At Amsterdam Science Park, we believe knowledge has no borders. That’s why you’ll find cutting-edge institutes, top-class facilities and business incubators in one convenient location. You’ll meet motivated students, innovative researchers, talented scientists and adventurous entrepreneurs – all in an environment where it’s easy to work together. Cross-disciplinary initiatives and holistic thinking flourish. Ground-breaking research projects become successful spin-offs. That’s the strength of Amsterdam Science Park: connecting boundless minds.
Reindert Hommes is co-founder of the start-up Tallgrass, which is based at Amsterdam Science Park.
“I studied social computer science at UVA at Amsterdam Science Park, so when we needed an office for Tallgrass, I thought of the facilities here. Michael Scharn and I launched the company in 2009, initially operating from a garage in the middle of town – not an ideal environment for receiving our clients! Moving to an office space at the park was a logical step. The facilities are good, the rates are reasonable, and the presence of the university and research institutes is a big benefit."
“Where else could you find such an affordable environment, combined with so much creativity, knowledge, business and research?”
“Michael and I started Tallgrass because our jobs meant we had to work with fibre optic networks, yet we could find nobody with a specialised knowledge of deploying and maintaining such networks. So we decided to fill that gap in the market ourselves. After seven years in the business, we now have a staff of eight and a wide range of clients – though I’d say we are conservative in our growth plan, and so far done everything without external funding, which gives us the luxury of independence. We are in the business of content logistics, and as data is growing exponentially there is obviously a growing market for Tallgrass."
“We definitely plan to stay at Amsterdam Science Park. Where else could you find such an affordable environment, combined with so much creativity, knowledge, business and research? And this is a place that, unusually, can take you from start-up to scale-up, because there’s room to grow. We started off with two people and one office space, now we have eight people and six spaces. Anywhere else, it would be impossible to grow from 25m2 to 200m2 without changing location."
“If it’s going to happen anywhere, it’s going to happen here”
“A lot of big companies have smaller research spin-offs here. Research has lots to offer business, but we’ve found that it isn’t just a one-way street. Companies like ours have a lot of specialised knowledge to offer researchers, too. For example, we helped Nikhef (the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics) when they needed fibre-optic expertise and components for a project. These kinds of connections can lead interesting spin-offs."
“Companies like ours have a lot of specialised knowledge to offer researchers”
“Location is another advantage. Access to Amsterdam is easy, and there’s a great transport network. But above all it’s the people: a few thousand really smart people studying, researching and working – all doing things that are really out of the ordinary. Being close to all that knowledge rubs off on you. If it’s going to happen anywhere, it’s going to happen here. Once a year, I do a class on fibre optics for UVA students, and some of them do a project at the lab. There’s some interesting potential there for the future, too."
“I’m also on the board of the Science & Business Amsterdam Science Park Foundation, and we meet every quarter to discuss how to develop the park. One of our initiatives was to found the organisation Science and Business, to further stimulate collaborations in that area. There’s a lot of scope for us to connect more closely with the city, and to get our message out both nationally and internationally. There are other science clusters of course, but we are unusually holistic and multi-disciplinary, and that makes us special.”