Driven, forging alliances and tirelessly talking about Wageningen UR and the Dutch agrifood sector. That is how Aalt Dijkhuizen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR, was characterised at his official farewell meeting on February 13, 2014 in Orion, Wageningen Campus.
‘The Netherlands are proud of Wageningen’
Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs , mentioned that under the inspiring leadership of Dijkhuizen, Wageningen UR became a truly innovative organisation that comes up with ‘Dutch solutions for global challenges’ and that educates students from all over the world. "The Netherlands are proud of Wageningen”, said Kamp. And he wasn’t the only one stating that. In a video message, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, also praised Aalt Dijkhuizen and Wageningen UR.
‘Aalt is the embodiment of the Golden Triangle’
“Who could have imagined, twelve years ago, that the Prime Minister would call Wageningen UR a shining example," commented Martin Kropff, rector of Wageningen University. "At that time agrifood was definitely not seen as a top sector in the Netherlands", Kropff recalled. How times have changed. The 'Golden Triangle' approach, in which entrepreneurs and researchers work together on innovations with support of the government, has been a successful formula in the agricultural sector for many years. Now, the top sector policy of the Dutch government has also based on that idea and the approach is even implemented internationally. "Aalt has contributed a lot to these developments", said Kropff. Minister Kamp even called Dijkhuizen "the embodiment of the Golden Triangle."
Clemens Cornielje, The King’s Commissioner in the province of Gelderland, announced at the farewell that Dijkhuizen was appointed Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau. He called Dijkhuizen "an example in all respects, for me personally and for others." He recalled a trip to China: "There too he forged new alliances and expanded his network while he talked incessantly about Wageningen UR."
Unique, global network
What Dijkhuizen’s many international contacts are worth became apparent the speech of Cees' t Hart, CEO of Holland’s biggest dairy company FrieslandCampina. Wageningen UR and FrieslandCampina recently set up a Sino - Dutch Dairy Development Centre in Beijing in collaboration with the China Agricultural University. This centre focuses on improving China's dairy chain. "This is an example were Aalt’s unique, global network came in handy", said ' t Hart.