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Company Day offers a preview of the technology of the future

Published on
October 1, 2018

How will technologies such as block chain, CRISPR/Cas, and big-data processing change our future? Who is going use them? On 27 September, entrepreneurs, innovators and policy makers will converge on Wageningen Campus during Company Day: Future Perspective to hear about the latest developments in Wageningen and learn about how they will be implemented in society.

In its 100 years of existence, Wageningen University & Research has always worked closely with partners such as companies, organisations, and other universities. Knowledge sharing and collaboration has taken WUR a long way and given us a great deal. Specific applications of 100 years of research were presented today in the “WUR Impact portfolio”. During Company Day: Future Perspective, WUR would like to show its partners the portfolio and other applications, as well as highlight the latest developments in science. We will be presenting current and future possibilities related to six recent and relevant themes in research and innovation.

The participating startups, SMEs, larger businesses, and other stakeholders will be given an inspiring glimpse into the new technologies that WUR already has in house, as well as those WUR is working on for the future. Potential applications and impact will be discussed, which enables participants to develop their own idea about the potential for innovation in their own organisation.

Impact through innovation

At the plenary opening in Orion on Wageningen Campus, the guests were welcomed by Rens Buchwaldt, a member of the Executive Board. He took the audience on a journey through WUR’s history of innovation, from the “Wilhelmina grain” of 1900 to the revolutionary water purification techniques that are still in use today, and ended with the recent CRISPR/Cas developments. "The goal is to have an impact on society through innovation, not just here, but all across the world. I think we are achieving that goal."

The keynote speaker was Rudi Cartuyvels of IMEC, a global leader in nano-electronics and digital technologies. He says that the main challenge is "to provide everyone with a healthy life on the one planet we have." Nanotechnology can play an important role in that by measuring absorption of medicines, food, nutrient intake by plants, etc. However, collaboration is essential: "You need to merge the technological and professional expertise of companies and universities by physically bringing people together." He suggested the creation of a hub, under the working title “One Planet Gelderland Research Center”, in which WUR, Radboud University, and Radboud university medical center, collaborate with companies in the fields of agriculture, food, health, and nanotechnology.

Michiel Scheffer, provincial executive of the Province of Gelderland, added: "Initiatives like this One Planet Center are a challenge, because we don't have a fixed framework for them. We have to do that in order to create an ecosystem where everyone can be a part of a worldwide agenda."

Networking around six themes

The day is organised around six topics: Big DataBlock ChainClimate Smart and Circular Food ProductionCRISPR/CasPhotosynthesis and Precision Agriculture. Through an interactive programme on these themes, participants will get the opportunity to form a clear picture of innovative technology, to discuss it and really experience it. Scientists will also provide a general idea of the possibilities on the horizon. During the day, participants can expand and maintain their network of contacts with WUR and other stakeholders in the field of innovation, and plan for the future together.

Looking back on collaboration with WUR

On the occasion of its 100-year anniversary, WUR asked various partners to share their opinions on past communication and collaboration with WUR. They share their experiences in filmed testimonials.

Ruud Tijssens of Agrifirm is involved as a partner in the topic of “Climate Smart and Circular Food Production”.

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Lucas Noldus of Noldus Information is involved as a partner in the topic of “Big Data”.

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