Being part of the community gives companies a benefit
'Answer tomorrow's questions together'. With this message in large letters at the entrance to LAB42 every visitor and resident is being welcomed. By 'together' is meant not only cooperation between scientists and students within the institutes themselves, but also with companies. Especially for those companies, the third floor of the brand-new building has been reserved. Companies wishing to hold offices here can contact business developer Siddique Sheikh. 'We want students, researchers and companies who are here to really get to know each other,' he says as he gives a short tour of the building. 'That's also why the walls are mostly glass. Look, you can see inside everywhere like this.'
A building that invites collaboration
In the room next to the entrance, a couple of robots are playing football on a field of artificial grass. Siddique: 'This is the robotics lab. The playing robots are part of a research project.' Anyone walking through the transparent building immediately feels like putting their heads together and creating new things. In the centre is a large open space. The higher you get in the building, the more it feels like a beehive. From the top floors, you can see researchers and students discussing or just concentrating on something.
Your private office or a flex space
The office spaces in LAB42 are intended for companies in the field of AI and digital innovation. The condition is that these companies are not too big, LAB42 keeps a maximum of 15 employees. As a company, you have several options; you can opt for your own office or desk, but also for a flex space shared with other companies. 'If employees also work from home a lot, that can be ideal.' The large walls of glass let in a lot of light. The offices on the outer wall of the building overlook the Science Park, while on the inner wall you look out onto the lively and green central hall of the building itself.
Working with researchers and students
Renting in LAB42 means much more than just having a physical office or desk. 'The absolute added value is that you get access to a network of students and researchers. We are therefore looking for companies that are also keen to collaborate.' Current LAB42 companies include for example a search optimisation company for AI and one that is enabling the personalisation of cancer treatment.
Through the building's set up and design, Siddique hopes that companies and researchers will interact organically. 'Take the third floor,' he explains. 'This is also where the meeting rooms are for both companies and researchers in the hope they run into each other on occasion or the expo space, where companies and researchers can present a project, research or product currently being worked on for a few days. In the future, meet-ups between companies and scientists will also be organised.
Companies interested are encouraged by Siddique to contact him. Even if they have doubts about whether they fit the profile. 'Although we have some guidelines, we ultimately make a decision on a case-by-case basis.'
Are you interested in renting an office or desk in LAB42? Or do you have any questions? Then email Siddique Sheikh at LAB42@uva.nl. Or have a look at the rent pages.