Planet B.io to partner with a.s.r. to continue growth innovation ecosystem on Biotech Campus Delft
In 2020, the non-profit organization Planet B.io was established to develop the Biotech Campus Delft (BCD) into an open innovation campus for industrial biotechnology. Planet B.io, founded and financially supported by five partners (DSM, Delft University of Technology, the Municipality of Delft, the Province of South Holland, and InnovationQuarter), has been successful in growing the number of companies on the BCD, and creating a supporting network of experts. Today, Planet B.io is happy to welcome a special, sixth partner to its Supervisory Board. ASR Dutch Science Park Fund and Planet B.io will team up to further develop the Biotech Campus Delft into a world-leading campus focusing on modern biotechnology.
The transformation of the Biotech Campus Delft into an open innovation hub for multiple companies and organisations was always intended to happen in two stages. First, Planet B.io was founded and got access to a DSM building (the Beijerinck Center) as a ‘proof-of-concept phase’. After a complete renovation of the building, modern labs and offices could be rented out to young biotech companies. In addition, Planet B.io created a network of experts and tools to support the companies in their growth. This proposition turned out to be attractive, and the Beijerinck Center quickly filled up.
Recently, a second DSM building was made available to Planet B.io, which will be available to rent out this summer. However, it was always foreseen that a successful proof-of-concept phase would mean that additional capacity would be needed on BCD to facilitate and house more or larger companies. Today, DSM and Planet B.io enter the second, ‘growth phase’ of the BCD development, by exclusively partnering with ASR Dutch Science Park Fund (DSPF).
Who does what?
DSM will remain the landlord of the Biotech Campus Delft, including the infrastructure and the utilities. Today, DSM and ASR DSPF have entered into an exclusive agreement in which ASR DSPF invests up to €500 million in real estate at the location over a period of 20 years. DSM, in turn, will improve the accessibility of the campus to enable the long-term development of the location.
Planet B.io and ASR DSPF have also engaged in a long-term collaboration, where Planet B.io will be ASR DSPF’s exclusive partner to further grow the biotech innovation ecosystem in Delft, the Netherlands. It is the joint ambition of Planet B.io, DSM, and ASR DSPF to develop the BCD into a unique, world-leading campus for biotechnology that will fuel the Dutch knowledge- and innovation sector, with a strong focus on sustainable food solutions.
ASR DSPF will soon invest in two new buildings on the BCD. One new global head office for the Food and Beverage business group of DSM, which will also provide state-of-the-art facilities for applications in food, and one new multi-tenant scale up building. In time, the fund shall acquire the existing multi-tenant buildings that are currently let by Planet B.io. In doing so, the fund will take over the real estate and facility management activities from Planet B.io, allowing the team to focus on their core activity; building a strong ecosystem that adds value to the companies at the BCD, and make the campus flourish and grow further.
Ready for the future
Cindy Gerhardt, director Planet B.io:
“We are very happy to welcome ASR DSPF as our new partner to ensure the continuity of the development of the Biotech Campus Delft. It is our strong belief that an innovation ecosystem needs a combination of small, mid-sized and larger companies. Until now, it was a challenge to offer our fastest growing scale ups enough space to stay at the BCD. Also, we had little capacity to welcome larger companies. ASR DSPF will bring in the funds and the expertise to develop new real estate to make this possible. We are also happy that ASR DSPF understands the importance of an ecosystem on a campus, and the necessity to bring in deep knowledge of the sector to best support the companies. At Planet B.io, this is what makes us tick. With ASR DSPF on board, we guarantee future growth of the campus where all parties do what they do best! I look forward creating an even more stimulating environment for start-ups, scale-ups and grown-ups to join our campus and offer the necessary infrastructure, knowledge, mentors and future talents they need to grow.”
Ruud Roosen, fund director ASR Dutch Science Park Fund:
"The fund already invests in commercial properties at several science parks in the Netherlands. We understand that on a campus it is not just about the buildings but even more so about knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities with other companies and universities. By working closely with Planet B.io and its partners we can guarantee that the Biotech Campus Delft will grow into a vibrant internationally renowned innovation ecosystem.”
Paulien Herder, chair of the Supervisory Board and dean of the faculty of applied sciences at the Delft University of Technology:
“The Biotech Campus Delft has been a unique location for many decades, where the development of science, technology and business have always gone hand-in-hand. The TU Delft is a proud partner in the triple helix with DSM, the municipality of Delft and the province of South Holland (including its investment agency InnovationQuarter), creating an excellent and vibrant biotechnology ecosystem in Delft. In this collaboration, Planet B.io was able to attract new, young and innovative biotech companies to the Biotech Campus Delft, and help them grow by offering a wide variety of services. We are happy that our new partner ASR DSPF supports and further strengthens our Innovation ecosystem vision. The collaboration with ASR DSPF gives Planet B.io, including their partners and the companies at the campus, an outlook to a healthy future full of growth potential.”
It is clearer than ever that the world needs more sustainable and secure solutions to produce food, chemicals and materials to serve the demands of an ever-increasing world population. Whereas biotechnology has long been known predominantly for creating biomedical solutions (like for example, most recently, covid-vaccines), nowadays it is also a key technology to transform our wider production industry, moving away from using fossil sources and living animals and allowing us to create planet-friendly alternatives for our consumer products and our food.
About Planet B.io
Planet B.io is a dedicated not-for-profit organisation aiming to grow the innovation ecosystem on the Biotech Campus Delft, a site with over 150 years of biotechnology history. Planet B.io enables companies to develop and commercialise their biotech solutions, providing a local hub with access to lab space, pilot facilities, and space for industrial production with the relevant environmental permits. Planet B.io also proactively supports collaboration between start-ups, SMEs, corporates, knowledge institutes, tech- and service providers, investors, and policy makers to maximize the impact of innovations in the field of biotechnology.
About ASR Dutch Science Park Fund
Focusing on commercial real estate in the most sought-after Dutch science parks, the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund offers accommodation to knowledge-intensive businesses, particularly in the life-sciences and tech industries. This promotes collaboration between the business community and knowledge holders, such as universities and research institutions, resulting in the development of new knowledge, products and services that benefit all of society. In this way, the fund contributes to the development of the Dutch knowledge sector and is classified by a.s.r. as an impact investment. The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund is a non-listed sector fund from the real estate investment management company a.s.r. real estate and is open to institutional investors.