We look back on a fantastic day filled with stories of innovation and fostering new connections. On Wednesday, November 8 we welcomed the Kadans community to At the Park Rijswijk for the Kadans Innovation Summit 2023 – and what a day of innovation it was!  

Through a series of thought-provoking keynote presentations, interactive sessions, insightful discussions and many new connections, a unifying message resonated loud and clear: Innovation is about people.   

A lineup of Kadans community members, all experts in their field, took our guests on a journey through their success stories of innovation. Whether Life Sciences & Health, Food, Energy or Digital Economy, each area of research has something in common: we innovate for people and we need people to innovate. As Janne Vereijken said in her opening keynote presentation: we have the tendency to focus on the technology instead of human needs, while we live in a time in which it is extremely important to focus on human needs. It is about what you do with technology that matters.   

Keeping human needs in mind, each and every one of these researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs are dedicated to the same goal: to find solutions to global challenges. But to innovate for people, we also need to work together with people. Kadans underlines this mission by bringing people together with shared ambitions and goals. During the Kadans Innovation Summit, experts from all over Europe shared their knowledge on a variety of topics and attendees asked their questions to start engaging discussions. Which was also the advice from Christian Deleuze, Senior Vice President of Sanofi to all innovators and changemakers: Ask questions. Listen to the answers.  

Innovation is a joint effort, and a thriving innovation ecosystem needs various ingredients. Kadans connects ambitions with resources, connecting you to talent, research and capital within these ecosystems. During the Kadans Innovation Summit, we showcased many inspiring examples of companies flourishing within Science Clusters.   

In the morning, we dove right into the future with sessions about the future of food, with Foodvalley NL and start-up Time Travelling Milkman from Wageningen Campus, while we also looked at the future of energy with the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems, Metalot, EnergyCave and DNV. We discussed the latest developments in the field of generating, connecting and interpreting data for healthcare with IQVIA, Roseman Labs and bGrid and we explored how to stimulate campus innovation via access to laboratories and specialised equipment with the help from Clustermarket, the Duurzaamheidsfabriek from Smart Campus Leerpark and Innolab Groningen.   

The afternoon was kicked off by Janne Vereijken with an insightful keynote on human-centred innovation. Followed by the amazing innovation journey of Edorado told by Co-founder and CEO Godert van Hardenbroek. Christian Deleuze then closed the plenary start with insights from Sanofi’s Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster project. Attendees then took right off to the afternoon session of their choice. A group went behind the scenes and took a tour of At the Park hosted by TNO and Energy Cave, and others learned all about funding and attracting investors with BioGeneration Ventures and VarmX, or dove straight into today’s competitive market, learning all about attracting and retaining top talent from Effectus-HR. 

After a short coffee break, we closed the programme together in the auditorium of At the Park with a panel discussion on cluster management with Grant Bourhill, Managing Director of Barts Life Sciences, Jérémy Herve, Head of Innovation & Economic Development of the Paris-Saclay Development Authority, Johan Knijp, Manager of the DNV Technology Centre Groningen and Tom Straeter, Senior Ecosystem Manager of Kadans Science Partner. The grand finale was provided by Carole Nicco, Chief Scientific Officer of BioSenic, focusing on the long and complicated journey of bringing molecules from the bench to the bedside, bringing new treatment medications to the market.  

Of course, the whole programme was centred around meeting people throughout the day. Whether it was through discussions during one of the many sessions, or while enjoying drinks before and after the plenary programme, attendees had the opportunity to exchange experiences of their individual innovation journeys or from their respective Science Clusters.  

The responses from attendees have been overwhelmingly positive, a testament to the shared enthusiasm and commitment to driving innovation forward. Thank you to everyone who joined us at #KIS23.