(Editor’s note: We created the Eindhoven Business Briefing as part of our Tech Tuesday series because we had more news in our headquarters city – which has a huge expat population – than we could possibly post. The future really is being invented here at FasTrackathon and other venture builders. Send your news to: [email protected])
We’re being fed really sophisticated ads on Facebook for the Nieuw Bergen website, the promotion for the long-promised ambitious development on the edge of Eindhoven’s centrum at Deken van Somerenstraat and Grote Berg in the Bergen district.
The magnificently over-engineered Nieuw Bergen website promises a seven-building mini-neighborhood that’s “human at its heart,” a collection of five new buildings with sloped green roofs and two existing buildings that will get upgrades for a total of about 220 units.
SDK Vastgoed is the developer, a major regional firm that’s done lots of projects here and in Tilburg and s’-Hertogenbosch. This project started back in 2017 as a city tender, so we’re thinking this is for real and moving through the zoning process. Even though we’ve been writing about this for no less than four years. But this is the Netherlands and projects this ambitious take time. (See Strijp-S and Strijp-R.)
The buildings are color-coded, as they should be in the town engineering built.
The seven buildings are:
• Indigo is the signature building with 31 high-end apartments for sale, including two 400m² penthouses and one 600m² penthouse, all with roof gardens.
• Violet is another luxury high-rise with 27 units, including two penthouses and 1 “city loft.”
• Bleu is a four-level mixed-use building with 13 luxury apartments from 90m² to 120m² … and one with 180m². All have access to a collective roof garden.
• Rouge has 66 rental units ranging from 85m² to 120m² and also has a collective roof garden at the top.
• Orange is dedicated to social housing – 51 units averaging 42m². At least 20 percent of every new build in the Netherlands must include subsidized social housing.
• Jaune and Vert are renovated buildings with a total of about 30 rental units.
Construction is scheduled to begin in Q4 2021, with the project open by late 2024. Meanwhile, you can get on the mailing list here.
All in all, Nieuw Bergen is a surprisingly Manhattan-ish project. When they say “rich lifestyle,” they’re not kidding.
We’re not clear who the Nieuw Bergen target audience is because there are no prices listed. We’re thinking 2 million euros-plus for the penthouses, which would be considered affordable in London or New York. Or even Rotterdam or Amsterdam. That said, most of the people coming into this expat-heavy boom town are mid-management types, physicists and engineers who won’t be buying 600m² penthouses with or without roof gardens on what are modest salary packages compared to the United States. We can see that unless you want to buy a mansion in Valkenswaard, there’s just not a lot of posh housing here that would excite uber-executives or wealthy entrepreneurs thinking about coming here from Shanghai, Hong Kong or Singapore.
Moreover, there are multiple other more conventional developments on the planning boards. But we have to say, it’s fun to fantasize about living here. And it will put Eindhoven on the global design websites such as Dezeen.
Housing premium in Eindhoven
Speaking of housing, we’re predicting the post-pandemic demand for new housing in Eindhoven – already in tight supply – is going to skyrocket. Our proof? We have colleagues who’ve been trying to buy houses here. Which is not easy in Eindhoven.
Our cinematographer and his fiancé put a bid on a house only to see it go for a 20-percent premium above the initial asking price. That’s just how hot the market is. Another source tells us that ASML and other companies are buying up houses to use as signing incentives in salary packages as they try to sign top international engineering and management talent.
NXP benefits from global chip shortage
What’s driving Eindhoven’s overheated economy is its crucial role in the semiconductor industry as the headquarters city for both ASML, which makes the equipment that makes computer chips, and NXP, a major global chip supplier, at a time when the world can’t get enough.
Computer chips now power everything from laptops to digital gaming consoles to phones to cars, and demand is far out-racing supply.
The problem is so profound that several car manufacturers, including Honda and Tesla, had to suspend production and/or cut output. NXP, while not on the scale of an Intel or a TSMC, is a crucial supplier to auto companies for in-car entertainment systems, competing with Siemens spinoff Infineon, based in Munich.
One important advantage it has over big names such as Nvidia is that NXP has foundries and actually makes chips rather than only designing them. That’s a big advantage, because setting up a semiconductor foundry takes an investment of $10 billion to $12 billion, then three years of pre-production before any money comes back, according to Fast Company.
If it doesn’t get acquired, NXP’s future here is bright as the company is a pioneer in advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS.
All this has translated to a healthy increase in NXP’s share price – to more than $180 per share as of 15 March from $80 per share one year ago. NXP shares trade on the NASDAQ system under the symbol NXPI.
Bloomberg has the best overview of the chip shortage in a detailed look at this essential industry.
New collaboration combines Philips tech and Disney animation in medical treatment
Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Ariel, Marvel’s Avengers, Star Wars’ Yoda and others are coming together in a diagnostic setting for the first time. And Philips has them.
Disney’s EMEA subsidiary is working with Philips to experiment with personalized MRI and PET/CT, radiography/radiotherapy and proton therapy scan spaces that include custom Disney video, according to a news release. This is the first time Disney has collaborated as part of a clinical research project, according to the release.
All these therapeutic environments are less than pleasant, so Philips’ approach is to lower the anxiety with environments that are as pleasant and distracting as possible considering the circumstances.
Philips’ clinical research project is scheduled to begin this summer in six hospitals across Europe, according to the release, with results later in the year.
Speaking of healthcare, there’s yet another advanced startup coming out of Eindhoven focused on babies. Innovation Origins has a post about NEMO Healthcare and a new non-invasive approach to monitoring a baby’s in vitro heartbeat.
The NEMO fetal monitoring device measures three things:
• the baby’s heart activity
• the mother’s heart activity
• and the contractions activity during childbirth
This data is displayed in real-time on the gynecologist’s or midwife’s monitor.
NEMO, a spinout from Technical University Eindhoven, has raised about seven million euros so far and is ready to put its technology into hospitals this year.
NEMO is following in the footsteps of Bambi Medical, a scale-up out of HighTechXL which developed a belt sensor to monitor babies’ vital signs.
Innovation Origins has good news about two Eindhoven startups raising an aggregate of 71 million euros:
• EFFECT Photonics raised a 31 million euro C Round. The investment consortium is led by Smile Invest and Innovation Industries, including participations from PhotonDelta, the Brabant Development Company (BOM), btov Partners, along with private investors.
• Solar car startup Lightyear has raised 40 million euros from a Swiss family office.
• Ryanair plans to start service to Barcelona from Eindhoven and Maastricht starting in July. The discount airline will fly to El Prat, the international airport of the Catalan capital.