Activation Open Field of the NL Space Campus: We Need More Space!

 Activation Open Field of the NL Space Campus: We Need More Space!

In the municipality of Noordwijk (Netherlands), an exciting step towards fostering innovation and collaboration in space exploration has been made with the unveiling of the Activation Open Field at the NL Space Campus. This initiative marks the commencement of a visionary project that aims to bring together experts, researchers, start-ups, and students in a dynamic environment designed to stimulate accidental encounters and spur groundbreaking ideas.

Martin Schröderplein – An Arena for Shared Visions and Goals

The Activation Open Field, now named the Martin Schröderplein in honour of aviation pioneer Martin Schröder, symbolizes the spirit of open innovation that the NL Space Campus embodies. It has been equipped with walkways, a simple meeting stage, and essential elements that facilitate incidental meetings. A food truck and a spacious event area provide the perfect backdrop for individuals from various disciplines and backgrounds to meet, share thoughts, discuss problems, and conceptualize ingenious or perhaps even unconventional ideas. This open terrain is the first tangible step towards realizing a vibrant hub for the space sector.

Phased Development and Opportunities

Adjacent to the Martin Schröderplein, it is expected that in 2024 the Cometlab will be established, serving as a dedicated facility for product development and research. Following this, the Basecamp will emerge, housing facilities for meetings, accommodation, workshop space, and catering, thereby accelerating development in the area, activating the plan area, and facilitating collaboration among students, start-ups, scale-ups, educational institutions, and aerospace companies.

Commitment and Vision for Growth

Deputy Meindert Stolk of South Holland highlighted the province’s commitment to the ongoing development of the NL Space Campus. The festive opening event, attended by more than 150 individuals, included insights and visions for future developments in the aerospace sector shared by prominent figures such as the director of ESTEC, Dietmar Pilz, Jeroen Rotteveel of SpaceNed, and Member of Parliament Pim van Strien. Together, they toasted to a promising future and the potential of the Campus to drive innovation and address societal challenges.

Market-Driven Maturation and Diverse Contributions

With significant contributions from both ESA ESTEC and NL Space Campus, the prosperity of the municipality of Noordwijk and the wider South Holland region is poised for growth. The Campus is adopting a market-driven maturation approach. These welcoming parties contribute to both the upstream and downstream sides of the business and emphasise the enormous potential of aerospace in bringing innovation, employment, and solutions for today’s and future societal challenges.

Vision of a Space Exploration Hub

Marc Sandelowsky, the Director of NL Space Campus, envisions the campus as a place where people can meet, collaborate on exciting projects, and bring forth innovative solutions for the Netherlands and beyond. He and other leaders in the sector emphasise the potential of space exploration and its crucial role in daily life and addressing challenges such as climate change.

Looking to the Future

The phased development approach of the NL Space Campus ensures flexibility to respond to new developments and accommodates the wishes and insights of initiators and stakeholders in the area. The unveiling of the Martin Schröderplein and the anticipation of Cometlab and Basecamp are fueling curiosity and anticipation for the future developments of this ambitious project, nurturing a thriving ecosystem of knowledge and innovation in space exploration.

Sources: NL Space Campus, BlikOp Noordwijk, Provincie Zuid-Holland, Bo de Omroep van de Bollenstreek

Photo and video: Author

Kacia Rutkoŭskaja

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