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Title General Info

OTB Research for the Built Environment is officially a department of the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology (DUT). It currently employs ca. 130 staff. OTB specializes in research and consultancy concerning planning, urban development, housing, and transport. The department consists of seven research sections: Urban and Regional Development, Sustainable Housing Management and Quality Assurance; Urban Renewal and Housing; Housing Systems, Methodology and Informatics; Geo Information and Land Development; and GIS Technology. The research carried out by OTB is multidisciplinary and problem-oriented, and is mainly concerned with market and policy issues.

OTB has substantial experience of international collaborative research projects, including INTERREG, European Commission Framework Programmes and ESPON projects, as well as nationally and locally funded research. Staff members at OTB are involved in various research networks such as AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning), ENHR (European Network for Housing Research), ERSA (European Regional Science Association), EURA (European Urban Research Association), IAPS (International Association for People-Environment Studies) and ISA (International Sociological Association).

The InCompass project is situated in the research section of Urban and Regional Development. Members of the section have extensive experience on European and transnational spatial planning and on European urban and regional development, including academic and policy discussions of these issues. Most relevant regarding InCompass is the participation of the research section in the project Creative City Challenge (Interreg IVB, 2009-2012), in which 13 partners from 6 countries worked together on creative city development.

OTB was coordinator of Work Package 6 of Creative City Challenge and is coordinator of Component 3 of InCompass.


Title RIG

The RIG currently counts approximately 25 members, equally divided Into more and less actively participating members. Together these members represent all helices of the triple helix. Local policy makers in the RIG represents the cities of Delft, Rotterdam and Leiden. Represented knowledge institutions are DUT, the Dutch Incubator Association, Nederland Kennisland (Netherlands Land of Knowledge), the University of Rotterdam and the Utrecht University of Arts. Finally, business is represented by managing directors of incubators and creative SMEs, the latter either working within or outside incubators. These different helices in the three above mentioned cities cooperate in several networks of innovative hi-tech industries (see The Region).


Title The Region

The Region at the centre stage of the RIG and upcoming RIP (Regional Implementation Plan) is the Delft - Rotterdam area. This area is situated in the southern so-called ‘wing’ of the Randstad, the dense conurbation in the western part of the Netherlands. The Randstad at large, the major ‘powerhouse’ of the Dutch economy, is a typical polycentric urban region made up by the country’s four largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) and a considerable number of medium-sized and small cities and towns in between.

The urbanised regional context of the Delft-Rotterdam area is a dense concentration of knowledge institutions (universities and other research institutions), local and regional governments, businesses in all kinds of technologically advanced industries and services, including the large port and industry complex of Rotterdam. Actually, Rotterdam is the largest seaport in Europe. Under the label ‘City of Innovation’, Delft is part of two regional clusters – Medical Delta and Clean Tech Delta – that are being developed by these different types of partners in the range of cities from Rotterdam (15 km. south of Delft) to The Hague and Leiden (respectively 13 and 25 km. north of Delft).



Title The City

Delft has approximately 100,000 inhabitants. The city has a beautiful, well-preserved, lively historical centre, with characteristic canals, ancient merchant houses, old churches and a splendid city hall. The New Church in Delft accommodates the crypt of the royal family since the end of the 16th century. With about 650,000 inhabitants, Rotterdam is the second largest city of the Netherlands. As opposed to Delft, it has built a reputation on modern and high-rise architecture in absence of an unbroken historic scenery.

Both cities have a firm knowledge base, although that is more compact in Delft due to its smaller size. In Delft, this in particular consists of Delft University of Technology (DUT, founded in 1842), the Dutch National Organisation for Applied Sciences TNO, and several other knowledge centres. DUT now has eight faculties, working on a research portfolio that clusters around 13 interdisciplinary technological and design themes. With approximately 13,000 students and an academic staff of 2,100 it is the largest and most comprehensive university of technology in the Netherlands. The Rotterdam Erasmus University (EUR) is newer – it was appointed as such in 1973 – and has a registered number of about 25,000 students. Its main academic fields are economics and medical and bio-medical sciences. Further, Rotterdam houses a University of Applied Sciences and various specialised research and knowledge institutes in architecture and urbanism.

Both Rotterdam and Delft faced serious economic and social decay in the 1970s and 1980s due to the decline of traditional manufacturing industries. In Delft, knowledge institutions - particularly DUT - and the municipality have gradually consolidated a process of cooperation in order to strengthen ‘Delft knowledge city’. This has brought forth several clusters with a growing number of technology-oriented companies. One of the fruits of this cooperation is YES!Delft, an incubator that supports spin-offs of DUT in successfully starting up enterprises bringing forth a technological product or process. Similar kinds of cooperation in Rotterdam have resulted in an important port-bound industrial complex and a medical and health care cluster.

A substantial number of firms in creative industries has been established in both cities. In Delft, quite a few of these are spin offs of the ‘creative faculties’ of Architecture and Industrial Design of DUT, as well a cluster of bureaus for technical advice. In the fields of architecture and design, Delft and Rotterdam form a sizeable hub of international reputation. Quite a few creative firms in both cities are established in shared office buildings and breeding places with some incubator characteristics, although the economic downturn that started in 2008 has created adverse conditions for further growth of incubators.

Title Partners
Title | News
18/11/2014
Final Conference - InCompass takes a final bow

A three-year project, led by Dundee and Angus (D&A) College, Scotland, to help start-up businesses beat the flat-lining effect of the economy ...

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18/11/2014
InCompass Best Practices Toolkit

At the InCompass Final Conference on 18 November in Brussels, project partner Delft University of Technology presented the Best Practices Toolkit ...

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12/2014
InCompass gets started on the Regional Implementation Plans:
The Medway Proposal


The Medway Regional Implementation Plan (RIP) has been finalised following consultation with Regional Implementation Group members ...

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InCompass Project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC programme