New West Health & Innovation District launched in Amsterdam

This week, the New West Health & Innovation District (Hid) in Amsterdam is launched. On this knowledge-intensive square kilometer in Amsterdam New-West, Sanquin is creating a campus that will house international scientists, start-ups and scale-ups and established companies in the field of oncology, immunology and hematology.

In the coming years, a thriving campus will emerge on the Sanquin site where ideas and people come together to work on the quality of life of patients. In doing so, they can use shared facilities and Sanquin's infrastructure. The municipality of Amsterdam has the ambition to become an internationally leading region in the field of Life Sciences and Health. This district becomes part of that structure.

Kick off

To celebrate the kick off of the Health & Innovation District, various (online) activities are planned. Aldermen Everhardt (Finance and Economic Affairs) performs the opening act. The possibilities of the Hid are explored through an online Open Innovation Game and there is an inspiring lecture on entrepreneurship by Startupbootcamp founder and Hid-partner Patrick de Zeeuw.

A number of new "residents" of the District also introduce themselves. For example, former minister Ronald Plasterk will present his company Frame Therapeutics, which develops personalized cancer vaccines based on the unique neo-antigens of a patient's tumor. The Sanagen company focuses on gene therapy that provides lifelong cures for multiple diseases. BISC Global specializes in applied bioinformatics and machine learning. They provide consultancy in the field of data analysis.

Solutions for the future

Rogier van den Braak, managing director of Sanquin Health Solutions: “By building this ecosystem we stimulate collaboration and innovation. By bringing people and ideas together, Sanquin wants to become the place where a new generation of solutions for patients is developed.” The ambition is to expand the Hid in the coming years to a knowledge hub with international allure for everything related to hematology, immunology, oncology and transfusion medicine. Basic research takes place here, but also complex diagnostics and the development and production of medicines and vaccines.

For example, the Hid makes it possible for Sanquin and OLVG Labservices to work on setting up a large, flexible laboratory that can process large-scale tests. This high-volume laboratory can quickly and efficiently scale up testing capacity in emergencies such as a future disease outbreak. It is a good example of the collaboration and innovation needed to get out of the corona crisis.

Alderman Victor Everhardt of Economic Affairs: “Amsterdam has a growing Life Sciences and Health sector, where universities, research centers, medical companies, investors and government reinforce each other in the field of care and innovation. This healthcare innovation needs space, and will be given that space here in Nieuw West. Groundbreaking new ideas will emerge here, from collaboration between public and private parties. This is good news for patients and practitioners.”