Wageningen Campus: Gateway to smart food in a green world

Wageningen Campus: Gateway to smart food in a green world

On Wageningen Campus, we know that sharing knowledge is as important as developing knowledge, convinced as we are that this is the key to truly innovative solutions to the global challenges of our time. The title of WUR’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 ‘Finding answers together’ therefore fits hand in glove with the philosophy of Wageningen Campus.

This is why Wageningen Campus is designed to be a vibrant meeting place for students, scientists and researchers from universities, research institutes, NGO’s, start-ups, SMEs and R&D centres of national and international companies. All working in the domains of agro-food, life sciences, biobased production and/or the living environment.


On Wageningen Campus, the academic world, the business sector, the government and non-governmental organisations collaborate to address today’s major social issues: the world food need, the growing pressure on blue and green spaces, the demand for sustainable production, the needs for alternatives for fossil fuels and the impact of climate change. These issues are interrelated and must be addressed in conjunction with each other by various types of stakeholders; hence Wageningen Campus serves as a facilitator and catalyst in this respect.

Campus Development

The development of what is now called Wageningen Campus started in 2002. It is the main location for Wageningen University & Research’s education, research and value creation activities, involving the university departments and its nine research institutes. Campus developments included construction of buildings and facilities such as Forum, Orion, Atlas, Helix, Phenomea, NPEC, Vitae, and  Impulse . In the near future (2021-2022), a third educational building (Aurora) and the Dialogue Centre will provide additional facilities to Wageningen Campus.

From 2010 onwards, other educational and research organisations, NGO’s  as well as companies have moved to Wageningen Campus. In addition,  startups originated from Wageningen Campus; a flourishing entrepreneur community exists on site where new ideas, initiatives and solutions  in the field of food & agrotechnology originate.   Approximately 90 organisations are currently based on campus; some of them featuring their own buildings, others rent office- or laboratory spaces in the multi-tenant Plus Ultra buildings. Also, Campus Plaza has been developed. Some examples of organisations currently present at Wageningen Campus  include:

  • Aeres University of Applied Sciences
  • OnePlanet Research Centre
  • StartLife
  • Foodvalley NL
  • BVOR
  • FrieslandCampina
  • Unilever
  • Yili

A close cooperation with the Business & Science Park Wageningen (BSPW) has been realized in recent years; around 90 organisations present at the BSPW also use the name ‘Wageningen Campus’ to indicate their location. This varied group of  in total ~180 inhabitants forms the open and accessible Wageningen Campus ecosystem: a vibrant, interactive R&D and innovation minded community, focusing on innovations in all aspects of the agrifood, biobased and environmental sciences domain.

Long-term vision

Our aim is to remain the world-leading campus in the agrofood- en environmental domain. Several strategic goals have been defined to take the next steps in campus development, among others to provide an optimal, sustainable and inspiring infrastructure for excellent science and research. Furthermore, our aim is to create a balanced (i.e. type, size, focus/domain) mix of research institutes,NGOs, start-ups, SME and (inter)national corporations and to encourage these organisations to interact and collaborate at Wageningen Campus. Last but not least, we want to stimulate and facilitate the dialogue among the different stakeholders regarding the global challenges in our domain.

Criteria for establishment on Wageningen Campus (excluding BSPW)

Organisations with a wish to establish themselves on Wageningen Campus must meet a number of criteria before they can be admitted as a resident of Wageningen Campus. A clear synergy with the WUR domain is a primary condition in this regard. In addition, other criteria are considered too – various aspects are used as a guideline in this acquisition process. Criteria that are considered are, for instance:

  • the added value (for instance with respect to impact) to the Wageningen Campus ecosystem
  • the intention and options for collaboration with WUR or other campus inhabitants
  • possible participation in Sharing Research Facilities
  • the added value for education purposes and
  • whether an organisation would match / fit with the open, inviting and inspiring atmosphere of the ecosystem.

It goes without saying that it is checked whether the applicant represents a reliable organisation. A team of WUR staff members is involved in the decision-making process.