Planet scales up further thanks to new grants

Planet scales up further thanks to new grants

Planet, based at Biotech Campus Delft, has recently experienced significant growth from securing more than € 1.5 million in grants. This funding is a crucial pillar in supporting businesses and stimulating innovation at the Biotech Campus Delft. Bouke de Jong, Chief Technology Officer at Planet, and Bram Kerssemakers, Protein Port Program Manager at Planet, share their insights into the milestones achieved by obtaining these grants.

One of the most notable grants is from Kansen voor West and is worth € 400.000. The province of South Holland has control over a set portion of the Kansen voor West budget and uses part of it to strengthen innovation campuses. For South Holland specifically, this means that five campuses in the region will receive financial support, including the Biotech Campus Delft. The funding will be invested by Planet in the creation of a molecular biology laboratory on campus. This facility will act as a central hub where start-up companies can develop their proof of concept and further refine technological innovations. For entrepreneurs, it eliminates the need for large investments in lab facilities and provides access to essential equipment to generate the necessary data for their first round of funding. Moreover, anything invented in the lab remains the property of the inventor. Bouke says: "Companies truly have freedom to operate, which means they can start working on their dream." 

Talent development

Another grant of € 425.000 was awarded by the Rotterdam–The Hague Metropolitan Area (MRDH) and focuses on talent development on campus. This grant enables Planet to work closely with educational institutions and offer educational programs on campus. Bringing students directly into contact with the business world means they can gain valuable experience and develop their skills in a hands-on environment. At the same time, this program allows companies on campus to identify and attract potential talent for future collaborations.

Protein Port

In addition, Planet received a € 400.000 grant from the province of South Holland for the Protein Port initiative. This project aims to accelerate innovation in the protein sector by bringing companies together and jointly addressing specific challenges. In doing so, it encourages the development of alternative protein sources, with the ultimate goal of creating a more sustainable food system for the future. Bram says: "There will need to be a dialog with many companies active in this sector to jointly build a more sustainable food system."

Accelerating innovation

Furthermore, Planet is involved in a European grant project for novel food, also known as the sandbox grant. This initiative supports companies developing innovative food products and helps them through the complex approval process for the European market. This support accelerates innovation in the food sector and makes new food products available to consumers faster. Bouke says: "If this project goes well, it may be an incentive for the European Union to adjust their regulatory mechanism and, in the long run, put all companies through an easier process."

With these grants and their core strategy of supporting and empowering companies, Planet aims to transform the Biotech Campus Delft into a vibrant center of innovation. Bouke and Bram: "Planet's efforts will not only enrich the campus, but they will also provide a wide range of opportunities for the biotech sector and the broader community. With confidence in the future, Planet is looking forward to continued growth and a positive impact on the biotech ecosystem."

Kansen voor West is the program management agency for the west part of the Netherlands. It implements European programs for the four Randstad provinces (North and South Holland, Utrecht, and Flevoland) and the four largest cities (Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht). The programs are financed from various sources, the most important of which are the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

Photo: Deputy Meindert Stolk (far right) presents Opportunities for West grant to five innovation campuses