March 1, 2024

Interview - Thijs Remijn: The People Behind the Leiden Bio Science Park

The People Behind the Leiden Bio Science Park: Thijs Remijn, project leader Human Capital Agenda

The Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) is the most extensive Life Sciences campus in the Netherlands and the number 8 Bioscience campus globally. With around 425 Life science & health organizations, over 21.000 people working, and over 21.000 students studying and researching there, it is growing daily. Finding and retaining the right talent is crucial for the LBSP; the foundation supports the ecosystem in various ways and enables companies to find, hire, and retain (international) talent. It is a major focus to support the continuous development of the LBSP.

In 2022, at the initiative of the Hogeschool Leiden and LBSP Foundation, over 40 partners worked together to create the Human Capital Agenda (HCA) to get a clear picture of the challenges ahead and help all (future) companies in the Park thrive. The person responsible for driving the agenda is Thijs Remijn, the project leader at the LBSP Foundation.

First question: Who is Thijs?

“My name is Thijs Remijn, the project leader Human Capital Agenda at the LBSP Foundation. I have an educational background in Biomedical Sciences and started my career in academic research. After two years, I decided to develop myself further in a corporate environment. I have worked in Life Science recruitment for the past eight years. Last year, I switched to the LBSP foundation, where I feel I can create more impact.”

What does creating impact look like for you?

“My main goal is to drive the actions in the HCA to enable the Leiden Bio Science Park and its companies to grow and attract the most experienced and talented professionals. I do this by identifying, initiating, and connecting initiatives contributing to the HCA. There already are many great initiatives in the region. Collaboration is key, and by engaging, connecting, and activating the right stakeholders, we can create impact.”

Can you explain more about the vision for the human capital agenda?

“The agenda is called “No Growth Without Talent ” (Zonder Talent Geen Groei). Although there is enormous potential and ambition for growth, if we want to achieve our ambitions, finding and retaining talent in the Park is crucial. We aim to position the Leiden Bio Science Park as the place to be for Life Science and Health professionals.”

Do you have an example of an initiative to find talent?

“A great project I would like to mention is a pilot program that is currently running. The Biotech Training Facility works with the Werkgeversservicepunt Holland Rijnland and three LBSP companies. In the program, they train people who are currently unemployed and do not have a life sciences background but are interested in working in biotech. At the LBSP foundation, we fully support those initiatives and help where necessary.”

And to retain talent?

“We have several projects aimed at retention within the LBSP. For example, several knowledge and educational institutes actively create lifelong learning trajectories (LevenLangOntwikkelen), which we strongly promote. Everyone should feel that they can develop themselves professionally, as it helps with job satisfaction and the retention of employees. Another initiative is promoting collaboration between companies to ensure that talent and expertise stay within the Leiden Bio Science Park: one research scientist might not fully fit the job profile at one company, but might be perfect for the role of the enterprise next door.”

Sounds great! How can I contribute to the Human Capital Agenda as a company or individual at the Leiden Bio Science Park?

“There are a few things. For example, we have an active HR community where HR managers meet regularly to discuss these topics and ensure we keep on the right track. I notice that the people in the community are enthusiastic and driven to help and learn from each other. The keyword is connection; we can always connect you with the right people. I encourage everyone not involved yet to contact us or join our events.”

What is the main takeaway of the Human Capital Agenda?

“We need to keep looking at the bigger picture. The labor market for life science professionals is already stressed, and actions to enlarge the talent pool of those who want to work in the LBSP are necessary. However, we can only achieve this by working together rather than competing over scarce talent. This will require a willingness to invest, collaborate, and keep an open mind to new ideas from all stakeholders. Together, I’m convinced we can come out stronger and continually create a win-win.”

Are you interested in contributing to the agenda, or do you need help finding and retaining talent? Mail Thijs at tremijn@lbsp.nl so he can help you find a solution.

Did you know? Schiphol Amsterdam Airport – ca. 20 min by car and ca. 15-20 min by train