The Campus is off to a flying start with new partners

Minister Henk Kamp opens Brightlands Smart Services Campus

The Brightlands Smart Services Campus is off to a flying new start. At the opening ceremony yesterday, CEO Peter Verkoulen welcomed KPN and BNY Mellon, amongst others, as new members of the campus community. The CBS made a public announcement that the Center for Big Data Statistics would be opening in late September. The Brightlands Smart Services Campus will be playing a prominent role in this project. In addition, under the name ‘Techruption’ and at the initiative of APG, the campus will be welcoming a network of large companies and start-ups that will be collectively investing in the development of data involved in artificial intelligence, climate change and Blockchain.

Amid great interest and in the company of Prince Constantijn, special envoy for Startup Delta, Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp officially opened the Brightlands Smart Services Campus.

Minister Henk Kamp: ‘The partnership that is being created here in Heerlen in the ICT field serves to strengthen the knowledge economy in the Netherlands and our worldwide competitive position. Students, researchers and entrepreneurs are working together to build even smarter ICT applications using what is known as Big Data. This data leads to innovative products and services for which there is a global need when it comes to solving problems. Examples include financial services, data security, health care, climate change, public participation and education. This campus also has the potential to create additional jobs and attract students and sources of income to Zuid-Limburg in the coming years.’

During the opening of the Smart Services Campus, the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) made a preliminary announcement about its Center for Big Data Statistics (CBDS), expected to open at the end of September. In the run-up to this announcement, the Smart Services Campus, Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and the Open University each signed a letter of intent in which they pledged their commitment to work with CBS in the field of big data.

CBS Director-General Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi: ‘The Center for Big Data Statistics will bundle the strengths of national and international parties from education, government and business when it comes to big data. Together, we will be able to provide better, faster and more detailed answers to questions about and from the community, at lower costs and with less bureaucratic red tape.’

On 27 September, CBS will start up an international network of partners which will naturally offer opportunities for other interested parties. With the idea of reinforcing the connection with the Brightlands Smart Services Campus, most of the work will be carried out in Heerlen. CBS will also be further shaping this connection by participating in the Visualisation lectureship at the Campus.

In mid-July, APG announced that, together with the Brightlands Smart Services Campus, the Province of Limburg, TNO, and the knowledge institutes affiliated with the campus, it wants to set up a new community focused on the fields of blockchain, artificial intelligence and climate change. Former minister and fin-tech ambassador for the Dutch government, Professor Willem Vermeend is the driving force behind this initiative. Over the last six weeks of the summer, eight large companies and institutions have made the resolution to participate, and over 40 start-ups have expressed an interest. The initiative is expected to officially start in January 2017.

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