More space and more science

In round two, YesDelft to focus on high-tech labs and key research areas.
In January, TU Delft announced expansion plans for the incubator for tech start-ups, YesDelft. The new 5,500 square metre building will be constructed to accommodate the growing pool of tech talent from the university.

The building, YesDelft 2, will be adjacent to the current complex at the Science Park Technopolis on Molengraaffsingel.

The second phase is being launched in association with Gemeente Delft, Provincie Zuid-Holland and the European Union. Since 2005 the incubator has supported over 150 tech start-ups with unique programs to enhance entrepreneurial skills, coaching, an extensive network and a joint office space to learn from colleague entrepreneurs.

“The plans for YesDelft 2 have a two-fold approach. One is, of course, to broaden our incubator programme. Secondly, we would like to build high-technology laboratories in key areas of research,” says Paul Althuis, director of the TU Delft Valorisation Centre. “Research found that there is a lack of laboratory facilities for start-ups in chemical engineering, water and biotech in Delft. We felt that we could address that gap. So, besides the regular start-ups, we will also start a specific launch-pad in related research areas, so the labs and the companies become a cohesive unit.”

While the building is only expected to open in March 2016, Althuis expects at least fifteen new start-up companies to begin in 2015. “The current building is already more than 90% occupied and we have been talking about growing for some time. It is the right time to launch this project,” he said.

Currently, successful companies that survive the 4-5 year incubation period have to move to outside office space. In the long run, the TU Delft hopes to expand into a tech park, with enough office space for all companies to stay. “We would like that eventually companies that do well remain within the Delft ecosystem.” 

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