Innovation communities (ICs) combine the best of the corporate world with the best of the entrepreneurial spirit. These flexible business models revive urban areas, react quickly to market changes and create new and engaging innovations in all disciplines.
These next generation collaborative workplaces succeed where open offices, flex work or business hubs often fail, and form a strong platform for innovators and entrepreneurs alike.
Except has developed a variety of ICs since 2003 as part of its portfolio of sustainable development services. These ICs range from business incubators for recent graduates to professional research organizations.
Due to their success, Except has turned itself into a special type of IC: the Hive Organization, in 2008, increasing our capacity and innovation speed.
Now, we provide governments and companies around the world with full-service IC development, ranging from business advice to turn-key project development.
There are many different ways to set up ICs. Some are based on time sharing, others on space sharing, some are incubators, others knowledge and network hubs. ICs work best when custom developed for their specific context, either independent or as part of a larger company or initiative.
Rather than implementing a pre-determined and rigid business model from a book, Except makes flexible business models that respond and adapt to their local conditions.
ICs have a lot to offer in many circumstances. For instance, for a company trying to find news ways of accelerating your innovation and development, a city wanting to support local economies and entrepreneurial development, or an entrepreneur looking to start a collaboration with other independents in your surroundings.
Our world is changing. Around the world we see communities of entrepreneurs and creative industries merge and invent the solutions for tomorrow, bypassing large monolithic companies in innovation ability and economic capacity. ICs are an optimized form of this new type of business model, custom developed to suit specific needs and situations, and benefiting from Except’s experience in ICs.
The fastest moving companies now are those that have highly flexible and resilient corporate structures, often made up of groups of independent contractors. They seamlessly move between online and offline tools and networks, connect knowledge with abilities, short communication lines and a high level of personal dedication and energy from each individual involved.
ICs allow people to maximize their performance when working, because they work the way that best works for them, be inspired by one another and increase productivity. ICs work because they connect innovative individuals to each other as well as to the tools and services they need to operate. ICs can function as fundamental platforms for knowledge creation and sharing as well as enabling new network economies to flourish.
When placed strategically in the urban context, ICs can revive local conditions, bring new economies to the surface and stimulate social and cultural development. ICs can succesfully convert empty real estate into thriving economies.
Except provides the following IC services:
1 – Innovation Community Scan
The IC Scan tells you what type of IC is a good idea for your business, city or neighborhood, and most likely to succeed, as well as what size should it be and where it should be located.
2 – Integrated IC Development
Scan, design and development of ICs from start to finish, anywhere in the world, ensuring quality, sustainable operations, and custom built for client and community.
3 – Interior Design & Production
All ICs have custom built furniture to maximize their atmosphere, functionality and style. We design and produce sustainable interiors for ICs.
4 – Innovation Community Design
This service finds the building and develops the business case, layout, design of the IC. It determines the right ingredients of the IC that create the largest benefits for you.
5 – Adaptive Building Redesign
Making use of existing empty real estate is a smart move for ICs: they bring character and reduce costs. Except redevelops and adapts buildings for ICs.
6 – IC Management & Evolution
Day to day operation management and consulting for ICs, helping them evolve and stay ahead of the curve in a changing world.
Interested in what an Innovation Community can do for your organization or city? We're happy to talk to you about it. Contact us here.
To demonstrate that a sustainable office interior can be exciting, affordable, and very practical we decided to make our own work space an example of just that.
The Except office in Rotterdam is located in a restored office building, which had previously stood empty for over a decade. Our renovation process brought together new ideas about collaboration, innovative material use, and exciting design.
Growth Planning introduces an entirely new approach to area planning and urban design. Rather than defining specific programmatic requirements, Growth Planning instead applies socio-economic impulses to the area within certain performance edge conditions. It revolutionzes the task of city design by requiring the urban fabric to organically respond to social and economic stimuli, and allows for increased value, quality, and development over time.
Born out of the necessity to start thinking differently about our built environment due to economic, social and environmental constraints, Except has worked on refining this new form of planning since 2005.
The Rotterdam Collective (Ro-Co) is a real world laboratory of a radically new business model for sustainable development. It’s been operational and successful in working towards its goals since December 2009, in the center of Rotterdam.
Ro-Co currently hosts more than 25 entrepreneurs in a collective building, who are focused on environmentally and socially innovative projects. Except initiated and developed the collective from scratch with game studio Sparpweed, and continues to be involved in the operation and management of Ro-Co
We are currently investigating possibilities for similar projects in other cities in the US and the Netherlands.
This exciting office-jungle in a glass cocoon is an energy-neutral plug-in retrofit for empty industrial real-estate. It integrates all facilities and luxuries an exciting co-operative office environment can wish for today.
The Crystal Forest is a modular system that can be built and removed quickly on virtually any location, is entirely self-contained, and offers a feasible business case for a wide variety of real estate challenges, including adaptive re-use of industrial hertiage.
The Utrecht Community (UCo) is a national center for sustainable entrepreneurship in the city of Utrecht. UCo brings together 150 pioneering sustainable entrepreneurs and SMBs, and facilitates them in an exemplary sustainable and inspiring building. UCo is a place to develop, discover, and accelerate together, 5 minutes biking from central station. Except developed UCo independently, and opened its doors in 2017.
Jeroen van der Vlist
Chief Operating Officer (COO)