Company Day: Future Perspective


Company Day: Future Perspective

The Company Day offers an opportunity to familiarise yourself with six highly current topics and provides an inspirational outlook on novel technologies and their possible applications and impact.

Organisator Wageningen University & Research, Shared Research Facilities

do 27 september 2018

Locatie Orion, building number 103
Bronland 1
6708 WH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 48 87 77

The programme offers start-ups, SMEs, larger companies, policymakers and other stakeholders an exceptional chance to explore and strengthen contacts with WUR and other innovation stakeholders. The themes Big Data, Blockchain, Climate, Smart Circular Economy, CRISPR-CAS, Photosynthesis and Precision Farming are all explained. You will get a feel of what these themes can do for your innovation agenda through.

09.00 - 09.45 Registration
09.45 - 10.40 Plenary inspirational opening: Louise O. Fresco and a special guest
10.40 - 11.05 Relocation around Wagenignen Campus
11.05 - 12.20 1st round of theme sessions
12.20 - 12.35 Relocation towards Orion
12.35 - 13.20 Lunch
13.20 - 13.45 Relocation around Wageningen Campus
13.45 - 15.00 2nd round of theme sessions
15.00 - 15.30 Relocation around Wageningen Campus
15.30 - 16.45 3rd round of theme sessions
16.45 - 17.00 Relocation towards Orion
17.00 - 19.00 Inspirational closing and drinks

*This is the overall programme. Further details on the theme sessions will be announced in July 2018.

Company Day Topics

Precision Agriculture

(Experts: Henk Janssen en Corné Kempenaar)

Precision Agriculture is a means to reduce costs and improve productivity on farms by doing the right thing in the right amount at the right time and place. Digitalizing of agriculture supports the development of precision agriculture in the supply of key technologies e.g. satellite navigation systems, earth observation, sensors, robotics, data collection and (big) data science.

Precision Agriculture is also seen as a means to achieve environmental and societal goals. Our expertise on production systems, production techniques, soil, water, climate, ecosystems and geospatial and data technologies can be applied to improve resource efficiency, food security and safety, and to reduce the environmental footprint, energy use and emissions of farming. Food chains will become more transparent and climate smart with precision agriculture.

It is probably right to state that precision agriculture will shape to a large extent the future of agriculture. Get inspired by the future perspectives of precision agriculture.


Experts: Lan Ge (Blockchain, Business models and Governance), Jan Top (Data Science)

Cooperation, efficiency, transparency and trust are becoming increasingly important for agrifood chains. The information flows generated by companies in agrifood chains are crucial for the functioning of these chains and for consumer trust. One of the major problems for many parties in agrifood chains is  to obtain ann share reliable and relevant information with proven quality. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) carries out research on how to optimally use data and models with suitable information technologies for supporting decision making and the automation of business processes.

A technology that can deliver part of the solution is the blockchain. Blockchain was first known as the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and has since reached a hype status on its own due to the many promises it holds. It is expected that blockchain can fundamentally change the way we organise financial and other transactions by establishing a shared layer of ‘truth’ and as such remove the need for intermediary parties (or ‘trusted third parties’). Essentially a distributed database secured by cryptographic algorithms, blockchain supports a robust information system that removes the risk of ‘single point of failure’ and ensures the integrity of information. 

Within the agrifood domain, blockchain combined with the right data standards, good sensors and smart software can lead to more chain transparency, trust, collaboration and efficiency. For example, information about the origin and quality of food products can be shared between different parties in the chain in a more efficient and reliable way without resorting to numerous intermediaries.

Within the blockchain theme, after a short introduction, interactive sessions will take place. One can opt for 'getting to know the technology', 'opportunities with technology' and 'experiences with technology'. Be inspired by the possibilities of these technologies within your organization and work field. What will the future look like?


(Experts: René Klein Lankhorst, Mark Aarts)

Crop yields will need to double to provide global food security and sufficient feedstock to fuel the bio-economy. This requires a new green revolution, a revolution which will be made possible by re-designing the engine of biological productivity –photosynthesis.

Compared to several wild plant species, crop photosynthesis is not impressive: crops on average use only 1% of the received solar energy. However, models predict that photosynthesis of crops could be up to five times more efficient. By increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis, we can dramatically boost agricultural output and indeed reach the required double yield. Next to sufficient food, this will allow us to produce enough biomass to replace our fossil economy by a bio-economy and provide a significant contribution to re-capture CO2 from the atmosphere, rather than adding more.

Get inspired by the opportunities of this next green revolution.

Climate Smart

(Experts: Ruud Duijghuisen, Saskia Visser)

What are the perspectives for a company to play a role in a climate smart, circular food production system? How do you ensure that the footprint of your company is as small as possible, that you use the produced biomass efficiently and that you make all nutrients and residual available again for production.

These questions will be addressed to show how knowledge and practice work together to realize the transition to a climate smart, circular food & feed production system. You will learn what innovations companies have set in motion and explore what more we can realize together to tackle the challenges for the sector and society. You can discuss the possibilities to optimize soil health, the possibilities to increase food production and at the same time reduce the food footprint and the role of animal production in a climate smart circular production system. Get surprised by the possibilities manure offers in this circular system and the role of alternative forms of protein production and the future of the Dutch landscape in a circular food production system.

Get inspired by the future perspectives of new climate smart, circular food production systems.


(Expert: Raymond Staals)

In just 10 years after its discovery as a defence system against viruses in bacteria, CRISPR-Cas has taken the world by storm. The ability of CRISPR-Cas to target and change DNA sequences with unprecedented precision, has completely revolutionized the possibilities of genetic modification in science, medicine  and (bio)technology. As such, this new technology has greatly impacted the precision, speed, ease, but also the price by which genetic material can be altered. No matter whether it’s used to generate new genetically modified model organisms in the lab, curing (human) disease or generating new industrially-relevant production organisms: CRISPR-Cas appears to be the method of choice.

Traditionally, Wageningen has fulfilled a pioneering role in discovering and characterizing new CRISPR-Cas systems and to rapidly adapt these for novel applications in science, industry and medicine, thereby showcasing the potential of how fundamental research can rapidly be translated to new, ground-breaking applications.

Get inspired by the technology and the possible future applications of CRISPR-Cas for your organisation.

Big Data

(Experts: Sander Janssen, Willem Jan Knibbe)

Big data has a significant impact on many aspects of doing business, also in the food and agricultural domain. Big Data does not only concern the amount of data, but is also about the speed of data processing, the value of data analysis and governance of data sharing. Wageningen University & Research is exploring many different aspects of Big Data across its domains of food, agriculture, environment and marine, also linked to the newly established Wageningen Data Competence Centre (WDCC).

Across domains there are challenges in Big Data on respecting privacy and ensuring security, sharing data across players in the value chain and appealing business models, progress in analytics and machine learning.

Get inspired by the state of the art applications of Big Data in the life science domains and discuss these exciting future perspectives with peers from business and science.

Not an entrepreneur / innovator, but curious about the developments at Wageningen Campus? Two weeks later, on the weekend of 6 and 7 October, the Campus Safari will take place for a wider audience.