EBB: The ‘Eindhoven Oscar night’ edition, with videos from ASML and High Tech Campus Eindhoven

Pass the popcorn and pop open a Bavaria … it’s movie night in Eindhoven. All of a sudden, everyone is making videos.

High Tech Campus Eindhoven just posted Pt. 1 of its Sustainable Campus documentary trilogy here looking at the campus now and where it’s going in the future.

Pt. 1 is “A Green Campus,” and Dispatches staffers were among the 300 people at the 9 November opening night premier at the HTCE Conference Center. This three-chapter series is a labor of love by Ingelou Stol, who spent nearly a year working on it along with House of Yellow filmmaker Vinal Hindocha.

Ingelou and Vinal interviewed everyone who’s dedicated to the project, from Dolmans Landscaping Services owners Mart Hoppenbrouwers, whose sheep mow the campus sustainably, to Guus Frericks, founder of HighTechXL, one of two venture builders on campus.

“Without the ecosystem, we wouldn’t be here tonight,” Ingelou said.

The opening is a sheep show, so to speak, focusing on the not-so-obvious advantages of using sheep to cut grass on the one-square-kilometer campus. (Sheep keep the grass under control without harming the bugs and other critters that keep the environmental ecosystem healthy.)

We also learned about:

• the 11,000 solar panels distributed on the roofs of 27 campus buildings

• plans to study wind energy and hydrogen charging stations for cars on campus

• concrete steps toward sustainability, with the plan to move from 50 percent of waste on campus recycled, to 75 percent by 2025.

• the 150 species of critters living full-time on campus, including bats

• serious goals such as getting 75 percent of energy from sustainable sources by 2025 and be natural-gas-free by 2030.

The video opens with a question for random people in the city and on campus: Which would you choose, 1 million euros or zero impact on the environment? Most interviewed did the right thing and chose “zero impact,” but a few shrewd people decided they’d take the million and use it to invest in Green technology. Well, some of it, at least.

And to be clear, this effort isn’t all about altruism. Campus managers know that sustainability, vitality and innovation make High Tech Campus an exceptionally inviting place to work for employees, which makes life easier for employers who need to keep their talent.

Pt.2 of Sustainable Campus, “A Diverse and Vital Campus,” was posted on 17 November. You can see it here.

Trip to Brabant

ASML just posted its “Trip to Brabant” video featuring Vincent van Gogh, who lived near Eindhoven in Nuenen.

The project is in collaboration with the new “The Potato Eaters: Mistake or Masterpiece?” exhibition that runs into February at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. But it’s also free publicity for Eindhoven, and – let’s face it – a cool vid for talent thinking about coming here because the theme of the movie is that Van Gogh longs to visit Brabant.

From the film website:

Van Gogh’s story is one of ambition, perseverance and trusting yourself in the face of criticism. It’s a story we recognize in our own company culture – not giving up, embracing challenges and being confident in our own abilities.

Of course, van Gogh only sold a handful of paintings in his lifetime, and ASML is projected to pull in about 20 billion euros in topline revenue for 2021. So, yes, it’s a bit of a stretch. But we get it because we know the back story. ASML was spun out of Philips with not a lot of capital. The offices leaked when it rained, which is a lot in the Netherlands. ASML nearly went bankrupt.

That was then.

Now, ASML is projected to become the most valuable company in Europe ranked by capitalization, and the largest in the Netherlands now that Royal Dutch Shell is moving to London from Den Haag. And a van Gogh will set you back about $36 million.

New housing outside Heeze

NRC tags Eindhoven as ‘the town that doesn’t want to be San Francisco’

Think about this … there are at least 6,000 jobs open in Eindhoven and more and more talent comes to the big tech companies from outside the Netherlands. Yet, there are less than 100 homes for sale. How does that have a happy ending?

There are only 98 homes left for sale in the entire city. And half of those are probably spoken for, just not closed, according to Pieter van Santvoort with Van Santvoort realtors. That’s from a post on the NRC news site, “Eindhoven does not want to become San Francisco,” where only the “happy few” can afford housing. That’s already the case. We’ve seen first-hand how neighbors and friends are paying significant premiums for houses above asking prices.

The NRC post opens with Eindhoven Alderman Yasin Torunoglu’s plans for the area around the train station. Torunoglu envisions the city growing within the city limits. For example, about 200 people now live around the central station. But Torungolu’s vision is that in 20 years, there will be 15,000 homes here, “ranging from social housing to residential towers with very expensive penthouses,” according to the NRC post.

The reporter focuses on the number of foreigners recruited by ASML and other big tech companies, painting them as well-paid expats taking housing from locals. And the narrative is, everyone – newcomers and natives – wants to live in the middle of the city. Which is true, but unrealistic.

The truth is, Eindhoven is booming and already exploding past its borders.

We were in Heeze on the bypass to Geldrop at Bosmanstraat where we saw a kilometer of new housing. De Bulders development has 350 homes completed or under construction. Really nice new housing, inviting without being too crazy expensive, with homes starting in the 300,000 euro range. It’s pains us to say that, but in Eindhoven, that’s a bargain. Moreover, Heeze is a great place to live, with lots of cafés and restaurant, retail and a huge annual parade, Brabantsedag. Heeze also has a train station, which is a mere 10-minute ride to Eindhoven Centraal.

Right now, developers are adding about 1,500 of the 3,000 houses needed to keep up with population expansion, according the NRC post. Clearly, housing – or the lack of it – will become a more and more contentious issue.

Big building, big plans

If you haven’t been to the main shopping street in centrum for a while, the renovation of the huge former V&D Building at Vrijstraat 11 – built in 1907 – into the mixed-use retail/office Department is proceeding at pace. The five-floor building in the center of the city will get several new stores on the street level, including Costes and a Foot Locker store.

The remaining floors will be offices.

Most of the retail closed several years ago, and since then the building has housed artists’ studios, student project galleries and a coffee shop. Now, the fourth and fifth floors are rented but there’s about 1,000 meters2 of retail space and 3,000 meters2 of office space available.

Pandemic postponements

Thanks to the unvaccinated, COVID-19 is back with a vengeance. The Dutch government has instituted new rules and working from home is a thing again.

That has led to quite a few cancellations, postponements and reschedulings of live events including:

Startup Commons BBQ 26 November

Founders Lunch in Nijmegen, hosted by LUMO Labs, CapitalT and Oost NL 23 November

• InspiringFifty Deep Tech awards 1 December (postponed, no new date yet)

Drinks, Pitches and Demos in The Hague 18 November

Hack2Impact by Eindhoven Engine 26 thru 28 November (postponed until 2022)


• The MIT Technology Review has an incredibly unfiltered inside look at ASML, including a detailed examination of the guts of the world’s most complicated machines. Machines that go for as much as $180 million. The post is revealing in the physics of how ASML spent $9 billion and almost two decades developing the technology that allow chipmakers to pack more and more nano-transistors on pieces of silicon. And preserving Gordon Moore’s “law,” his observation that computing power would double and the cost halve every 18 months. Of course, there’s a finite capacity as long as we’re using electrons to move zeros and ones around a circuit. Photons … well that’s a different story now, isn’t it?

• There’s a new Nanjing Pavillion that just opened mid-November with GLOW. The pavilion, a gift from the Chineses at Torenallee 18, includes a Chinese restaurant, tea house and exhibition space. The idea is to create a meeting place for the Chinese community … and of course the other 168 ethnic communities here.

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