Green light for Delta Climate Center in Vlissingen

Published on
February 16, 2023

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is one of six founders of the Delta Climate Center (DCC), which is to launch in Vlissingen mid-2023. A plan to this end was submitted to the House of Representatives, the Provincial Councils and the Vlissingen municipal council last week.

Research and Education

The DCC aims to achieve innovation and solutions with impact for a future-proof delta in Zeeland and elsewhere in the world. The DCC fosters collaboration between research, education, valorisation and business development in water, energy, food and bio-resources. A continuous learning tract for students at mid, higher and academic levels will be established. Moreover, the DCC stimulates business development and start-ups in the domain of water, food and energy. The Zeeland delta is DCC’s living lab.

Tammo Bult, Director of Wageningen Marine Research, is closely involved in the DCC’s founding on behalf of WUR. Tammo: "WUR has extensive expertise on deltas within various disciplines. Consider, for example, knowledge about marine food, saline cultivation and foraging and resting areas for marine and land animals. But also: circularity, effects of climate change and spatial planning. We welcome this step for the DCC, which will foster better collaboration, knowledge exchange and sharing for more sustainable and resilient deltas."

WUR is expected to appoint three professors charged with implementing the research agenda. Moreover, new opportunities for WUR students to work on interdisciplinary research projects in Zeeland, for example, as part of their master’s thesis, are expected to arise. WUR’s participation in the DCC also offers new opportunities to link fundamental and applied scientific research. The continuous education track connects academic education to mid-level and university college education.

Focus on marine research and education

"Long-term research and education in delta and coastal areas are of great importance for a safe and liveable future," says Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus of WUR. “The DCC is being founded in a year in which marine research and education take centre stage at WUR. Our 2023 Dies Natalis is themed around ‘Shaping Sustainable Marine Futures’. In addition to the already existing MSc in Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management, we will launch a new BSc in Marine Sciences this September. That course will enable students to focus on both natural and social sciences to gain a solid understanding of the marine system, with the emphasis on nature, food and society. We are therefore pleased with this future-proof and broad cooperation within de DCC."

Impact for Zeeland

The DCC is to be established on the Kenniswerf in Vlissingen and is expected to have a considerable impact on Zeeland: new jobs, an increase in the number of education programmes, increased numbers of students, improved knowledge infrastructure and a positive impact on the locational advantages. Research projects will be initiated and executed in close consultation with businesses, civic organisations and administrations in Zeeland.

The establishment of the DCC in Vlissingen is part of the compensatory measures the government has taken to recompense for the failure to establish a marine garrison in Vlissingen. The DCC will be launched in mid-May. In the coming months, a scientific director and a managing director will be appointed, housing will be realised, and plans for research and education will be fine-tuned.