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The Netherlands Food Valley Cluster – University-Industry Cooperation Conference on International Competitiveness and Cooperation Ankara, 4 th June 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The Netherlands Food Valley Cluster – University-Industry Cooperation Conference on International Competitiveness and Cooperation Ankara, 4 th June 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Netherlands Food Valley Cluster – University-Industry Cooperation Conference on International Competitiveness and Cooperation Ankara, 4 th June 2013 J.G. Wissema Delft University of Technology Wissema Consulting Ltd

2 Wissema Consulting Ltd2 High tech clusters A high-tech cluster = a cluster of high-tech enterprises High-tech clusters are preferably located as part of a ‘know-how hub’ of which a university is the centre A ‘know-how hub’ comprises industrial and public R&D institutions, (higher) technical schools and all kinds of specialists and facilitators Such high-tech clusters can be remarkably successful, vide Silicon Valley Fortunately, the principle of high-tech clusters also applies to other sectors than IT

3 Wissema Consulting Ltd3 Where can entrepreneurs be found? 1.Agriculture 2.Property agents and realtors 3.Academics in scientific and engineering specialties 4.Pharmacists 5.Geologists 6.Hospitality 7.Accountancy 8.IT Luke Johnson, Financial Times, 22 May, 2013

4 Wissema Consulting Ltd4 Agriculture – high tech? In NL, agriculture is family-owned; it has an entrepreneurial culture 3% of the population works in agriculture (30% in TR) Agriculture produces 2.2% of GDP NL has only 2.3 million hectares of arable land, 68% of total land Yet, export is 72 billion Euro, 2 nd largest after US How can a small, highly populated and industrialised country with a horrible climate produce this result? Answer: we made agriculture high-tech

5 Wissema Consulting Ltd5 Role of Wageningen UR A staff of 6,500 and 10,000 students from over 100 countries work everywhere around the world in the domain of agriculture and food processing In terms of scientific output WUR is the 4 th largest institute in the world in this area Core is Wageningen University and ten specialised institutes for applied research, including economics and logistics The research institutes are financed by the government, commercial businesses and non-profit organisations

6 Wissema Consulting Ltd6 ‘Food Valley’ Some 200 food and agricultural enterprises collaborate with Wageningen UR, including Heinz, Danone, Friesland/Campina, Avebe and AkzoNobel There are many facilities to support start-ups, mostly in high-tech specialised areas and working around the globe Many international enterprises have research facilities near the grounds of WUR: Unilever, DSM, Keygene, Heinz, Nestlé, Givaudan, Campina, Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Noldus IT, TNO Process Innovation and many others

7 Wissema Consulting Ltd7 The know-how infrastructure WUR ‘feeds’ a multi-specialised force of specialists in extension services who advise farmers on a wide range of subjects (which seeds, which fertilisers, which pesticides and when) It also ‘feeds’ a number of model farms and showrooms The Food Valley Innovation Link acts as the transfer bureau for SMEs A higher professional school is part of WUR WUR ‘feeds’ lower professional schools A specialised bank (Rabo) is part of the infrastructure

8 Wissema Consulting Ltd8 Conclusions The basis is fundamental research There is a ‘chain’ from the scientists to the users of knowledge and vice versa There is a strong common understanding and culture This makes the research highly effective and it has turned an originally low-tech industry into a high-tech one with an immense export potential

9 Wissema Consulting Ltd9 Wageningen as an example of a 3 rd generation university Know how carousel: the more elements, the more the others are reinforced. Synergy and scale create winners Scientific research and education Private R&D institutions R&D departments of companies, Technoparks Financial infrastructure Professional support organisations Technostarters

10 Wissema Consulting Ltd10 Can the model be copied? There needs to be a common goal and a balance between competition and collaboration Research without a know-how infrastructure has limited value. The three ‘pillars’ of WUR are: research, education and extension services The government has to supply finance for basic research and part of the applied research Fundamental research is the source of everything But: it takes a few generations to build it up


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