MARK 51°7 is an innovation district located in Bochum/Germany that has national appeal (Figure 1): Bochum Perspektive GmbH has developed the 70 ha site of the former Opel factory to include commercial, industrial and technology spaces as well as extensive public green spaces. The RAG-Stiftung, Essen/Germany, has now secured approximately 25,500 m2 at MARK 51°7 for redevelopment. The United Robotics Group, which is majority-owned by the RAG-Stiftung through its associated company RSBG SE, also secured some 20,000 m2 of the neighbouring premises.
“For RAG-Stiftung, the procurement of the premises is primarily a yield-oriented financial investment. At the same time, however, we can help drive forward the transformation of our region, by creating space for innovation. In a place where coal was once extracted and later countless cars were manufactured, the wheels are, figuratively speaking, back in motion as new companies set up premises here. We are delighted to be a key player in these major regeneration plans,” explains Bernd Tönjes, Chairman of the RAG-Stiftung Board of Executives.
The premises should also give the United Robotics Group the space they need to grow in the future. Together with their companies SoftBank Robotics Europe, Humanizing Technologies and Rethink Robotics, United Robotics provides a link for experts and cooperative partners who have committed to the combination of hardware, software and expert knowledge for tailored robot applications, especially in the field of service robotics.
The United Robotics Group, as part of the associated company RSBG SE, holds a majority interest in Rethink Robotics GmbH. Rethink Robotics only moved into its new corporate and production site in Bochum – close to the learning factory of Ruhr University of Bochum’s faculty for production systems – in the summer of 2020. Even then it was clear that this could only be a temporary solution for the growing company, which will need larger production facilities going forward. Just shy of two years later, with the foundation’s planned purchase of a 45,000 m2 commercial premises on the former Opel site, the future course has been set for the mid- to long-term expansion of the United Robotics Group.
As well as around half the site being occupied by United Robotics Group, RAG-Stiftung also has the option of developing the remaining premises or renting them out to third parties. This would both further diversify the foundation’s property portfolio and supplement a profitable and reliable capital investment.
“We are delighted the RAG-Stiftung and the United Robotics Group have shown their commitment to MARK 51°7,” says Ralf Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of Bochum Perspektive GmbH. “With another two big names on board supporting our development plan and acting as ambassadors for our site, we are able to create more space for innovative enterprises and promising start-ups.”
For Thomas Hähn, CEO and Founder of the United Robotics Group, it is clear that: “Even though the move of United Robotics Group and the Rethink Robotics production facility is still a long way off, we are already looking forward to being part of the new campus. The new premises will give the subsidiaries of the United Robotics Group the space they urgently need to grow and develop innovations, especially in the future market of service robotics.” (RAG-Stiftung/Si.)