June 12, 2023

Matrix ONE: a hyper-modern centre for innovation in sustainability

Matrix ONE, Amsterdam Science Park’s new state-of-the-art innovation hub, has officially opened with a festive launch attended by the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema. The 13,000-square-metres office and laboratory building is home to 18 cutting-edge companies in the field of sustainability, all keen to collaborate with the research centres and universities at the park. Matching the tenants’ profile, Matrix ONE is itself one of the smartest and most sustainable buildings in Amsterdam.

Co-creation and mutual inspiration

Central to the design of Matrix ONE is the facilitation of interaction between tenants, scientists and students. The building features communal spaces and meeting rooms, the sustainable lunch café NEO, and ‘social stairs’ for spur-of-the-moment inspiration over a coffee. Current tenants range from tech companies including Qualcomm to sustainability innovators such as Photanol, Skytree and the startup FUL Foods. The building is also home to SustainaLab, which will be running events and co-creation sessions to promote interaction and mutual inspiration between companies, policy makers and scientists from within the Park and beyond. “Everything at Matrix ONE is designed for people to meet,” says SustainaLab’s project leader Bart Krull. “This cross-pollination ensures that even more knowledge can be exchanged so knowledge about sustainability can be applied faster.”

Built for sustainability

Alongside collaboration, the other central theme in the architecture reflects the activities of the tenants: “Sustainability is key here,” says Ivo Sweep, managing director of Matrix Innovation Centres. Matrix ONE, designed by the architectural firm MVRDV, with an interior by UP Architects, is virtually energy neutral, has a BREEAM excellent certification, and is almost completely demountable. So in a distant future, its building materials can be reused. The building draws power from no less than 1000 square metres of solar panels. What’s more, Matrix ONE is a ‘smart building’: it incorporates a system to automatically turn off heating and cooling in rooms that are not in use, for example, and a fully automated irrigation system for the plants in the ‘green wall’ that lines the stairs and benefits the interior climate.

Ivo Sweep, Managing director of Matrix Innovation Centres “Thanks to the Matrix buildings, the knowledge and economic activity are being developed that are so important for Amsterdam’s economy ”

Innovative entrepreneurship for sustainability

Though the name might suggest otherwise, Matrix ONE is actually the seventh in a series of Matrix Innovations Centres. All are focused on bringing together science and business to accelerate the transition to sustainability, deep tech, life sciences & e-health and high tech systems and materials. Matrix was established more than 30 years ago as a joint initiative by the University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam and Rabobank Amsterdam. Its centres at Amsterdam Science Park now house more than a hundred innovative companies, ranging from startups and medium-sized companies to the R&D departments of major multinationals. This makes Matrix a significant contributor to a climate of collaborative and innovative entrepreneurship in Amsterdam. “Thanks to the Matrix buildings, the knowledge and economic activity are being developed that are so important for Amsterdam’s economy,” said Mayor Femke Halsema at the Matrix ONE opening event. “This also offers solutions for major contemporary issues such as sustainability, healthcare and artificial intelligence.”

Ivo Sweep, Managing director of Matrix Innovation Centres “Everything at Matrix ONE is designed for people to meet ”

Room for companies looking for collaboration

With its mix of science laboratories and offices, Matrix ONE is now almost fully occupied. However, there is still room for companies looking to collaborate with scientists, and to benefit from the excellent facilities and staff recruitment possibilities that Science Park has to offer. “This innovation centre is the ideal place for people to learn from each other,” says Bart Krull of SustainaLab. In the transition to sustainability, we ultimately need everyone, because it’s not just about technical innovation, but also legislation and behavioural change. Matrix ONE is going to be a home base for sustainable innovation and knowledge.”

If Matrix ONE matches your company profile and you’re interested in collaborating with partners or renting office or lab space in a dynamic environment, get in touch with Matrix ONE or Amsterdam Science Park’s Science and Business team.

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