Growing demand for real estate on science parks
This gradual reorientation of the Dutch economy has affected the demand for real estate. As the ability to capitalise on scientific and engineering knowledge has grown, the locations where knowledge can be shared and commercialised the most successfully are benefiting disproportionately. This has given rise to rapid growing clusters of knowledge-intensive companies, which benefit from each other’s presence, known as science parks.
The ten leading science park locations in the Netherlands
The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund invests in locations in the Netherlands where the added value is most present often “permanently” anchored by a strong knowledge institute such as a university. Besides adding value to companies in their vicinity, universities also provide the type of long-term stability that a.s.r. real estate looks for in all its real estate investments, in line with its core investment creed; ‘investing with perpetual value’. The Fund has used its bespoke Science Park Filter to select ten locations that excel on four key criteria: the strength of the knowledge anchor, the quality and size of the ecosystem and the regional economic strength, as well as the strength of the local real estate market.
Strong employment growth in science parks
Due to the significant added value for commercial activities, employment and company growth in these ten leading science parks has increased significantly in relation to the national average. Employment in the Netherlands grew by 0.9% y-o-y between 2011 and 2019 (Figure 3). Over the same period, the growth in commercial employment in the Fund’s top-ten science parks outpaced the Dutch average significantly at over 70% between 2011 and 2019, which equals average y-o-y growth of 7.1%.