Five years of Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus

january 31, 2019

Great numbers and ambitions that matter. Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus is pleased to be able to look back on its first five years with satisfaction, and has plenty of plans for the future. 

CEO Jan Cobbenhagen’s pronouncement of the campus’ list of achievements met with loud applause during the anniversary event. In a mere five years’ time, the number of companies, institutions, start-ups and spin-offs doubled, and nearly 1,400 new jobs were created and 23 new companies joined the campus in 2018 alone. A new, third building will be added to accommodate the current and future demand of beginning entrepreneurs.
The success of the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus does not exist in isolation: it is also the success of the many partners at the Campus, where 7,000 students work on their own future and that of the world, each and every day. CEO Cobbenhagen made it clear that the applause isn’t just for him, but is an applause meant for many. 


This growth logically also translates to a need for space. Both campus buildings on the Oxfordlaan were full. A solution was recently found in the form of a third building; located a short distance from the university and hospital complex, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus’ facility on the Gaetano Martinolaan offers room for new companies, most of which are start-ups.  


Without the cooperation of Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht University and the Province of Limburg, as well as the support of our partners, the Maastricht Brightlands campus would never have been able to grow to become the place to be for valorisation. During the anniversary event, Deputy Joost van den Akker (Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure) gave a detailed explanation of how important the Campus is to the growth of Limburg as a province where the knowledge economy is written in capital letters.


There are of course names and developments behind all these numbers, names of prominent scientists who often chose Maastricht because of the Brightlands concept. Professor Peter Peters, for example, who is a true phenomenon in the field of nanobiology. The development of the cultured-beef hamburger is another, which has made Professor Mark Post a frontrunner worldwide, as is Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk’s research on the creation of embryo-like structures without the need for sperm and egg cells, which also made the news worldwide. And then there’s the work of Professor Ron Heeren, expert in the field of innovative molecular imaging techniques, not to mention the very recent launch of the BalanceBelt, an equilibrium aid which Professor Herman Kingma worked on for 15 years. Their work within institutes such as Merln and M4I and at companies such as MosaMeat is the proof that partnerships within the Brightlands ecosystem really do work. Entrepreneurs just starting out as well as students also profit from all of the knowledge, skills and contacts.


CEO Jan Cobbenhagen also mentioned how it is becoming increasingly clear, even beyond the world of the Campus, what Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus stands for. In his view, this is to a large extent due to the community where innovative results are achieved over and over again. “As a campus organization, we connect business instincts with advanced knowledge, and we link science to entrepreneurship. The team at our campus plays an important facilitating and advisory role in this, among other things, by facilitating incubator buildings at the Campus, the ‘nurseries’ for beginning entrepreneurs.”


The press release on the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus’ five-year anniversary is proof that his story is emphatically endorsed. In the release, partners Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht University and the Province of Limburg all attest to the fact that the Brightlands umbrella has produced and continues to generate both curative and preventive innovations in the medical and life sciences. For researchers and scientists, Brightlands plays an indispensable role in valorisation and ultimately launching an invention on the market. It has been established that employment in the Limburg knowledge economy has gotten a boost and Maastricht has become a more appealing location for companies from the Netherlands and abroad. In short, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus is a rising star on the Brightlands horizon.  

  overview news & events


The special anniversary-edition glossy magazine was officially presented during the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Brightlands campus in Maastricht. Through a series of articles, the magazine presents both a look back and forward to the developments at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus.

Read the glossy!