Eberhard van der Laan“The area inspires me and it inspires Amsterdam”
Van der Laan, (1955-2017)

A few years ago the Amsterdam Science Park was considered Amsterdam’s best kept secret, but now it has developed into a knowledge area of international allure, regarded by many – including the College of Amsterdam – with great admiration. The first fundamental research institutes, which as you will read in this issue now enjoy world fame, were established in this former polder in the nineteen-sixties. These ‘founding fathers’ still form the core of the Amsterdam Science Park: a campus which has developed around this nucleus of fundamental scientific research over the past twenty years and has almost 10,000 scientists, science students, entrepreneurs and employees. Not only is this environment where they deliver top performances; it is also a place of meeting and cooperation. Everything needed to facilitate this is in place at the Amsterdam Science Park and the foundation has been laid for a leading knowledge area in the fields of scientific research, valorisation and innovative entrepreneurship.

I am proud of how the Amsterdam Science Park has developed. Amsterdam
has a thriving creative industry, a strong financial business centre at the Zuidas, a unique historical centre, a clustering of the biggest media companies, two universities and leading art institutions. And the Amsterdam Science Park fits well in that row of pearls. It is also one of the biggest clusters of fundamental scientific research and education in Europe. The area inspires me and it inspires Amsterdam. Thousands of people work on innovations and technologies here which contribute to the resolution of challenges in the areas of energy, health and transport, for example. These solutions are brought to the market increasingly faster, thanks to the infrastructure available for start-ups and spin-offs. I often entertain foreign delegations and companies, which are always particularly impressed with the cooperation and level of international excellence here. An equally important aspect is that the Amsterdam Science Park and the city of Amsterdam work together to find solutions for and innovative ways of dealing with urban challenges. And that we, in turn, share that knowledge with other international cities.

"Not only is this environment where they deliver top performances; it is also a place of meeting and cooperation"

I am always heartened by a visit to the Amsterdam Science Park. I see passionate students attending lectures, scientists using small matter to think big, young entrepreneurs with a burning desire to take the market by storm with product innovations, cranes and construction workers building new developments for research institutes or businesses, and the coming together of people and minds from all over the world. You experience the future at the Amsterdam Science Park and the firm belief that we really can make a difference with knowledge and bold entrepreneurship. 

Eberhard van der Laan (Leiden, June 28, 1955 - Amsterdam, October 5, 2017 was a Dutch lawyer and politician for the Dutch Labor Party (PvdA). He was Mayor of Amsterdam from July 7, 2010 until his death. From November 2008 until February 2010, he was Minister for Housing, Neighborhoods and Integration. Eberhard van der Laan was a true ambassador for Amsterdam Science Park.