Brainergy Park Connect

Just a few days ago, there was nothing to see here but a sandy, flattened surface. But now, construction of the start-up village at Brainergy Park near Jülich has begun. It is now clear to see that something new is being built in the immediate vicinity of our cluster.

“Looking from above, the village will look like the Gallic village from the Asterix comics,” says Ingmar Stock, head of the project, at the most recent edition of the Brainergy Park Connect event series. At this regular meeting, which is organized by us, the Helmholtz hydrogen cluster (HC-H2), all neighbours at the Brainergy Park come together. Stakeholders who wish to become neighbours of the park are also invited. They share views about opportunities, challenges, and possible cooperation. “This form of networking is extremely important,” says Fabian Patzak, head of the Hydrogen Network NRW at HC-H2. The first expansion stage of the start-up village is set to be complete by the end of the year. It is being built across the street from the Institute for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy, which forms the core of HC-H2.

Maximum recyclability

Stock made the comparison with the Gallic village because of the planned structure at Brainergy Park. “There will be a central building in the middle, which can also be used for events. Smaller timber modules will be arranged around this building.” The method of construction is all about “maximum recyclability: no glue, no nails, no steel. The modules will be comprised of bark beetle wood that can still be put to good use.” The central building will be a hybrid structure made of timber and concrete.

The start-up village fulfills a number of functions.

It should enable a smooth start for the big things that are set to follow. What’s meant by this is the central hub building, which will cost over € 90 million and be located at the heart of the Brainergy Park from 2026. “We don’t want to have to make a cold start in 2026,” Stock explains. The first start-ups should have already found themselves a place in the start-up village. Those founding a start-up, or who want to found a start-up, should have the opportunity in the village to take the first steps towards their own company in a publicly visible way. They will be supported by Brainergy Park GmbH, which helps the start-ups to not just think from their own perspectives, but also from the perspective of their future customers.

There are no restrictions in terms of topics, according to Stock, with one exception that applies to all those looking to move to Brainergy Park: the new arrivals must be sustainable and environmentally friendly. “We want to be a point of contact for everything that helps the planet,” Stock summarizes.

Daniel von Büren and his company DPVB Veranstaltungstechnik have moved beyond the status of a start-up. The event technician is planning on relocating to Brainergy Park. He supervises or provides equipment for more than 150 events per year – from company parties to concerts and TV shows. “It all started by renting out loudspeakers,” he explains during his presentation at HC-H2 Brainergy Park Connect. Today, he travels all over Germany with his technology.

Added value for the entire park

“I currently have several material storage units. I would like to bring them together in one place, at Brainergy Park,” von Büren says. He believes that by moving to the park, this will allow his small company to grow, including its number of employees. In addition to the storage site, he aims to add another aspect to his future building, which is currently in planning. “I’m planning something that will bring added value to the entire park because I’m setting up a multifunctional space that can be used as a TV or streaming studio.” So we might be seeing the words “live from Jülich” as part of a future broadcast.

Daniel von Büren, Ingmar Stock, and Fabian Patzak in conversation. Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Jansen