You can make it in Rotterdam!

They have stolen the heart of many Rotterdam residents. Susan Bijl’s sustainable design purses, Kaapse Brouwers’ craft beers, Jordy’s Bakery’s loaves of bread. Products from Rotterdam are hip and happening. And we call it: urban manufacturing.

These are pioneers with a passion for their city and a keen eye for entrepreneurship. Rotterdam is their home port. Operating from this central hub, they have the world at their feet. From 3D printing to books printed on paper made from tomato fibres, we have countless examples. Entrepreneurs who manufacture their products in their own city, close to the consumer and often at a small scale. And with huge success!

‘In Rotterdam, you’re allowed to take risks’
Rotterdam facilitates and invests. “The empty factories and spacious areas available in the port. Rotterdam has space for production within the city limits. Literally and figuratively,” says Dr Erwin van Tuijl. The researcher co-authored Manufacturing in the New Urban Economy. “The culture, atmosphere and mentality are perfect for urban manufacturing. In Rotterdam, you’re allowed to take risks. In Rotterdam, you’re allowed to take action.” Initiatives like Makerspace and Stadslab provide pioneers with a physical location, preconditions and a helping hand to test ideas, implement and refine them and to manufacture products. This is where wild ideas turn into valuable innovations.

Open doors
RDM Makerspace, for instance, provides space, machines and materials for enthusiastic amateur and professional makers. Various companies share the old docks of former RDM with Albeda College and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, establishing connections.
Acting as a sparring partner for the people working there and at labs all over the world, experimenting and achieving: the Stadslab welcomes everyone too: from students to companies and amateur enthusiasts who have a good idea. The available equipment includes 3D printers and laser cutters, and everything is accessible to everyone. Van Tuijl: “The beauty of these initiatives lies in the fact that they link good ideas to businesses. That attracts companies in Rotterdam, sometimes even bringing in international enterprises. Unexpected doors open up for people with good ideas here.”

The city has increasing appeal for entrepreneurs with national or international ambitions. Moreover, the maker industry enchants the residents. Van Tuijl: “You can see that residents from Rotterdam are regaining their pride in everything about Rotterdam. It is with good reason that Rotterdam products are bought up so eagerly. That pride is what Rotterdam residents radiate and want to share with the rest of the world.” Our city is finding its way into more and more hearts and minds, and pioneers increasingly find high-potential opportunities here: Rotterdam is the place to make it!

More info: website RDM Makerspace (in Dutch)

Rotterdam. Make it Happen.