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People of Park Innovaare – Interview with Hans Priem, VDL

Author: Daniela Muthreich
Hans Priem, VDL Groep, interview Park Innovaare
Hans Priem, VDL Groep

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VDL Groep is an international, family-owned industrial company with more than 100 operating companies in 19 countries and a workforce of more than 15,000 employees. VDL operates in various sectors, including subcontracting, development, production, and sale of buses, coaches, and finished products, as well as the assembly of passenger cars. One of its entities, VDL Enabling Technologies Group (VDL ETG), is a globally operating tier-one design and contract manufacturing partner. VDL ETG specializes in high-tech manufacturing equipment and is a trusted original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplier to leading companies. VDL also collaborates with academic institutions and research organizations. VDL ETG has been a member company at Park Innovaare since February 2023 and has maintained a productive partnership with the esteemed Paul Scherrer Institute PSI for over a decade. Watch our video and figure out what VDL has to say about Park Innovaare.

Interview with Hans Priem:

Why is cooperation with research institutes and universities significant in rapidly evolving technology markets?

In an increasingly complex world where time-to-market windows of opportunity are shrinking, effective cooperation and partnerships between research and industry are crucial for maintaining success. Scientists can provide valuable insights and expert advice within their respective research fields, leveraging their comprehensive knowledge. This becomes particularly important when integrating new technologies, processes, or materials, as their expertise proves invaluable.

Do collaborative ventures with academic institutes present opportunities for talent acquisition and talent promotion as well?

Certainly! Through these means, we consider ourselves an appealing employer. We empower our talented individuals to establish networks and cultivate an inspiring work environment. Our talent gains the ability to navigate seamlessly between the realms and cultures of research and industry.

Moreover, graduates from academic institutes frequently discover their initial employment opportunities within the private sector through industry collaborations. This grants companies numerous advantages in terms of talent acquisition.

In which technological domain do you believe urgent innovations will be required in the foreseeable future?

The IC metrology segment*, for example, requires significant technology breakthroughs in order to execute the defined IC product roadmaps. Here we believe accelerator technology will be introduced. This technology needs to be industrialized and rationalized urgently.

* Metrology is the science of measuring and characterizing minute structures and materials in the semiconductors field.

As Park Innovaare actively cultivates a thriving business ecosystem, which industries would you envision as ideal occupants within this environment?

The ideal ecosystem would be one that represents a specific application-oriented value chain – from research to engineering to manufacturing to software to market launch. Through this value chain, we would have optimal time-to-market while managing increased complexity. In addition, we need a mix of relevant start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates.

What are the key advantages for companies considering Switzerland as their business location?

As in the case of Park Innovaare and Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Switzerland offers a superior research ecosystem combined with a targeted industrial policy, plus flexible, pragmatic support from the canton.