Chance encounters fuel unexpected innovations at POP’HUB

Located in the city centre of Nijmegen, you might just come across POP’HUB, a bustling store filled with the latest innovations. A vase made of water, a wonder phone and a tool to improve air quality: at POP’HUB, you might just stumble across something like this. At the store, the focus is on chance encounters and connections.

Innovation store POP’HUB can be found in Nijmegen’s Marikenstraat. And its spiritual father Dick Bos is only too happy to tell shoppers what they can find inside. Because POP’HUB isn’t just any shop. “It’s a store that aims to inspire people by displaying the innovations that are created in the city.”

Innovations are shown, but the focus lies on creating connections between passers-by and the innovative products and services. “The idea behind the store is serendipity: finding something that you weren’t even looking for. And then acting on that. You might just find something unexpected that turns out to be incredible useful to you. And if you find it, in your own city nonetheless, you put it to use and kick off yet another innovation.”

Local innovations: from health care to art

At POP’HUB, some thirty innovations from across the region are shown, including a number of innovations that originated at Novio Tech Campus. Martijn van der Linden, PR & Communications director at NXP, explains why they chose to demonstrate their radar chip demo at the store: “It is a great and inviting way to get people talking about chip technology. We feel that it’s important to inspire young people to choose a career in Health and High Tech. POP’HUB gives us an opportunity to reach out to a wider audience, and show them what great stuff is happening right here in Nijmegen.”

Furthermore, POP’HUB gives students from art academy ArtEZ, that are doing their final projects at NXP, a platform to show their art work based on NXP’s semiconductor history. “They got the assignment to make art based on our mostly invisible technology or intangible things such as ‘storage’. Our work provided them with inspiration and will be showcased at POP’HUB as well”, says Martijn.

Innovative climate in Nijmegen area

The shop aims to positively impact the innovative climate in the city. And it pleasantly surprises Nijmegen’s inhabitants, Dick and his volunteers notice. “Explaining an innovation to people is very hard. POP’HUB is an innovation in itself and I didn’t even think about that. I thought everyone would immediately grasp what a great idea this store would be. But it took a while for people to embrace the idea.” But that didn’t stop Dick from moving forward and making sure innovations in the Nijmegen area are brought to the attention of the broader public. But his biggest goal for POP’HUB is to create a storefront in every major Dutch city. “Showing local innovations strengthens local bonds. And that is the best base for success.”