Petra van Dijk appointed as director of MindLabs

20 January 2023

Petra van Dijk (57) has been appointed director of MindLabs, the center for artificial intelligence and innovative technology in the Spoorzone in Tilburg. She had already held this position on an interim basis for the past 10 months. An extensive selection procedure preceded the appointment. She now formally succeeds Loet Visschers who has retired.

Van Dijk is originally from Vught. She studied functional theory of the brain at Utrecht University. She has experience with research and organizational development and has worked in the past in education, business and government. So she is a jack of all traits. Van Dijk characterizes herself as entrepreneurial with a heart for public affairs. She has been involved with MindLabs since the end of 2018.

Collaboration
Fred van der Westerlaken is president of the MindLabs association: "Petra has continued to develop and raise her profile in recent months as interim director in such a way that as a board we are confident that, together with all our partners, she will put MindLabs firmly on the map."

Van Dijk on her nomination: "I am delighted with the appointment and the confidence of the partners. I have been working since March '22 to build a solid grassroots organization with people from our network who bring energy to the collaboration. It is very nice that with them I get to realize the plans for the coming years."

Ambition for 2023
In 2022 seed work was done, including a Regio Deal application to develop the entire Spoorzone into a cohesive Innovation District for 'human-centered technology & AI'. The plans in that area were formed with various partners in a very short time. Van Dijk: "A great example showing that you can do more together than alone. Now just hope that our application is granted, because then we can start making meters."

New building
The new MindLabs building is nearing completion. Very soon the tenants can move in. A great moment for Van Dijk: "We have been looking forward to the completion date for so long. A beautiful building with state of the art facilities, including 5 R&D labs, gives our partners the possibilities to experiment with innovative applications in the field of technology and AI." The official opening is scheduled for after the summer, when the building is fully furnished and all tenants have moved in.