The better it is for employees to live in the region, the easier it becomes to find and keep new business. Regional cooperation is therefore of the utmost importance, according to Henk Gerla, Executive Board Member of the Leiden University Medical Centre. “You have to look beyond your own interests for this.”
“When I was approached for the regional cooperation in Economie071, I did not hesitate for a moment in participating. Every organisation is challenged to look beyond themselves. And that is certainly true for us. At LUMC we do everything we can to create additional social value. In every aspect, cooperation and coordination with others is necessary to achieve this.”
Work Well, Live Well
“We constantly need new employees in our organisation. People who want to come and work for us, who not just view LUMC as an attractive employer. They also want to know if you can settle here easily and whether living here is agreeable. Matters which we as LUMC cannot arrange and for which we need the support of the region.
“LUMC is part of the Leiden Bio Science Park, where many paths between healthcare, science, education and industry cross each other. The impact the park has for the entire region is huge. The Bio Science Park deserves to be cherished so that it can expand even further. We must maintain the Park’s qualities because it is also vulnerable. For example, if you are too late in arranging good accessibility, businesses quickly choose another location where the employees can park outside the front door. Therefore, improving the climate for settling here is one of the themes for Economie071. This also applies to the employees already in the 071 region being able to continue living comfortably.”
“An important reason for foreign businesses to settle here is accessibility. How quickly you can reach your destination from Schiphol. The answer here is very positive. Better even than Amsterdam. But when abroad, if you explain that Leiden is an attractive area, they look back at you with a glazed expression. Amsterdam and Holland are well-known, but our region is not. Therefore we must join forces.
As the regional development organisation, InnovationQuarter helps business to develop. We provide our input through Economie071. But it also concerns the living environment and welcome. When everything is right, businesses both domestic and foreign can find a home here.
With our 7000 employees, we are a major employer in the region. Our employees live throughout the region: Leiden, but also Oegstgeest, Voorschoten, Leiderdorp and Noordwijk. A flexible way of reaching the Bio Science Park or us should also be available from those places. That requires smart solutions and coordination, including quality public transport.”
“We have many knowledge workers from abroad in the 071 region. It is very handy for these expats to have a central organisation. Previously, each municipality made their own provisions, causing the service to be fragmented. With Economie071 we have been able to establish a joint Expat Centre. This allows us to extend opening times and to help the expats better. The aim is to provide a gentle landing for expats in the region. The quicker a person can be pointed in the right direction, the better he will find it to settle and stay here. Of course it is also helpful to an employer when an employee can be deployed quickly.”
Share in Order to Multiply
“In the international field you also have to share in order to multiply. If you keep everything to yourself, you cannot be innovative. By linking fields of expertise together you can make the most wonderful discoveries. In science, international exchange is therefore very important. We must maintain being able to attract people. For example, for research in the field of Bioscience & Health we gladly welcome Russian scientists. They are extremely good in statistics and like coming here to apply their knowledge to the field of healthcare. Our customers benefit from this and thereby so does the region. At university level, we work together with the Delft Technical University and Erasmus University Rotterdam in Medical Delta. The partnership ensures knowledge exchange and leading courses such as clinical technology, amongst other things.”
“As a steering group, we regularly come together allowing us to share issues with each other. Just by meeting, a greater understanding exists. Even outside of the meeting room, subjects are more easily discussed. Of course we must keep the results in mind. We have now setup processes for this, so that we are able to address issues. We are ready to speed up our work so that we can achieve even greater results.”