'Companies in Kennispark, including the University of Twente, are fighting a battle for talent,' says alderman Patrick Welman from the Municipality of Enschede (Gemeente Enschede). 'One way to win this battle is to attract talented people from abroad and provide them with good facilities, which includes a place to live that is close to where they work or study.'
More dynamic neighborhood
The city of Enschede is currently working on a new vision for Kennispark. 'To form this new strategy we've not only been in touch with the local companies, but also with UT students and employees,' continues Welman. 'Many of them say that Kennispark should become more dynamic as a neighborhood. Take a look at the UT campus: it offers many recreational activities and a place to live. We want this for the whole Kennispark and, that way, bring the UT closer to the Business & Science Park.'
Kennispark Enschede, covering 180 hectares, consists both the UT campus and the Business & Science Park, which together form the 'innovation campus'. It involves 430 companies and institutions, including the University of Twente.
'We need more than Hogekamp'
In his recent statement in Tubantia, Patrick Welman mentioned that international students from the UT could particularly benefit from an apartment building so close to the campus. However, the University of Twente is also working on providing more accommodation for internationals and is reconstructing the Hogekamp building for precisely this purpose. Why is another apartment building necessary? 'We need more than just Hogekamp,' thinks Weldman. 'It is becoming harder and harder for companies to find employees. We need to attract more talent and only the campus isn't enough.'
Demcon Technology Center
At the moment, the idea for building new apartments is only that - an idea, and it should be presented to the Kennispark community in February 2018 for further discussion. However, some new developments in Kennispark are already certain. In April 2018, the construction of the new Demcon Technology Center will begin. The Center, which should be completed by October next year, will be situated at the current location of Bedrijfstechnologisch Centrum. Covering 5,000 square meters, it will allow the company to further grow.
'The Demcon Technology Center isn't the only building we are planning for next year,' adds Patrick Welman. 'There are other companies that want to construct new buildings, so there will be a lot going on in Kennispark in 2018. I believe this is of great interest to all the talented people, who are already here or could come, because they will see that it's interesting to live in Enschede.'