Gothenburg, Sweden: Blueprint Entertainment announced the takeover of the Belgian science center Earth Explorer from Merlin Entertainments at ECSITE in Gothenburg on Friday, June 7. With this acquisition the chairmen of Blueprint Entertainment, Mike Boris and Andreas Waschk, are now operating three science centers in Germany and Belgium and have thus created the leading private management company for science centers in Europe.
Andreas Waschk secured the takeover of the operating company of adventure museum “Odysseum“ located in Cologne early this year. The entire team led by CEO Thomas Brill stayed onboard. The grand opening of the children’s museum “Explorado“ in Duisburg, the company’s first self-developed attraction, followed on June 8th 2013, “Earth Explorer“ in Oostende, Belgium is increasing the network to three major science center venues. Contracts between Blueprint and Merlin Entertainments have been signed last week.
Thanks to constantly changing exhibitions, the three edutainment facilities stay a lot more attractive to visitors. The strategy has been worked out by two real industry professionals. Behind the concept is Andreas Waschk, founder of AWC AG, one of the leading consulting and development companies for leisure and entertainment projects across Europe. Together with Mike Boris, a former investment banker with significant experience in the entertainment industry, they founded Blueprint at the end of 2011. The acquisitions are the result of a year’s work in the background.
The biggest event for 2013 will be the grand reopening of “Odysseum“ in Cologne which includes a whole new attraction named “The Museum with the Mouse“ featuring the “Maus”, one the most popular German cartoon characters. In addition to that the whole exhibition will be redesigned and modernized with a budget over 2 million EUR. The second new attraction will be “The Game“. It is the name of the new RFID-based interactive game, mixing an interactive paper chase and hands-on-experiments targeting especially older kids. The “Odysseum“ Cologne is one of the most successful science centers in Germany. The intelligent concept connects education and fun in one exciting experience.
On June, 8th, „Explorado“ was opened at the old harbour of Duisburg as the first children museum of a planned chain. „The demand for edutainment concepts like the Explorado is booming all across Europe“, says Andreas Waschk. „Requests we receive from several countries are a clear sign for this development.“ The concept is based on an intelligent mix of a science centre exhibits and an indoor-playground.
The Earth Explorer in the Belgian Oostende perfectly fits to the expansion plans. The science center is based on an idea established by the astronaut Dirk Frimout. Serving as a high-quality edutainment-attraction from the science centre division, the Earth Explorer is extremely popular with both families and school-classes. In an exciting way the visitors experience how the four elements have shaped our world. During spectacular simulations and interactive experiments wind, fire, water and earth become alive.
Andreas Waschk explains: “In the long-term our main goal is to run privately financed museums and science centers. Recurring investment into content is a key element of our plan. The strategy allows a continuous re-attraction with limited financial efforts. In addition to that we develop exciting cooperations for new content. Our project ‘The Museum with the Mouse’ which has been elaborated in collaboration with German mediagroup WDR is as a perfect example.“
Next year, Blueprint plans a substantial growth concerning the number of visitors in all three houses to reach a total of half a million guests.
Acting as an investor Blueprint will finance museum and science center projects all across Europe. Besides Germany and Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Central- and Eastern Europe are target markets. Blueprint’s goal is to take over or self-develop 1-2 projects per year. The company is financed by a private equity fund.