular, we see a great need for innovation. Companies and knowledge institutions have worked together intensively to come up with strong project proposals,” add directors Katja Pahnke and Maarten Steinbuch. “We therefore see a nice mix of diversity in the consortia. Eindhoven Engine is picking up more and more steam.” The projects are highly diverse in their focus: climate, vitality, health and smart manufacturing.

“Co-creation and co-location are the basic ingredients for unlocking collective intelligence in order to give a boost to innovation: this is Eindhoven Engine’s way of working. We look forward to the participating consortia soon becoming part of our ecosystem.”

Katje Pahnke, Maarten Steinbuch & Paul Merkus

Eindhoven Engine

Eindhoven Engine unlocks the collective intelligence in the Brainport region. Thanks to a unique formula, innovators from companies can join forces with students and experienced employees from knowledge institutions in order to work together to accelerate innovation and realize disruptive co-creation projects in which co-location is a prerequisite. The founding fathers of Eindhoven Engine are the knowledge institutions Fontys, TNO and Eindhoven University of Technology and the companies Philips Healthcare, Signify, ASML, VDL, NTS and NXP. Eindhoven Engine’s funds come from the Brainport Regio Deal.



OpenCall 2020 projects

Carbyon DAC

Humanity is facing an unprecedented challenge: global warming, driven by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil sources such as oil and gas. However, these emissions, if captured, can be a renewable carbon source with applications such as crop growth and sustainable fuel synthesis. Carbyon will develop Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into a green substitute to fossil fuels. As the global demand for renewable carbon will increase once the price level reaches €50 per ton of CO2, Carbyon is challenging multidisciplinary teams within Eindhoven Engine to collaboratively improve the main cost drivers of DAC technology.

Partners: Carbyon, DIFFER, TU/e

Efficient Comfortable School Indoor Air Quality

Installations in buildings are responsible for around 35% of all energy consumption, approximately 20% of which is due to inefficient operations. Inferior environmental conditions within classrooms can have both short- and long-term health effects, mainly due to the presence of particulate matter. With greater insights into sensors, data interpretation, trend signaling, continuous monitoring, fault detection/diagnosis and predictive maintenance, problems can be identified in the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems of schools. The ECoS-IAQ project focuses on the creation of product development concepts for air handling manufacturers, air filter manufacturers, control companies and installers.

Building G100, Camfil, ISSO, Kropman, Lucas Onderwijs, NedAir, TU/e


Smart Manufacturing aims to improve factory efficiency by optimizing production processes, but SMEs often lack the capacity to create innovation in this domain. Bringing together Eindhoven Engine, Fontys, TNO and Brainport Industries Campus, the SmartMan project comprises research into various facets of smart manufacturing, including robot-assisted manufacturing, data sharing, industrial AI, virtual reality and autonomous transport. Student projects will be executed at SMEs with the goal of developing knowledge, technology and methods for combining quality, automation and flexibility in manufacturing. Success will be measured in terms of the economic value of improvements per project and company.

Partners: Fontys, TNO, Smart Industry Fieldlab Flexible Manufacturing partners, VDL, VBTI and several SMEs


The iHeat@Home project contributes to a breakthrough innovation in thermal energy storage: a heat battery which is better, cheaper, smaller and greener than any competitor. This will accelerate the energy transition, promote the development of renewable energy sources, reduce grid investments and create new business. This is all happening here in the Brainport region. iHeat@Home focuses on solutions for real-time data on the heat battery’s state-of-charge and its optimal data management, with three coherent solutions: 1. The basis for a sensor which is robust and cheap; 2. Communication protocols and data management; 3. Integration in a validated, user-ready heat battery. The aim is to bring this technology to the market by 2023.

Caldic, Fontys, TNO, TU/e, Warmtebatterij BV

POWer FITTing 
FITTing Persons’ vitality and optimizing their Work Environment

In an increasingly competitive global economy, physical inactivity and burnout rates are increasing. Sustainable employability based on good physical and mental health is therefore crucial, preventing absenteeism and also reducing healthcare costs. POWer FITTing optimizes the relationship between vitality and the (home) office environment through the combination of data acquisition, integration and application for the validation and acceleration of user-oriented solutions. By taking into account individual, societal and contextual factors, this enables employees to remain both healthy and productive. This benefits companies, individuals and wider society.

Fontys, HC Oranje-Rood, IMEC, TNO, TU/e

towards an artificial womb

Following their birth, each child faces a physiological transition from mother-placental life support to (self-sufficient) life outside the womb. For some premature babies, this transition occurs too quickly. This places a heavy demand on the child’s immature vital organs, which is why extremely premature babies often experience serious, lifelong health problems with possible social consequences. As a trial in recent years, premature lambs have successfully been kept alive in a fluid-based environment, allowing them to develop in the same way as in the womb. The results are also promising for human application. The WOMBATH consortium will develop a medical device – an artificial womb – that supports the safe development of extremely premature babies outside of the womb. Ultimately, these infants will have better health prospects than premature infants with conventional care.

Partners: LifeTec Group, Máxima Medical Center, MEDSIM, NEMO Healthcare, POLIMI, RWTH Aachen, TU/e

Eindhoven Engine News – June 2020

Like many of you, we at Eindhoven Engine have had to adapt to the challenges of living and working, facing the impact of COVID-19. Virtual meetings, online workshops and webinars have allowed researchers and related projects to remain on track. In addition, digitalization even enabled many processes to be accelerated …

In this edition of Eindhoven Engine News

  • Virtual location at Eindhoven Engine
  • Remote working and online conferencing: the corona impact on Smart Mobility
  • Co-location is key for the CM-FDD-HVAC project
  • Wicked challenges 2
  • The far-reaching impact of epilepsy
  • And more

Read more…

Stay connected with Eindhoven Engine.
Subscribe to Eindhoven Engine News via office@eindhovenengine.nl.

Co-location is key for the CM-FDD-HVAC project

Since April, we’ve been working within the Eindhoven Engine Community. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, we’ve had to work in a mainly remote/virtual way. One of our PDEng trainees started on 1 May, but could not get a visa to come to the Netherlands and now works from his home in Mumbai. The current situation requires flexibility and adaptiveness as it’s a challenge to keep the team connected via laptops and virtual sessions alone.

The coronavirus clearly shows us the importance of good health, which is also threatened by the effects of global warming and air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels. The Paris Agreement set a goal to reduce CO2 emissions. The preservation of energy resources is one of the key issues in modern society and is therefore of great importance in the built environment. Building installations are responsible for around 35% of the total energy consumption worldwide and use, on average, 20% more
energy than is necessary due to inefficient operations. The application of Continuous Monitoring (CM) and a Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) system can improve the operation of Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) plants by detecting faults. This supports their energy-efficient operation as well as their effectiveness when it comes to improving the indoor air quality of buildings.


Looking ahead to the second half of this year, we hope for growing cooperation and the involvement of all parties of Eindhoven Engine through co-location. We’re even thinking about setting up the whole team an Eindhoven Engine co-location as this would generate a novel way of working and promote involvement in iconic projects in this region.

In turn, this could result in increased interactions and ‘unexpected connections’,
which are difficult in the time of the corona pandemic. This means joining together with people to think differently and to help each other accelerate innovation through our collective, innovative and enterprising spirit. We need personal contacts to inspire each other and come to new ways of thinking. Meeting one other at the co-location
will strengthen the engagement between project teams within Eindhoven Engine. Let’s hope that this will soon become possible again.

*Continuous Monitoring and Fault Detection Diagnosis of large HVAC systems


Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Virtual co-location: the real value added

Unexpected encounters are important to stimulate creativity, connect people from different backgrounds. This is important for new ideas, new innovations. The challenge, of course, is how to harness this all in this virtual age. For instance, imagine a kind of virtual marketplace where you can facilitate the exchange of ideas, then you could of course, unexpectedly, come across a cool and practical idea.

Most of us will think about co-location as a physical concept of people working in the same space or building. In respect to innovation, one might think about an R&D division or an innovation campus (like the former Natlab or the MIT Medialab). That is what we know works, and has delivered innovations the way we know them.

Multidisciplinary and multidimensional

Today, the demand for innovation is changing rapidly.  Most companies cannot continue to innovate the way they did for years, nor can they innovate within their known product lines.  The opportunities are being created where multidisciplinary co-creation occurs.  The complexity of today’s economy, and the potential disruption, for good or for bad, of exponential technologies force companies increasingly into open innovation. Which means that co-location becomes more multidimensional.

Of course, multidisciplinary open innovation teams, working in co-creation to come up with innovations for problems that matter and that we need to solve, still benefit from sitting together, meeting, exchanging and empathizing.  But Corona has shown us that this can be usefully extended by virtual co-location, opening up a multitude of additional possibilities that we did not imagine. Virtual co-location is not just bringing co-location into the virtual world; it is redefining it in order to make optimum use of the collective intelligence of the co-creators. 

Extending the boundaries

Then space becomes more than just a physical concept; it becomes an idea, a way of working together, sharing and co-creating in ways we never did before.  The quality and diversity of the ecosystem at the co-location, as well as the facilitation of the open-innovation teams, all become part of the concept of co-location. Suddenly, we can do so much more. We exponentially extend what we could have done before only in a physical space. Virtual co-location extends the scope of the possible.

Corona has, paradoxically, given us an opportunity to go beyond what we have done before. It can be a catalyst for co-creation. Become part of this new co-location and share your thoughts and ideas.

Walter Baets
Eindhoven Engine Academy