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'There is something right in the air in Brainport' - Charles Chung

Canadian Traffic Analytics Company explores Europe from the Automotive Campus in the Brainport Region

Read on to discover why Charles Chung, CEO Brisk Synergies, from Waterloo in Ontario, Canada spent part of his summer exploring opportunities here in Brainport Eindhoven. Accompanied by his wife and young children, he explored working and living in this high tech city, located in the South east Netherlands by participating in the ‘soft landing ‘ programme offered by the Automotive Campus in Helmond, one of the centres of excellence in this high tech region.

Charles is a founding partner at Brisk Synergies, a firm which helps urban planners analyze urban mobility, clarifying traffic situations in cities. They work closely with cities to in order to enhance traffic infrastructures and transportation solutions. Based in the high-tech city of Waterloo, Canada, Brisk Synergies is a boutique software firm specializing in traffic analytic solutions aimed at helping cities understand traffic dilemmas.

With a background in software engineering, product management and market strategies, Charles Chung specializes in building qualified teams to drive highly specialized software solutions from ideation to commercialization. He has developed large scale software products at major high tech companies including Microsoft Corporation and DSPC (Intel).

Charles first became familiar with Brainport when he met Pieter Noordzij from the Brainport International programme in Canada where he is located. His curiosity was stoked by discussions he had with the Dutch delegation regarding the “Soft Landing Programme” at the Automotive campus located in Helmond, in the Greater Eindhoven area.

We met with him this summer when he was here with his family to explore the ‘soft landing’ programme at the Automotive campus for over two months. Friendly, open and buzzing with energy is the perfect way to describe Charles. His wife works in academia, and Eindhoven, with its proximity to three major international airports – made for a great base to explore European opportunities.

Though Brisk Synergies is a relatively young company, his firm has experience in building world-class software solutions, and have consulted with transportation authorities to improve pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic flows across the world – which includes an impressive array of authorities like the City of Montreal, the City of Toronto, City of Zurich, Mexico City and Costa Rica – just to name a few.

The specialised campuses with technology clustering like the Automotive campus, provide a great eco system for collaboration in this region according to Charles. Benefits of the Soft Landing program such as free temporary workspace as well as a plug and play environment makes for a lively environment to work in..

For his firm specifically, their key differentiator is that they engage in traffic data analysis and try to understand people movement from a macro perspective. Solutions are provided keeping all participants in mind – especially pedestrians and cyclists – which makes Eindhoven a very interesting place for him.

This region boasts several Avant-garde developments in realising traffic needs to those of pedestrians and cyclists. The Hovenring, a suspended cycle pathroundabout in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands is the first of its kind in the world for instance.

He thinks the area is 'fascinating' , open mindedness coupled with a collaborative mind set, makes for a great combination for innovation and business.

A feature he found particularly striking is that most parties are very receptive – be it the public or private sector. The collaboration of government, city, business and technology make for a powerful combination in getting things done.

In his experience, his business quite often faces governments who tend to be guarded and not as receptive - quite often due to a lack of understanding of new technology. However, according to Charles, this is a region where the government brings technology to the people.

He was equally impressed with the fact that the eco system provides opportunities to smaller companies as well – access isn’t limited to being fortune 500 company. An ecosystem of Companies and institutes, Network organizations, Technical universities and Membership to the campus business club give equal access to all.

For a company like his, in nascent stages of development this programme was a win-win. Also for a niche business such as transportation data analytics – he was impressed to see the that the Brainport region had a perfect understanding of it, aided by the region’s focus on Smart Transportation.

In his words, “All in all, there is something right in this region ...the soft landing programme, the ease of access, English being spoken widely as well as relationship with Brainport and the Automotive Campus, in particular with Investment

Manager, Pieter Noordzij and Area manager, Chantal Ottens made for a winning combination. They navigated me through the network and connected me with interesting business partners. From a technology and business perspective , Eindhoven in hot ! “

Written by Aditi Chatterji © Brainport Development

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Pieter Noordzij
Manager Business Development

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