Burgemeester Opening T-Systems Papendorp

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, Papendorp, 24 januari 2019

Dear all,

Sake Algra, thank you for inviting me to this grand opening. It is an honour. I hope you all enjoyed the tour and saw some of the interesting innovations. And I also hope you enjoyed today's special guest: mister Victor Mids. Master of illusions… Master in – for example – making things disappear. I have to admit it was a big relief when I noticed that this building with the bright, magenta company logo was still there when I arrived here…

Standing at one of the top floors of the Life Building, it's hard to deny that this is one of the best places to work. With some excellent views. Over there, for example, you can see the Dom Tower. But also in this room I saw some golf clubs… A table-football table… And – hard to overlook – the billiard table. Of course in the proper colour: magenta. A great place to relax on a busy day and to get inspired. Important in a building where new ICT technologies are tested and showcased – together with customers. A place where new partnerships are born.

20 years ago, 1999, your sister company T-Mobile International was founded and in 2002 T-Mobile started in the Netherlands. With the same famous T in magenta. There is something I want to show you… This, dear all, was state of the art technology in 1999. Maybe the tech geeks among you will recognize it: this is a Nokia 5110.

Some 20 years ago, this was one of the most popular cell phones. And for many people, this was their first cell phone ('handy'). Compare this old phone to your current device and this 'fridge' – this is how we call old, big cellphones in Holland – and it will make you laugh. But, dear all, in 1999, this black thing was seen as the 'ultimate' future. A kind of breakthrough one could say. A future of being connected 24/7. A future of new technologies, making our lives easier. Making our lives more comfortable. Making the world safer, more accessible and hopefully a little bit more livable and sustainable.

Every day, high tech companies, like T-Systems, are working hard making new, smart technologies come true. For instance, who could predict in 1999 that one day, you could set the temperature in your house with a cell phone? Far away from home, from your office… It was like science fiction ('Thunderbirds are go'). And a few years ago, this was technology for the tech geeks among us. I wasn't one of them, I have to admit… And now, it is accessible, affordable and appreciated technology for all of us. This is what innovation does: exploring new horizons. Developing new solutions. Every day. And one day, today's amazing ground breaking innovations will be like this old telephone now. Innovation Is an ongoing process. To pick the fruits of innovative ideas, you need fertile soil where new technologies can flourish. And let me tell you this: you found it, here in Utrecht. So, again, I welcome you to Utrecht and its region.

The heart of the Netherlands - the very heart - and a city of innovation. From international renowned institutes and companies like the Hubrecht Institute, Genmab and many others like for instance Robin Berg ('We drive solar'). Robin invented an innovative charging station that stores solar energy in the batteries of electric cars. And delivers that energy back to the neighbourhood.

Dear all, dear people of T-Systems,

T-Systems fits perfectly in the high tech community based in Utrecht. Looking forward to new innovations, showcased in the very heart of The Netherlands. New solutions for a brighter future. Real, visable and tangible solutions… no illusions. On behalf of all the people of Utrecht, I wish you all the best in this brand new location. Today, the big, striking, magenta 'T' on the façade and in this building does not only stand for T-Systems. It also stands for a toast. Dear Sake, dear guests, time to seal this very special moment with that toast. On your health, prosperity and inspiration...

Uw mening