"The commission highly valued the quality, enthusiasm, professionalism and working methods of Wageningen Plant Research", reads the report of the review committee from December 2017. Important challenges are related to continuity and consolidation. "We are standing firm in these changing times", says Managing Director Ernst van den Ende.
The committee believes that all Wageningen Plant Research employees can be proud to be part of this organisation. According to the committee, research and employees of Plant Research are actively contributing to "being the leader in plant science for a sustainable and healthy world".
Research with great impact
"Wageningen Plant Research has an excellent national and international reputation, plays a significant role in the knowledge chain and contributes to the Wageningen ‘brand’. There is a good relationship between the current needs of society and industry and political and public involvement. The strong interaction with the private sector greatly multiplies the impact.", says the report.
Assessment for quality, impact and viability
The review committee published its report, including the findings on the business units of Wageningen Plant Research, at the end of December 2017. In the coming months, a full implementation plan will be presented based on the findings and recommendations. All Business Units were assessed for the following: quality, impact and viability.
So what does Managing Director of Plant Sciences Ernst van den Ende think?
"It shows that we are standing firm in these changing times. We have seen many upheavals in the sector over the past 5 years, including the abolition of the commodity boards and changes in the direction of government policy, for example. Despite this, and thanks to the fantastic efforts and flexibility of our staff, we have been able to uphold and even improve the quality and impact of our results. This makes me so very proud."
There is also room for improvement, of course. Which points will be given priority?
“A review is like a full body scan; it picks out the weak points. We certainly face a few challenges in the area of human resources in the future. We must rejuvenate, work hard on balancing the age and gender distribution.”
"Another point we need to focus on is strengthening national and international collaboration both within and outside Wageningen. I believe that if we are to provide solutions to the major issues affecting society, such as food certainty and climate change, we must come together to develop expertise."
How does this report contribute to the future of research?
“This report serves as a sound basis (for us and the Ministry of Economic Affairs) for keeping the dialogue on the importance of applied science alive."