dr.ir. MJ (Marko) Appel

dr.ir. MJ (Marko) Appel

DLO Onderzoeker

I work in the Agro-chains group at Wageningen Food Safety Research as a Business Developer and senior project manager.

After my MSc in Environmental Hygiene in Wageningen in the eighties, I received my PhD in Utrecht in the field of toxicology in 1995. Subsequently, I worked as a toxicologist, study director, project manager and consultant at TNO, Royal HaskoningDHV and Triskelion. I have experience in the food, chemical and pharma markets. In 2019 I joined WFSR.

I am impressed and intrigued by the high level and diversity of knowledge and expertise within Wageningen University and Research. This abundance really offers opportunities! I noticed that sometimes the urgent research questions are approached by the different Research Institutes independently and in parallel, which underpins the need for the OneWUR approach. One WUR organization with this much scientific power can really make a difference and even more so if we join forces! I decided to make it my personal mission in my work at WFSR to find, connect and combine WUR-wide expertise with industrial partners to fuel exciting projects that will contribute to sustainable solutions, especially related to food safety issues.

Food safety is generally regarded as a must have for existing and new food products. However, food safety research is not automatically included in (for example) research into alternative proteins or innovative foods. The OneWUR approach will offer the opportunity to integrate the value of food safety in the research on circular agriculture, protein transition and other sustainable solutions in the food system.

In my daily job, I work on the acquisition of co-funded projects and on forming Public Private Partnerships. Apart from trying to build strong consortia with motivated industrial partners, I also strive to form strong collaborations among the Wageningen Research Institutes. Both are equally important in these PPPs. Working with the experts and business developers of Wageningen Research is very rewarding. Recently, we worked on projects on food and feed safety of residual streams for animal feed and on culture of insects on legally prohibited residual streams for safe feed and food production. My focus is also on the the WUR-wide approach for safe food from agriculture at sea (especially seaweed).

I am convinced that our joint efforts are crucial for the Dutch objective to switch to circular agriculture by 2030. No further depletion of the soil, preservation of biodiversity and storage of carbon and nitrogen must go hand in hand with a good and safe food supply.