Innovation series: professor AND entrepreneur

Compared to other EU countries, the Netherlands has many entrepreneurs and good researchers, but few researchers who go into business for themselves. That should change.

Serieel Delfts ondernemer professor Peter Rem. (Foto: Sam Rentmeester)

Techleap is a platform that brings growing technology companies, investors and government together to overcome obstacles and seize opportunities. They noticed that, compared to other European countries, the Netherlands has relatively few entrepreneurs from the academic world. But there are exceptions. These academic businessmen appear in weekly inspirational stories on the independent innovation platform Innovation Origins. This week, as the second in line, it is the turn of TU Delft Professor Peter Rem (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences).

Editor Jeroen Vught writes about him. ‘Professor Peter Rem is no stranger to start-ups. His lab at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has spun out six companies, hosted four more that were founded by students and even offers entrepreneurs from outside access to their facilities and expertise. That is no coincidence. Peter passionately believes that he and his fellow academics have a duty to deliver for society: not just knowledge and graduates but real-world applications that are commercially viable. “For every euro that society invests in R&D, we should return € 100 in GDP,” he states. That means thinking big, thinking outside-in and thinking of yourself, your expertise and your facilities as public resources to be put towards achieving that goal.’

  • Read the full story ‘A hundred to one’ on Innovation Origins.
  • In the coming weeks, more interviews with Maarten Steinbuch (TU/e), Miao Chien (Erasmus MC), Ernst van den Ende (WUR), Hans Clevers (UMC), Hamed Sadeghian (TU/e) and Eveline Crone (Leiden University) will appear there.
Science editor Jos Wassink

Do you have a question or comment about this article?


Comments are closed.