Wageningen Integration For Impact (WIFI)

The Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund (INREF) and the Knowledge Base (KB) Programme on Food Security and Valuing Water, both part of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), jointly organise an international science-policy event in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the event we will look at the results of past and current running INREF and KB projects (and potentially other interdisciplinary programmes) in search of recommendations for future inter- and transdisciplinary research, policy, education and implementation programmes.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research

Mon 13 June 2022

Tue 14 June 2022

Venue Omnia Building, Wageningen Campus & Online (hybrid)

The integration of environment-food-society is key for the vast majority of Wageningen’s Research and Education. This so-called ‘Wageningen approach’ of research & innovation is quite unique.

WUR is eager to share the knowledge contributed and impact created so far – in particular with respect to the SDGs. In doing so, we hope to explore, learn and reflect with others what pathways could be taken to increase the impact for and with society. In this context we are looking for expressions of interests of your contributions to this topic!

The WIFI event consists of two connected but parallel events, each with its own objectives & target audience.

Science-policy event (June 13 - afternoon)

This day will focus on the contribution of WUR and others to the SDGs. At the same time we will look for possibilities to increase the impact of integrated research & education on the SDGs (specifically in policy processes). We aim to understand how to better link integrated science and education efforts to policy developments (and vice versa) in the domain of the SDG.
This day is targeted towards professionals involved in policy processes in the domain of the SDGs, including policy makers, implementers, funders, civil society, companies and scientists.

Research exchange event (June 14 - entire day)

This day takes another angle and will deepen the insights on effective approaches of inter- and transdisciplinary research & education. This day targets researchers and research managers from academic and research institutes, funders of research and research policy makers.



The preparations for the WIFI event are in full swing and we are proud to announce the preliminary programme below. Please keep an eye on our webpage to get the latest updates.

June 13, Science-policy event

12.00-13.00 Joint lunch
13.00-13.25 Opening by Arthur Mol, Vice chair of the Executive Board, Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University. Compilation of contributions KB- and INREF programme and other WUR programmes.
13.25-13.30 Programme of the day by Jelle Maas, coordinator INREF programme
13.30-13.50 Key note speech by Liesje Schreinemacher, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation about the need for and impact of integrated research in order to achieve the SDGs, and in particular about the need for better science-policy integration about the value of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in achieving the SDGs
13.50-15.30 Parallel sessions:
Environment–Society nexus Society–Food nexus Food–Environment nexus
13.55-14.10 Khaled Noby – Eco2 and the convivial approach Egypt (INREF) Bernard Moonga and Sijmen Schoustra - fermented foods (INREF) Gert Kema - Panama disease (INREF)
14.10-14.25 Cees Leeuwis (or PhD researcher) - EVOCA (malaria case or irrigation case) (INREF) Katrine Soma - Feeding the cities, Kibera Kenya (KB) Sipke Joost Hiemstra - CGN genetic diversity (KB)
14.25-14.35 Questions for clarification Questions for clarification Questions for clarification
14.35-14.50 Bertram de Rooij - NL2120 Dawit Alemu - BENEFIT Ethiopia Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga (or Bangladeshi speaker) - Delta under pressures (KB)
14.50-15.05 Erika Speelman - SESAM (INREF) World Food Programme – Impacts of WFP in Eastern Africa Otto Hospes or Maja Slingerland (or Indonesian speaker) - Suspense (INREF)
15.05-15.15 Questions for clarification Questions for clarification Questions for clarification
15.15-15.45 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
15.45-16.15 Moderated discussion Moderated discussion Moderated discussion
16.15-16.50 Panel discussion moderated by Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters. Suggestions on what inspired them today, what they would like to see more of, what WUR could do better/differently in order to improve the effectiveness of inter- and transdisciplinary research as means to achieve scientific and societal impact. Panellists:
Stephen Onakuse (Director Agrinatura)*
Guido Landheer (Deputy DG Agro; director of european, international and agro-economic affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) or Dirk Jan Koch (Chief Science Officer Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Development Cooperation)
Eveline Buter (Witteveen en Bos)
IUCN (to be confirmed)
Evi Vet (NJR Youth representative Food Security and Biodiversity)
16.50-17.00 Closing remarks by Guido Landheer (Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food, department EU and International Affairs) (tbc)
17.00-17.15 Closing remarks by Anita Hardon, Chair Knowledge Technology and Innovation Chair group at WUR
17.15 Closure by Jelle Maas
17.15-19.00 Drinks and bites

* Agrinatura is the European network of knowledge institutes who work on interdisciplinary agricultural research for development

June 14, Research exchange event

08.30-09.00 Registration
09.00-09.10 Opening and programme by Wouter Hendriks (Dean of research WUR). Programme by Chair of the day: Ivo Demmers (Director WUR KB Programme Food Security and Valuing Water).
09.10-10.10 Game changing solutions for global wicked problems we face: climate change and malnutrition, key note speech by Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda (Director of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), and co-chair of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) A convergence-by-design approach to integrative science, policy, investment and education for societal-scale SDGs solutions: Insights from food convergence innovation platforms ecosystems, by Prof. Laurette Dubé (Founding Chair of McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics)
10.10-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-12.00 Parallel sessions
10.30-11.30 Track 1a: Inter and transdisciplinary education Track 2a: Managing interdisciplinary research; how to organise integration at programme level? Track 3a: Methods and approaches
Moderator: tbc Moderator: Jan van der Lee Moderator: tbc
Karen Fortuin - Boundary crossing learning at WUR: embracing diversity in inter- and transdisciplinary research settings Maja Singerland - Lessons learned on managing interdisciplinarity at project and programme level (INREF) Erika Speelman - SESAM serious games (INREF)
To be confirmed – INREF experiences with inter- and transdisciplinary education Corinne Lamain (Centre for Unusual Collaborations) - Lessons learned on how to promote scientific excellence, interdisciplinary approaches, and unusual collaborations? Michiel van Dijk - Integrated assessment modelling at national and local scales to inform long-run SDG strategies (KB)
To be confirmed Jason-Levin Koopman - Interdisciplinary modelling for policy analysis at WUR Mariette McCampbell (or local PhD) - Responsible life-sciences innovations for development in the digital age: Environmental Virtual Observatories for Connective Action (EVOCA) (INREF)
11.30-12.15 Moderated discussion Moderated discussion Moderated discussion
12.15-13.15 Lunch
13.15-14.15 Track 1b: Balancing scientific excellence and societal impact Track 2b: Stakeholder engagement in inter- and trans-disciplinary research Track 3b: Integrating different types of knowledge
Moderator: Corinne Lamain Moderator: tbc Moderator: Fedes van Rijn
14.15-15.00 Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga - Deltas under pressure and interdisciplinary methods in food systems research (KB) Pieter van Oel - Diagnosing drought (INREF) Jeanne Nel – IPBES integration of indigenous knowledge and scientific approaches
Lorenzo Pastrana – Balancing high tech with societal relevance (TrustEat) Katherine Pittore - Food systems in feeding the cities and rural areas (KB), interdisciplinary experiences and managing stakeholder interests What are the boundaries of stakeholder engagement? Maria Groot - Opportunities of herbs for dairy health in India and the Netherlands
Sander van den Burg – Aquatic systems (KB) Marlene Roefs & Karin Andeweg - How to define the food system? Experiences from KB 35 and REfootures Valentina Materia & Sijmen Schoustra - Fermented foods (INREF) Integrating local knowledge on processing with scientific methods of food quality
15.00-15.30 Moderated discussion Moderated discussion Moderated discussion
15.30-16.30 Sharing of insights from parallel groups (1 presenter from each parallel session) and plenary discussion Short recap with key points from each parallel session followed by a discussion between researchers about how to improve the effectiveness of inter- and transdisciplinary research as means to achieve scientific and societal impact.
16.30-16.45 Closing remarks by Ivo Demmers
16.45 Drinks


There are no fees to participate in the event. Currently there are no grants available to facilitate physical participation in Wageningen; the online participation is the best alternative.


Seats for Wageningen Integration For Impact are limited. Please make sure you register in time. We will inform you a.s.a.p. if you request for physical participation is honored.

Participation in the Science-policy event on June 13 and/ or the Research exchange event on June 14 event is free of charge. Registration however, is needed. You can either participate online or physically in Wageningen.

Call for contributions [closed]

Policy makers, scientists, funders and researchers are invited to submit initiatives, lessons learned and possible strategies showcasing their experience(s) to present them for reflection at the event. Proposals for contributions to be discussed during the Science-policy event as well as the Researcher exchange event are welcome.

Science-policy event (June 13)

The focus of this event is showcasing successes of inter- and or transdisciplinary research projects and their contribution to the SDGs. The target audiences are policy makers (global, European, Dutch), scientists and funders of integrated research for development.

Researcher exchange event (June 14)

The learning and exchange event is oriented towards peer learning among researchers about how to do integrated research in the domain of the SDGs. There are opportunities for critical reflection, lessons learned and dialogue about what works and what we can do better.

The call for contributions is closed.

Background information

In 2021 INREF celebrated its 20th anniversary. To celebrate this and to discuss and reflect on lessons learned in the field of inter- and transdisciplinary research and education, the INREF board organise the Wageningen Integration For Impact event on June 13-14 2022.

As the KB programme Food Security and Valuing Water also started the preparations for an event we decided to join hands. What started as a singular effort has now grown into a WUR broad desire to bring together WU and WR expertise on doing high quality and socially relevant inter- and transdisciplinary research in the domains of the SDGs and food systems.

It’s quite timely that we want to take a step back and jointly reflect about this practice of doing inter- and transdisciplinary research. In 2022 several important summits will take place dealing with Food Systems, Climate, Biodiversity and Nutrition: