On 1 September, five student teams from the University of Twente will move into a new shared building at Kennispark Twente. Green Team Twente, RoboTeam Twente, Solar Boat Twente, A3T and Electric Superbike Twente will all relocate to Capitool 25. This close proximity should foster even closer cooperation between the teams.
‘We hope that this building will become a hub for student teams,’ says Anne Bulten, team manager of Electric Superbike Twente. ‘In addition, this shared building will boost exposure and open up great opportunities for collaboration between the teams and partners.’
‘At Kennispark we are happy to welcome the teams. The more interaction between the companies based on Kennispark and students, the better. Within the RegioDeal, we are searching for opportunities to make the building more transparent and to design the outdoor space. This will help in strengthening ties between the student teams and all employees at Kennispark to meet and share their knowledge”, says Anne-Wil Lucas, Area Director Kennispark.
The idea of moving into a shared building was spearheaded by the teams themselves. Anne Bulten: ‘When I saw that the building had been put up for rent, I approached the other student teams and proposed the dream idea of renting it together. Although they weren’t all sure that we would succeed, all the team managers were enthusiastic, and we booked a viewing. We were impressed by the condition of the building and how spacious it was.
The building at Capitool 25 is highly modern and boasts almost 700 m2 of office space, spread over two floors, and just over 700 m2 of production space. It is across the street of UT’s Therm building, which will also increase the visibility of the teams to students. During the summer period, the teams will move their equipment to the building and explore how to design the best possible layout. A foundation will be set up to manage the building, which will include the University of Twente.
Niels Kadijk, team manager of A3T, had the following to say about the location: ‘In practical terms, it’s an ideal location, as it’s both very close to the campus and offers plenty of space. Having a workshop and testing space next to our office will save us a lot of time. I think that the help and support offered by UT will enable the student teams to take a big step forward and achieve even more.’
Now that they share a building, the teams can explore even more avenues for further professionalisation. Olof Baltus, Team Manager of Green Team Twente: ‘The advantage of sharing a building is that we can buy larger, more expensive equipment because we can share it with several teams. This will enable us to make the student teams even more professional and will reduce our dependence on external factors. Together, we could purchase our own lathe, for instance, to produce our own small parts. Another big advantage is that we can start sharing more knowledge with each other, boosting technological process.’
Solar Boat Twente is also very happy with the new shared building. Xavier Roosendaal, team manager: ‘The Solar Boat Twente team is very enthusiastic about moving in with many of the other student teams. The teams and the university alike have wanted to make this step for ages. It has many practical advantages, as it makes it even easier for the various teams to collaborate. On top of that, paying the other teams a visit at the end of the day to see what they have gotten up to can be both fun and exciting. I’m very happy to hear that this wish is now finally coming true!’
Being closer together also makes it easier to share knowledge and experience. ‘Student teams, including RoboTeam Twente, benefit greatly from the success of the other teams, says RoboTeam Twente’s Casper de Regt. ‘Last year, we worked together closely and really supported each other. The fact that we will now be sharing a building will only strengthen this bond. Not only will we have access to each other’s tools and equipment, but this newfound proximity will also make it easier to share our knowledge and experience. The university has been supporting student teams from the word go, and it also plays a key facilitating role in these new partnerships. We look forward to welcoming many students and our partners to our new headquarters in the future. ‘