New medicines? Many of them come from Oss in Brabant. Pivot Park Oss focuses exclusively on life sciences and innovation in pharmaceuticals.
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The legacy of Organon - one of the global centres of drug innovation since 1923 and the inventor of the contraceptive pill - came perilously close to being lost for ever. However, a first-class infrastructure that builds on an illustrious past - but with all eyes firmly fixed on the future - has now arisen from the ashes.
Pivot Park celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2022. During the past ten years, this innovative campus has developed into a major player. Pivot Park is growing and thriving. That success is evident on several fronts. Expansion is needed to accommodate companies with growth plans. For example, we are now building a large new business centre. This facility offers 11,000 m2 of lab and office space for both new businesses and existing businesses that have outgrown their current location. In addition, work has started on a new building for Pharming.
The efforts of campus director Brigitte Drees have been extremely successful, resulting in an advanced infrastructure with a whole range of facilities. One example is the Pivot Park Screening Centre, where businesses can either test new products themselves, or arrange testing. Brigitte: “This is a screening facility where start-ups can quickly determine whether their idea has potential. We have a collection of more than 300,000 substances that can be taken as the starting point for developing new medicines. Part of the centre is also available as an ‘open access lab’. This means that companies can use specialised equipment. The robot system in the Screening Centre offers companies and universities the opportunity of accelerating drug innovation.”
Brigitte sees partnerships and collaboration between small and large companies and research institutes as a crucial element in developing the pharmaceutical innovation campus. Furthermore, open innovation extends beyond the physical boundaries of the campus. Pivot Park Screening Centre is part of the European Lead Factory. “This is a collaboration between more than 20 international companies and universities such as the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds. Our Screening Centre is the only place in the world where the objectives for a new drug can be verified using thousands of different substances. So when the universities come up with new ideas and objectives and development reaches an adequate stage, the new drug ends up here at the screening centre. We are at the epicentre of this collaboration.”
In addition, the campus facilitates open innovation on a daily basis. “We give new companies a flying start by allowing them access to specific facilities and equipment that they are not yet able to afford. We also try to encourage multilateral communication by organising congresses and social events so that everybody knows what others are doing. Our vibrant community aims for and encourages connection at the park. That makes us a perfect incubator for biopharmaceutical innovation.”
Pivot Park Oss focuses exclusively on pharmaceutical innovation. This campus plays a central role in developing new medicines from a predominantly life science perspective. Pivot Park is a growth campus for open innovation in the field of life sciences. It is a hotspot of pharmaceutical innovation with 650 employees working for more than 60 companies, a third of which are start-ups. Pivot Park's offering includes purpose-built facilities, shared knowledge resources, and access to scientific and entrepreneurial expertise. This makes Pivot Park the hotspot for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. It is also one of the fastest growing campuses in the Netherlands.
Brigitte attributes the growth of Pivot Park to one important factor: “We are focused. We devote our efforts to pharmaceutical innovation, to the exclusion of everything else. This means that we attract companies that are all active in that area and help them to collaborate through our focus. If they want to grow, they can do so easily here because there are so many companies active in the same field.”
“The high level of collaboration here makes us strong. This applies to the companies located on campus, but we also collaborate with institutions around us. These include colleges, universities and government bodies, such as the Brabant Development Agency (BOM).” As an example, Brigitte cites the collaboration between Pivot Park community members Citryll and Ardena. “Citryll develops antibodies for autoimmune diseases, while Ardena handles the bioanalytics for the clinical trials.”
A Research Group collaboration with HAN University of Applied Sciences was also launched recently. This collaboration exploits hybrid learning environments. “Students are asked to work on research projects that companies are unable to work on themselves due to stretched resources. With the back-up of Radboud University or TU Eindhoven on call as required. A highly promising project!”
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