‘RDM has been given a second life. And I think Waalhaven can be rediscovered too, which would also be great for the opportunities in Zuid. These areas offer relatively high employment close to the city and links can also be made with education and knowledge development. Deltalinqs, i-Tanks, SmartPort, Techniek College and STC are all here, and not without reason.
In the direction that the Port Authority is taking, there’s now a huge focus on the Merwe-Vierhaven area. Together with the municipality, the area is being transformed under the name Rotterdam Makers District. The transformation isn’t about creating a place for either living or for working, but is based on the common interest of innovation of the economy and the business climate.’
Technical companies connect with creative entrepreneurs
‘Together with RDM, this area, commonly referred to as M4H, can offer so much for start-ups and scale-ups that want to be easily accessible. High-quality and developing companies will already be starting in the former fruit warehouses in early 2020. ECE (Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship) and Port XL can be found here too. Because, which other port area is right by a metro station or is just a 15-minute bike ride from Rotterdam Central Station? In this area we make less of a distinction between the port-related sectors and other types of companies. After all, technologies that are used in the automotive, healthcare or construction sectors can also be relevant for the port. And what is waste for one sector can be used as raw material in another. In this area, it’s easy to link technical companies to the creative sector; there’s space to experiment and produce prototypes.
I also consider it important that the companies that are already there and those that are yet to arrive come into contact with each other. That’s why we’re connecting RDM and M4H and are organising events in exciting places. I meet the most amazing creative and dedicated entrepreneurs and that’s perhaps the nicest part of my work. The Havenmakers (Port Makers) serie which can also be found on social media, features these port makers. To show the city, the port and the world that they are here and have something to offer. In my opinion, this, too, is how we work towards a smart port.’