Ambitious plans for Demcon Campus in Enschede
Technology company with roots in the Twente region in the Province of Overijssel in the Netherlands presents its vision for the future
Technology developer and producer Demcon has presented an ambitious vision for the future. Demcon had its start in 1993 as a spin-off of the University of Twente and today has over 750 employees and locations in four countries. The company has grand plans for the Demcon Campus in Enschede. The Campus provide space for further growth in an inspiring working environment with the potential of contributing to reinforcing the Twente region’s economy. This is how CEO Dennis Schipper wants to give back to the region what he himself and his company have received over many years. “We are able to show that things happen here. That tomorrow here already starts today.”
Demcon’s founders, Dennis Schipper and Peter Rutgers, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Twente. In 1993, they started up a mechatronics design firm in Enschede. Mechatronics combines disciplines such as mechanics, electronics and software to design high-quality technical devices and systems. The two still manage the company, Schipper as CEO and Rutgers as the company’s technical conscience. The company grew steadily and they moved to bigger premises, first in Hengelo and later in Oldenzaal, both in the Province of Overijssel. In 2013, they moved to the former Ericsson building at the Business & Science Park. This is located opposite the University of Twente, the current Knowledge Park, says Schipper. “As such we returned to the environment where we had our start 25 years earlier. In the meantime, Demcon also has locations in Best, Delft, Groningen and Maastricht, all close to universities/universities of applied sciences where young talent and entrepreneurs (especially in the technical area) are to be found. Three years ago, Demcon also established branches abroad in Münster (Germany), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore. The company has customers around the world, including Europe, Asia and America. Last year, Demcon was in the news with their rapid development and delivery of respiratory systems for corona patients in intensive care.
A key focus of the future vision is the impact Demcon intends to have. “We accomplish that by developing technological solutions for social challenges. This concerns innovative systems and products with smart applications in various sectors, such as healthcare, safety, water, energy and communication. In addition to technological innovation we also devote our efforts to promoting entrepreneurship and investing in talent and education.” Demcon specifically aims to have an impact in the region, says Schipper. “What comes to mind here is economic growth and new employment opportunities; it is well-known that every highly educated employee in a company on average is good for two jobs elsewhere in the region.”
Demcon has much impact in the Twente region where the company has its roots. 500 people work here in 18,000 square feet of housing, including 1,500 square feet of research and laboratory space occupies. Eight years ago, when the company returned to Enschede, this was only 130 people and 500 square meters. “In addition, we contributed to financing an endowed professor at the University of Twente and a lector at the Saxion university of applied sciences, for example. We also have close ties with the Twente Regional Training Center (ROC). Many graduates from both institutions find jobs with us.” Demcon also has an impact on the surrounding regions of its other locations. “We intend to use our plans for Enschede as a blueprint for our other locations. By developing a campus we attempt to create an inspiring environment and space for growth.”
Demcon has decided to maintain its head office in Enschede and to commit to undertake new development due to its progressive growth. In 2019, the Demcon Technology Center with space for 200 employees was put into use. End of this year Demcon hopes to complete the new Demcon Headquarters where the holding and central services will be accommodated. Today, the group comprises sixteen independent operating companies spread across eleven locations in four countries. The two new buildings together with the Demcon Innovation Center, i.e. the former Ericsson building, and another two locations form the core of the Demcon Campus in Enschede. “We view the campus as a breeding ground for a lively high-tech community surrounding the Demcon group. It’s about spontaneous meeting and connecting. Our group will continue to develop as a collective of companies that develops and realizes technologically complex systems and devices.” By 2025, Demcon expects to have 1.000 employees in Enschede.
The plans for the Demcon Campus occupy a large area with an attractive, green and entirely energy-neutral fit-up. The campus must provide all conceivable facilities for Demcon’s own growth plans, as well as those of starting and developing companies with similar ambitions. Naturally, the existing companies at the Knowledge Park will also benefit from the campus’ development. The campus will become a testing ground for innovations, not only in the field of energy, but also in the field of mobility, for example. “It will become a tremendous spot for new developments and ideas that require room for field testing.” In a first concrete project, Demcon is working together with TRENS Solar Trains. TRENS develops and builds compact, electrically-driven vehicles for sustainable freight and passenger transport in city centers and on campuses, events sites and amusement parks. “We are able to show that things happen here. That tomorrow here already starts today,” Schipper concludes. “This way we aim to use our campus to enable technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish.”
Demcon (750 employees) develops, produces and supplies technology and innovative products. The Demcon group has branches in Best, Delft, Enschede, Groningen, Münster (Germany), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore. The company was created as a result of the passion of its founders for combining creativity and technical skills focused on solving complex issues. These issues are of a technological and social nature and generally have a direct or indirect impact on people and their everyday life. Whether this concerns medical systems, systems that monitor our security or sustainable solutions relating to themes such as water and energy, Demcon makes a contribution for current and future generations. In addition to developing technical solutions, Demcon also focuses its efforts on promoting entrepreneurship and investing in talent and education.