With the 'Duurzaamheidsfabriek', the Sustainability Factory, the Municipality of Dordrecht and Da Vinci College have created and facilitated a meeting place for entrepreneurs, workers, jobseekers, those making a shift in their careers, researchers, financiers, teachers and students.
Using the triple helix approach as a basis, the Municipality of Dordrecht and the Da Vinci College are jointly investing in the Sustainability Factory, an open innovation and education centre, innovative skills centres (maritime technology, renewable energy, smart technology and internal combustion engines) and innovation projects (smart metrology, maritime automation).
The Sustainability Factory is a Smart Industry Fieldlab. As the region’s open innovation centre, it is linked to business innovation centres. Business innovation is possible thanks to the Sustainability Factory’s high-tech equipment and layout, and the programming of research and innovation projects. The resulting practice-orientated assignments determine how education is designed: the content and its ‘how’ are always demand-orientated. Social and technological innovations are inextricably linked in the Sustainability Factory, an interconnection which has been cemented by mutual discussions on learning, experimentation and innovation processes.
How it works
The Applied Innovations for Maritime Automation (Toegepaste Innovaties voor Maritieme Automatisering – TIMA) project is a great example of business and social innovation joining forces to strengthen the competitiveness of both the welding robot manufacturer and two shipyards (a hull builder and a propeller and rudder manufacturer). At the same time, the project trains employees and young people in these new technologies for social innovation.
The Sustainability Factory is developing as an interchange in a regional economic network of innovation activities in businesses and education (innovation ecosystem), where it is providing an open innovation environment, a fieldlab/testing ground for innovation, and lifelong learning.