As chairman of the OVBSP, Bas Reichert knows the Bio Science Park like no other. The CEO of BaseClear has been at the park with his company since 1993. “An inspiring environment to work in.” What does the OVBSP do and what are the plans? Five questions to Bas.
When you took office as chairman at the beginning of 2020, did the role of the OVBSP also change?
“The biggest change was that the park management has switched from the OVBSP to the newly established Leiden Bio Science Park foundation. This foundation aims to put the park on the map as an innovation district. For us as an entrepreneurial association, that meant that we entered a new phase. We have moved to a situation where we are mainly the representative of the companies and institutions on the park. I believe that an entrepreneurial association should act in this way as well as acting as a representative for the companies to all stakeholders who have to deal with the park.”
What does the OVBSP stand for, what do you offer?
“We ensure that the members find and meet each other, get to know each other, benefit from each other and do things together. The Bio Science Park is a growing entity. The municipality and institutions of knowledge have the ambition to make the park bigger and that is in the interest of the companies in the park. However, that can also lead to challenges. If new companies come, there will be an effect on the entire park. We want the transport and logistics to be well arranged at the park. We strive for a park with space for meeting places where you can meet with hospitality and where you can have lunch with guests. As an association of entrepreneurs, we take stock of the wishes and interests of the companies and transfer them to the other stakeholders.”
What other advantages does the business association have?
“We already organize the necessary meetings, such as the CEO breakfast. We want to expand this in the coming period with meetings for senior management, in which we discuss current themes. We organize lunch meetings for new members where they can introduce themselves and can ask what we as an entrepreneurial association can do for them. We want to get in touch with existing members more often. There are even more benefits. We have made collective agreements with organizations for discounts on services, from security to health insurance. We are open to the input of the members. Every business association in Leiden is partly financed by the saving of the OZB tax. We reserve some of that money for activities that benefit the entrepreneurs at the park, who can offer ideas for this.”
How do you see the future of the Bio Science Park?
“We are very positive about the future of the park. The bio- and life science industry is a thriving sector which wants to ensure that the Leiden Bio Science Park is the leading park in the Netherlands. The foundation puts the park on the map and we wholeheartedly support this from the business association.”
How does it feel to be part of the park?
“That feels very good. Our company has grown up here. Directly following graduation in 1993 my wife and I started the company. We owe a lot to the environment of the Bio Science Park, there is a lot of knowledge and our customers are there. I see beautiful companies around me developing innovative products and services that contribute to people’s health and well-being. That makes me proud and I would like to contribute to that in my role as chairman.”