Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of our eco system

September 2013

At the basis of real innovations, i.e. innovations that turn the world upside down,  is never a single person, but always an entire eco system. Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of innovations. They make sure that an innovation finds its way to the market. Investors and authorities are needed to pave the way to that market. Indispensable are also suppliers of new knowledge and new technology, such as ECN.

How we can best fulfil this role is the subject of an exploration that we have been engaged in for over a year now. Clearly, more than before, we act as a buddy next to the entrepreneur. We do not deliver ready-made, new technology, but, in collaboration with companies or (starting) entrepreneurs, we use our knowledge, our extensive test facilities and our worldwide alliances to develop a product that is able to conquer new markets.

This is starting to become quite successful in several areas. Examples include the n-PASHA solar cells, which we developed in collaboration with the Dutch company Tempress and the German company RENA, the MILENA/OLGA gasification technology that Royal Dahlman aims to realise a huge growth in turnover with, or the heat pumps that will make industrial processes more energy efficient, which Bronswerk Heat Transfer is currently taking to the market.

ECN aims to add many new pearls to this chain of success. Our doors are open wide for entrepreneurs with small or large businesses, established and starting up. Being one of the largest and most leading, independent research institutes in Europe, we can oversee entire production chains. In each phase we can bring experts to the table who embed the most recent technology in your business processes.

In doing so, we do not restrict ourselves to technical issues; in this respect, too, ECN has slightly altered its course. We are well aware that promising technology, expertise and enthusiasm are often not enough to force a breakthrough. That is why we like to think along creatively about promising business models and possible partners in our network. Innovations cannot be realised alone. We warmly invite you to join forces with us.

Markus Leuenberger is business development director at ECN.