Speakers

Rob van Gijzel

Rob van Gijzel
Chairman
Brainport Foundation

Mr van Gijzel has served as Mayor of Eindhoven since 2008 and is the Chairman of the Brainport Foundation. He has extensive administrative experience, starting as chairman of the Young Socialists for the City of Amsterdam. He was a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party (1989–2001) where his portfolio encompassed traffic, water management, spatial planning and foreign affairs. He also chairs the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

Between his membership in the House of Representatives and assuming the Mayor’s office in Eindhoven, he co-founded and co-owned the consulting firm Politea which operates at the interface between society and politics. He was also active in the management of various social institutions e.g. Lumen Group (welfare organisation), the National Partnership Focus Neighbourhoods initiative, the Woonbedrijf housing corporation, Safe Traffic Netherlands, the public transport company HTM, energy company RWE and union ABVA / KABO.

The Brainport region with Eindhoven at its heart is one of Europe's prominent high-tech regions. The Brainport philosophy (which is not just a place on the map but a state of mind) is based on a unique form of collaboration that lays the foundation for open innovation and knowledge sharing to multiply knowledge. Here, high-tech and design go hand-in-hand with top quality manufacturing and entrepreneurship. It functions as an accelerator where collaboration and cooperation boost intelligence and the ability to adapt in support of economic growth and empowerment, attracting talent and investors from around the world. Brainport aims to be a magnet for tomorrow that will develop desirable products, services and initiatives to solve societal challenges of the future.

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