The municipal executive of Utrecht wishes to change the official name of the area known as ‘De Uithof’ to ‘Utrecht Science Park’. At the moment, the proposal is being considered by the municipal council, which is due to reach a decision. This name is a better fit for the area's international image and immediately clarifies what it represents. The name Utrecht Science Park is already being used in many different communication statements. If the municipal council agrees with the proposal, all the signage will be changed accordingly.
Leading research and development companies and knowledge institutions such as Danone Nutricia Research and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology settled at Utrecht Science Park in recent years. Over the past decade especially, De Uithof developed into an area where education and science come together in the form of top-level health-care institutions and companies. It is a place where knowledge institutions, research institutes, health-care and R&D companies collaborate intensively to develop new solutions for a longer and healthier life, now and in future.
As a result of these developments, the area has become the heart of one of the most competitive regions in Europe and is now the largest Science Park in the Netherlands. The area's international image demands a fitting name which contributes to its lobbying and acquisition power as well as to the competitive position of the area for the city and the region.
Positive reactions from local partners and the region
The major institutions in the area, such as Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and the Utrecht Science Park Foundation have been advocating this name change for quite some time. Other knowledge and health-care institutions such as the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, the Hubrecht and Westerdijk Institute, as well as companies such as Danone Nutricia Research, Genmab, Merus and GenDX have underlined the importance of this name change. SSH, the owner of the 2,600 student residences at Utrecht Science Park, is also in favour of the name change. The province of Utrecht, the surrounding municipalities of De Bilt, Bunnik, Zeist, Houten and Nieuwegein, the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU) and RIVM support the change as well.
Origin of the name De Uithof
Until the 1960s, the area was known as Johannapolder. The name De Uithof has been linked with the area since the university was established here, which was over 55 years ago. Its name comes from the farm De Uithof on what is now Toulouselaan. The farm still exists and is currently used as a day nursery.
Source: Gemeente Utrecht
Broad support from local partners and the region
'Utrecht Science Park is not just the largest science park in the Netherlands, it is also becoming internationally renowned. For some scientific fields such as life sciences, it is virtually the only place in the world where so many top researchers from numerous different institutions and companies can be found within walking distance of each other. To ensure good international positioning, it is important for us all to use the same name, a name which is easily understood abroad and which immediately establishes a link with the city of Utrecht.'
Anton Pijpers, President of the Executive Board, Utrecht University
'The name Utrecht Science Park powerfully conveys the productive environment in which the Princess Máxima Center is working on its mission to cure children with cancer and ensure an optimal quality of life. It will improve our standing among the international top scientists and doctors who are interested in working with us or with whom we are working intensively to realise our ambitions.'
Diana Monissen, Chair of the Board of Directors, Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology
'Changing the name of De Uithof to Utrecht Science Park will increase the recognition of this leading park and enhance the international positioning of this unique innovation ecosystem.'
Jan van de Winkel, President & CEO, Genmab
'At Danone Nutricia Research, science is at the very heart of our nutrition and health commitment. We are the global research and development organisation behind Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition and Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and we are proudly located at the biggest science park in the Netherlands, Utrecht Science Park. To emphasise to our partners and visitors the importance of being connected with many institutions on the science park, we already use and as such fully support the proposed adaptation across all communication means of the internationally recognised name “Utrecht Science Park”.'
Eugenio Dielen, Site Director, Danone Nutricia Research
'Utrecht Science Park is where everything comes together. The name illustrates perfectly what we are building together here in Utrecht: a powerful combination of education, research and enterprise with an impact on both the city and the region. Utrecht Science Park is not just a name; it is a title of which we can all be proud.'
Tineke Zweed, Executive Board, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht
'The name Utrecht Science Park does justice to a location where top-level research and a lively city come together to become more than the sum of their parts.'
Ton Logtenberg, President & CEO, Merus
'Together with the local partners, the surrounding municipalities and the province, we are happy that Utrecht's municipal executive have now taken the next step towards officially changing the local name of ‘De Uithof’ to ‘Utrecht Science Park’. This name is a good fit for the area's international image, clarifies what the area represents, and immediately establishes a link with the city and region of Utrecht. The name change will also benefit the area's international lobbying and acquisition power and profiling. Here, top-level institutions and companies collaborate intensively to develop new solutions that enable people to live longer and healthier lives.'
Jan Henk van der Velden, Director/Board Member, Utrecht Science Park Foundation
'Located at the Bilthoven site of Utrecht Science Park, RIVM is pleased with the name of Utrecht Science Park for the main location in Utrecht. This name is extremely apt given the area's concentration of organisations and companies which focus on science. We are looking forward towards relocating to the main site in Utrecht a few years from now, which will allow us to work even more centrally in this concentration of science and knowledge.'
Johannes Brug, Director General, the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
'We are pleased with the name change. Due to the wide diversity of institutions and companies, the campus has become a science park in which many different partners collaborate on a daily basis to achieve a healthier society under the motto of “healthy urban living’’. It is good that the name now also ties in with this situation. Utrecht Science Park is a more appropriate title, which does justice to the area's international nature and which allows us to work together on improving our profile.'
Mirjam van Velthuizen-Lormans, Executive Board Member, UMC Utrecht
'We would like to congratulate all the students, professors, researchers and occupants of Utrecht Science Park as well as the region on this fantastic decision, which will greatly increase the visibility of Utrecht Science Park. This change will significant boost our shared international ambition to become the healthy heart of Europe. The spotlight is on Utrecht Science Park.'
Richard Kraan, International Cluster Chair, Economic Board Utrecht
“With this name we do justice to the international interest and character of Utrecht Science Park and to the knowledge- and educational institutions and companies that are housed in the science park. Furthermore, due to the name everyone knows where the science park is located.” Dennis Staat, Provincial Executive of Utrecht.