A few weeks ago, the media were already intensely speculating about the Municipality of Eindhoven’s interest in bringing a Formula E race to the city. Now, by signing the Letter of Interest, Stijn Steenbakkers, Alderman for Economy, Brainport, Innovation, Education and Sport has formalised this interest to Formula E Holdings, the international organisation behind the Formula E Championship.
The initiative to bring Formula E to Eindhoven was begun by a three-person partnership: Peter-Paul Laumans, Berry van Nes and Ed Winters who have joined forces in the Formula Eindhoven Foundation. By signing the Letter of Interest, the Municipality of Eindhoven has given the foundation exclusive permission to further research the feasibility of a Formula E race in Eindhoven.
In the view of this entrepreneur trio, bringing this revolutionary sport to the city would be a unique chance to put Metropolitan Region Eindhoven on the map internationally as the leading hotspot for technology, design, knowledge and mobility. Peter-Paul Laumans: “Formula E is the race class of the future. The sport is still relatively young (in its 5th season at the moment), but it’s dramatically gaining in popularity. Formula E is the embodiment of technology, innovation and sustainability – all values that give a 100% match with Brainport Eindhoven, Europe’s leading innovative top technology region. The connection with Helmond as a region for smart mobility is unique as well. So in a nutshell, you won’t find such a perfect fit anywhere else in Europe.”
The initiative has been prepared with great care. Discussions with the business community, government bodies and the education sector have clearly revealed that there is huge interest in the idea. Berry van Nes: “We see that attracting technological talent (meaning personnel) is presenting a major challenge to businesses in the region. This is getting harder and harder. But bringing an E-Prix (the official title of a Formula E race) to Eindhoven would create many possibilities for strongly and attractively showcasing the Metropolitan Region Brainport Eindhoven to the whole world. We will organise all kinds of activities to accompany the race, showing the world that thisis the place to find the best in technology and mobility. Many leading organisations such as VDL Groep, High Tech Campus, Holmatro, Jumbo, TU/e, Marks Wachters Notarissen, Rabobank Region Eindhoven, the Province of Brabant etc. have now pledged their support for our initiative.
Alderman for economy, Brainport, innovation, education and sport
“As the Municipal Executive, we have already said before that we see many links between the Formula E race and our city and region. In terms of the economy, mobility, sustainability and above all in terms of innovation. As the Metropolitan Region of Eindhoven we’re always looking for tomorrow’s solutions, and in the field of mobility too. An attractive event with electric cars, such as Formula E, can help to get people enthusiastic about innovation and increased sustainability. These are things we believe are important.”
Managing Director, Eindhoven365 city marketing, involved in the initiative from the start
“Eindhoven is the key city in our ambitious region, and it’s building a brand where unconventional thinking and collaboration lead to unique results. What’s more, Eindhoven is a city with a strong automotive ecosystem. For years now we have been watching the up-and-coming Formula E racing class with great interest, and now that the major automobile brands are getting involved, this makes the event an even more attractive prospect for our city. What also appeals to Eindhoven city marketing is the total experience that Formula E creates in the city and region, the impressive interaction with the public that goes far beyond a normal race event. So if we can get Eindhoven on the race calendar together with world cities such as Paris and New York, it will make us enormously proud and we’ll truly embrace this challenge.”
Willem van der Leegte
President and CEO, VDL Groep
“With its focus on innovation and technology, an event like Formula E is of course a perfect fit for Eindhoven and for VDL Groep. As a European leader in the field of heavy vehicle electrification (buses, trucks and automated guided vehicles) we are strongly in favour of this quiet and clean car race coming to Eindhoven. What’s more, as the Netherlands’ only serial automotive manufacturer, we naturally love cars.”
Managing Director, High Tech Campus Eindhoven
“In order to boost the region’s attractiveness for businesses and talent, we as Campus are always on the lookout for smart and innovative partnerships with organisations that are aiming for the same thing. This initiative is a perfect match for our goal of ongoing innovation and constantly delivering surprises – so a collaboration between our startups and companies such as TomTom, Holst Centre, NXP, ABB and Philips is now a logical next step.”
CEO | President, Holmatro Group N.V.
worldwide FIA partner for rescue equipment
“As official Global FIA partner, we think it would be fantastic if the Formula E race were to come to Eindhoven. This would be the perfect match for Dutch/Brabant high-tech companies such as Holmatro as well as for the Brainport Eindhoven high-tech region.”
The pioneering PSV football-team shirt sponsorship (various companies are jointly sponsoring under the title of ‘Metropolitan Region Brainport Eindhoven’) shows that collaboration is anchored in the DNA of this region’s companies. Now with Formula E the foundation aims to go a step further. Ed Winters: “We’re going to create a ‘triple helix’ initiative here. This means that we get the business community, the education sector and government closely involved in our initiative. It’s still sport, of course, and so one of the participating drivers is going to win the race. But taking the wider perspective, it’s the region as a whole that will be the winner. In our view it means we’ll create an amazing podium for the Metropolitan Region Brainport Eindhoven, where we can show all the world what we can do and what possibilities are available here. Our discussions with the triple helix partners in recent months have resulted in broad interest and enthusiasm. Actually we’re aiming for a race in 2021 and by doing so we join a fine list of cities: New York, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Eindhoven etc.”
Once the declaration has been signed by Alderman Steenbakkers the foundation will start preparing the technical and economic studies. The required funds will be supplied by the business community, while the technical study on a possible race in the city and the study on the economic impact for the region will be carried out in collaboration with the Formula E organisation. After completion of these studies, the foundation will then draw up a full plan for the development, organisation and funding of the event and all accompanying activities. Of course, the wishes and needs of the business community, government bodies and the education sector will play a key role here. All this will ultimately lead to a bid book that should result in Eindhoven being awarded a Formula E race.
About the project initiators
Entrepreneur in the online sector with an enthusiasm for technological innovation and (motor) sport. Initiator of the innovation platform Marketing Pioneers.
Berry van Nes
Owner of the Content Marketing bureau gr8 agency. Specialises in marketing and storytelling, with sport playing a major role.
Social entrepreneur and manager. Ambassador of Eindhoven. Works to promote everything that’s good for the region. Commercial and marketing specialist.
The initiators can be contacted through www.formula-eindhoven.com
About Formula E
Formula-E was conceived in 2010, with the first championship taking place in 2014. The races with electrically powered racing cars are held in cities all over the world, mostly on street circuits. Currently there are 11 participating teams, while ever more well-known car makes are entering this sport. It’s not only car manufacturers (such as Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar, Nissan) that have teams – Heineken too not only maintains a Formula 1 team but is now also competing in this electric equivalent. Technological development and sustainability are the guiding principles of this sport. Formula E is constantly seeking new solutions and improvements in the field of electric mobility. What’s more, Formula E is also always looking to innovate when it comes to communication and interaction with fans. This is making the sport ever more attractive globally to a wide public interested in things like technology, motor sport and sustainability. Here are a few figures*:
· Total number of TV viewers last season: 330 million (growth of 73% on previous year)
· Total number of online viewers last season: 581 million (growth of 1,316% on previous year)
· Total reach last season: 1.3 billion (growth of 714% on previous year)
· Broadcast in more than 200 countries
*Source: Formula E, London