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Utrecht Science park visits Copenhagen Science City

The Utrecht Economic Board visited Copenhagen Science City in the Mærsk Tower on March 14th 2023 to exchange knowledge and experience creating the best ecosystem related to health in order to stimulate creation of innovation. The University of Copenhagen and the University Hospital Rigshospitalet hosted the afternoon meeting on the 15th floor. By Mark Martino.

A strong foundation for further development in Utrecht

The Metropolitan region of Utrecht, comprising 1.5 million inhabitants, aspires to be the healthiest region in the world. Since the Utrecht Science Park (USP) was founded in the 1960’s it was not until the 1990’s that the Utrecht Science Park accelerated its growth and became a so-called “beating heart” for further innovative development. The backbone of USP consists of a medical center, Utrecht University, 150 companies, good housing possibilities and welfare accommodations as well as sports facilities. Today it has become a magnet for companies with a primary focus on health, sustainability and inclusion.

In the further development of Copenhagen Science City, it was valuable for us to discuss success stories as well as challenges ahead with the Utrecht Economic Board i.e., how to overcome expansion possibilities in a densely built local geography”: Kristoffer Klebak, Head of Secretariat, Copenhagen Science City.

Utrecht Science Park and Copenhagen Science City have common challenges

Early 2022, the renewed Economic Board Utrecht was established, under the chairwomanship of Sharon Dijksma, mayor of Utrecht (also chairwoman of the Association of Dutch Municipalities and the UN Cities Special Climate Envoy towards the COP27). The board is a public-private network that unites the key players of national and international companies and educational institutions headquartered in the region:

CEOs, chairs, directors and decision-makers

A common factor contributing to a successful innovation district or park is that everything and everyone is in close proximity by foot or by bicycle. On the other hand, space needs to be created for further expansion and development in relation to the built environment. The Utrecht Science Park is situated relatively close to green areas categorized as UNESCO World Heritage. The strategy for further development in USP, is therefore to expand near the surroundings in order to attract new companies and strengthen the science park even further.

Initiatives in Utrecht Science Park

Another challenge in Utrecht Science Park is attracting an even larger workforce. USP aims to attract between 4000 – 8000 highly educated workers to the area to continue the fruitful development and create new success stories.
Another event in relation to building knowledge and sharing experiences is the so-called “Science Week” which takes place every year in October. This is an excellent event for generating a larger network in the park across disciplines. The Science Week receives a lot of attention and there has been great output so far.