In 2007, based on a strong collaboration between business, education and government, a vision was prepared for the development of the Automotive Campus (AC).
The campus would be a crystallisation point: an inspiring business location with top international education, quality facilities and a strong business proposition. In a Public Private Partnership, with two public and two private investors, the realisation of the campus started in 2009.

Nowadays Automotive Campus in Helmond offers a one-stop-shop for automotive companies and institutes. It has a large concentration of R&D, engineering, education, and world-class test-facilities. A lot of effort is put in active community building and stimulating (open) innovation. There is interaction between industry, education, and government. The AC´s goal is to function as a magnet to attract first class automotive companies, and the business they attract, to the Brainport region. There are around 40 organizations located and around 600 people are employed at the campus. A continuous education programme has been established and the number of students is growing rapidly.

Shared facilities & Facility sharing at AC:
More than restaurants, meeting rooms and individual working spaces that are available to share among organizations at AC, there are shared research centres, test facilities and other centres.

Resources needed

18 million has been invested in the shared facilities, half public and half private money. Besides, large investments in the facilities of private companies. Total amount of investments up to 100 million.

Evidence of success

• Offers a top location with a broad mix of automotive suppliers, R&D companies, development departments, test institutes and service providers.
• A place where cross-fertilisation takes place between the ICT, logistics, energy, design and infrastructure sectors.
• Parties work together and experience the added value of establishing on the campus.
• A pleasant working environment for the residents and a positive exposure to clients.
• Excellent lab and testing facilities.

Difficulties encountered

When sharing research and innovation infrastructures:
• define the right exploitation model
• create and formalize commitment regarding the exploitation among stakeholders
• create mechanisms to guarantee access to the facilities by SME’s

Potential for learning or transfer

• Open innovation: the AC has a concept of open innovation and sharing of Research and Innovation. Even though the automotive industry is still a quite traditional sector where open innovation proves to be difficult, the AC is a positive example of joining forces on a commercial level as well as in public/private partnership.

• Triple helix business model: one key for success is the triple helix business model. On the campus industry, governmental organisations and education and knowledge institutes work closely together on societal mobility challenges like safety and security, congestion and environmental issues.

• Shared Facilities and Facility Sharing: The facilities provide an impulse for the Dutch automotive sector and the Brainport region. The Automotive Facilities Brainport (AFB) is a joint effort of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, leading automotive companies, cluster organization (AutomotiveNL) as well as educational institutes.

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Main institution
Automotive Campus Site Management
Noord-Brabant, Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
January 2009
End Date


Ilse van Gulik Please login to contact the author.

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