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Author: Jon Ingleton/03 December 2019/Categories: Report, Onboard experience, Building and refurbishment
This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
Located at the heart of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the Bolidt Innovation Center has opened to serve as the centrepiece for the company, its partners, key industry influencers and shipowners to come together to drive creative and technological innovation in synthetic flooring and decking.
“We want you to be inspired,” said Rientz Willem Bol, CEO of Bolidt, when welcoming our group to the new facility. “It was time to create a place where we could focus specifically on open-source innovation and collaboration.”
Partnerships are key for every business and Bolidt certainly has a venerable register of allies. But forging links with interior designers and architects at the innovation centre is perhaps its shrewdest move to date. Bolidt’s tactic of co-creating decking solutions with ship designers capitalises on the company’s scientific heritage and mixes it with a sprinkle of creative flair from third parties. The results are impressive, both visually and functionally.
The Bolidt Innovation Center is a home for research and design, where the critical role of the company’s chemists will be exposed to all who visit. “They used to be hidden away in the basement but now they work in a glass box,” said Jacco van Overbeek, director of Bolidt’s maritime division, during our tour. “Our chemists are the stars of the show and will be routinely testing products and mixing our materials in full view.”
Elsewhere in the Bolidt Innovation Center, there is a cinema to modestly showcase Bolidt’s considerable accomplishments and a theatre for presenting new releases. Meanwhile, the open-plan ground floor provides numerous spaces and opportunities for hands-on product testing – the chance to try before they buy will appeal to customers.
This facility was a strategic investment for Bolidt and, after an impressive visit, I fully expect that the company’s stock will continue rising across all sectors of passenger shipping.
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