Online innovation marketplace ready

Online innovation marketplace ready

We already lifted a corner of the veil during our last networking event. Now BSD’s Online Innovation Marketplace is almost ready. On we bring innovative projects and services to the attention and supply and demand can find each other. We cordially invite our partners to create an account and place a question or offer. The marketplace is still under development and will be further developed, partly on the basis of feedback from users.

The marketplace was developed by COMP-IT-AUT, a company from Helmond where people with an autism spectrum disorder find meaningful daytime activities. The marketplace is also available in English.

The foundation of the smart neighborhood in Helmond is being laid

The foundation of the smart neighborhood in Helmond is being laid

Development and construction of innovative infrastructure Brainport Smart District awarded to consortium of KWS, Baas B.V. and Spectral. You don’t think about it every day, but above and below ground lies a complete infrastructure of roads, cables and pipelines. This infrastructure must also be constructed in Brainport Smart District (BSD), in order to move traffic, energy, water and data from A to B in the district and to achieve the ambitious goal of the smartest district. After a tender procedure, a consortium of the organizations KWS, Baas B.V. and Spectral emerged as the winner. Together with residents, knowledge institutions, governments and other partners, they will work on the construction of the innovative infrastructure in BSD.

Getting started in a construction team

KBS, BSD and various other partners from the quadruple helix are now continuing together in a construction team. “In the coming months we will immediately get to work in working groups, in which the (future) resident will also be involved,” Eric Vugs says enthusiastically on behalf of KBS. “In the working groups we are looking for what the optimal energy system, water system, data infrastructure and mobility system should look like for the residential areas of the future. We are looking for answers to questions such as: ‘What does the smart energy grid look like? Will there be a separate greywater system? How do we optimally organize mobility hubs? Can we use the lampposts as a place for smart sensors?’. These are all examples of the kind of issues that will be tackled here.” In addition to BSD and KBS, universities, various authorities, water boards, Brabant Water, Enexis, Fontys, residents and the security region will participate in the working groups.

Learning for the future

The fully joint design and realization of innovative, private infrastructure in this way is unique. “We expect that this will mean that here, in BSD, we can set the new standard for, for example, the energy system and water system of the future. By doing it together, we show that we are also involved in process innovation in our smart neighbourhood,” adds Alderman Cathalijne Dortmans. The aim is to clarify where the current legislation and regulations are hindering and to come up with better solutions in order to realize the ambition to become the smartest neighbourhood. The first result of the efforts of the construction team will become visible at the end of the year, when construction of the first 52 temporary homes in BSD starts.

About consortium KBS
Three companies work together in the consortium, all of which have proven to be frontrunners in their field and continuously innovate. They combine their knowledge in the field of the various infrastructures and energy systems, both underground and above ground.

KWS is the market leader in road construction in the Netherlands. But building roads isn’t all they do. All kinds of specialisms are in-house. From earthmoving to sound-proof constructions and from hydraulic engineering to sewer renovation. Every day, KWS works with 2,000 colleagues on the accessibility and quality of life in the Netherlands. Every day we take steps towards our sustainability mission: 100% circular infrastructure and maximum contribution to a better quality of life.

Spectral is an Amsterdam-based technology company that is active as an end-to-end system integrator in the smart energy domain. Based on the impact-driven mission to accelerate the energy transition, they develop integrated platform solutions for realizing and scaling up smart grids, smart assets and smart buildings. In BSD, Spectral is building a smart grid that connects all energy producers and consumers in the district. As a result, the energy is used more locally and sustainable energy can be used.

Since 1898 Baas B.V. focuses on the realization of underground infrastructures and electrical systems. In a large part of the Netherlands we take care of the construction of distribution networks for electricity, gas, drinking water and internet for network operators and utility parties. With the realization of 20,000 connections for new construction, large-scale renovation of electricity and gas networks and the installation of 100,000 smart meters per year, Baas B.V. one of the larger infrastructure contractors. From design to maintenance and troubleshooting. With regard to the energy transition, Baas is committed to developing (private) energy infrastructure, so that companies and residents can use, distribute and store their own generated energy locally. The traditional model of centrally generated and nationally distributed energy is changing towards locally generated and used energy. Together with 650 permanent employees, Baas works on a reliable infrastructure every day.


Business Challenge Wave 5

Business Challenge Wave 5

In the fifth wave of the BSD Business Challenge we focus on Working and doing business in BSD. Covid19 has accelerated working from home and more and more organizations are looking for new, flexible office solutions. For this wave, we are therefore looking for ideas, plans and experiments that can help us devise and try out new solutions for this development.

In the Urban Plan for BSD, we have been working since 2017 on the basis of physically bringing living and working together in a more hybrid form. We have approximately 8 hectares of land available for this, divided over the housing plots in BSD. In addition, we have room to develop approx. 4 ha as a concentration 'business park'. When we developed this plan, we didn't know about Covid19 yet. In the meantime, under the influence of this, thinking has accelerated and the following article by McKinsey describes this very aptly:

“Before the pandemic, the idea was that offices were critical to productivity, culture and winning the war for talent. Companies vigorously competed for premium office space in major urban centers around the world, and many focused on solutions that foster collaboration. Densification, open office design, hoteling and coworking was the adage.

But estimates suggest that in early April, 62 percent of working Americans worked from home during the crisis, compared to about 25 percent a few years ago. During the pandemic, many people were surprised by the speed and effectiveness of video conferencing and other digital collaboration technologies. For many, the results were better than expected.

According to research by McKinsey, 80 percent of those surveyed say they enjoy working from home. Forty-one percent say they are more productive than before and 28 percent say they are equally productive. Many employees who have been relieved of long journeys and journeys have found more productive ways to spend that time, enjoyed greater flexibility in reconciling their personal and professional lives, and decided they would rather work at home than in the office. Many organizations believe they can access new talent with fewer local constraints, apply innovative processes to increase productivity, create an even stronger culture and significantly reduce real estate costs.

But is it possible that the satisfaction and productivity people now experience working from home is the product of the social capital built up through countless hours of water-cooler conversations, meetings and social engagements before the outbreak of the crisis? Will corporate cultures and communities erode over time without physical interaction? Are planned and unplanned moments of collaboration disrupted? Will there be less mentorship and talent development? Was working from home only successful because it is considered temporary, not permanent? ”

Living, working and doing business

In light of the BSD ambition, in Wave 5 of our Business Challenge, we pay extra attention to ideas, plans and experiments that can help us to come up with and try out new solutions for this development. This may therefore concern combinations of living and working at home, flexible (semi) local temporary and flexible office solutions, possibly combined with other functions in BSD (logistics, mobility, etc.), but also ideas for filling the 4 ha business park in a BSD manner. and opportunities to stimulate and advance new entrepreneurship. Keep in mind that all proposals must confirm themselves to our innovation ambitions as laid down in the Q-Book, which you can find on our website.

Read more about the Business Challenge