AmCham Real Estate Council: Development of innovation environments are essential for the Czech Republic to emerge stronger from today's challenges

At the AmCham Real Estate planning meeting on May 31, the participants summarized the key issues affecting the real estate market, including the impacts of inflation, war in Ukraine, surplus of equity and funds, the difficulty to find investment property in the Czech Republic, and the long-term issues related to land use planning, zoning, and permitting.

 “These are turbulent times, and they will continue to be challenging, therefore it is very important for the Czech Republic to make the right decisions for the future of the country to avoid getting lost in the middle,” said Bert Hesselink, Head of Research at CTP Invest and AmCham Real Estate Council Chair, and held a presentation on the science & technology park developments in the Netherlands.

There are 150 such science parks and campuses in the Netherlands, physically connected to a universities campus (Campus Groningen; Leiden Bio Science Park) or large corporations (High Tech Campus Eindhoven (Philips), Brightlands Chemelot Campus (DSM)). Technology Park Brno with 22 companies could compare with Campus Groningen, half the size of Brno, circa 25 years ago hosting university-supported startups, scaleups (SMEs), grownups (corporations) in an ecosystem that grew in that period to circa 200 companies, providing 25,000 jobs and 50,000 students.

The importance of innovative environments is crucial. Technology parks are often divided into several zones- office spaces, high-tech production areas, service and retail premises as well as residential zones. They are either out-of-town or inner city. Important is that one physical innovation environment is not by definition better than the other because different innovation environments are needed for different target groups with diverging needs and wishes. Provision of multiple ecosystems leads to cross-overs that eventually lead to faster innovation and commercial success.

Competitive advantage for the Netherlands rests in the capability to develop competitive products as well as to cooperate within high-tech campuses and ecosystems to develop these products. This has also become Dutch government’s economic policy priority. The Czech Republic should follow a similar vision.

The Czech Republic can become the Country for the Future when it focuses more on developing innovation environments based on a clear economic vision for the country and its cities that will act as catalysts for innovation and city development. Real estate is a key enabler to make this happen.  Therefore, functioning construction law, land use planning, zoning, and permitting are a prerequisite to become the Country for the Future.

“Development of innovation environments are essential for the Czech Republic to emerge stronger from today´s challenges,” Bert Hesselink concluded.

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