Rob van Gijzel

Former mayor of Eindhoven

It is September 2008, I have been the mayor for only half a year, the crisis breaks out, rather quickly causing serious problems in our region. Our economy is sensitive to economic fluctuations in an international market. As the Brainport foundation’s chairman, I took the initiative to bring the key players together in a very early stadium. We had to do different things, and we had to do things differently. Foremost: reinforce the chain. Most important is collaboration and to seek solutions jointly. Ultimately, this became the success of our region. Together and looking for a win-win instead of competing with one another. Obviously, this will have to include an institute that looks for a connection between or within companies in case of thorny issues. Mediation and arbitration instead of legal remedies.

Rijnland model

In the Anglo-Saxon legal remedies are reached for, if possible. Document it legally and press charges as soon as possible. Luckily, we ‘Rijnlanders’ see things differently. Here in the Brainport area, we are uniquely successful in collaboration with other businesses. Of course, things can go wrong, but solving it in an orderly fashion is better to do justice to all parties. This new arbitration institute for technology companies is immensely helpful there. We missed that. I am sincerely supper happy with the foundation of this institute.

Reinforce the chain

When I was the mayor, I frequently hosted captains of industry in my office. It was and still is my opinion that we must have an ongoing dialogue on the reinforcement of our ecosystem. In our region, we have to deal with another dependency for which a reliable chain is of great relevance. That chain is reinforced this way. Fast conflict resolution is of importance to all parties, especially in tech, and we get that in this region.

Just start a conversation

There are always many parties involved in a conflict with the municipality, so as a municipality we were always spending a lot of money on legal proceedings. In 2008 we changed that approach. My motto is: start a conversation and see what is really going on. This also applies to tech businesses, large or small does not matter. It sometimes is an internal company issue, for instance, between the owners. Often, matters are just not properly regulated. Moreover, nobody likes lengthy legal battles and losing the relationship too. I wish the new institute much success!’

About Rob

Rob was born in Eindhoven. He is a former member of the House of Representatives on behalf of the  Dutch Labour Party. From 2008 to September 2016 he was the mayor of the municipality of Eindhoven.

Currently, he is the national ambassador of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, chairman of the supervisory board at Twynstra Gudde, commissioner at the NOS and Dynniq, member of the Supervisory Board of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and chairman of the TNO strategy committee.

Besides this, he is actively involved in various charity projects.  Collaboration, technology and innovation are key issues for him.

Tips from Rob

  • Immediately try to find the way to the arbitration institute with both sides.
  • Become a member and visit Brainport TechLaw’s information meetings. Brainport TechLaw is the platform where technology and law come together.