The Wageningen Potato Centre (WPC) will celebrate its first lustrum this week. Initiated by Wageningen UR, the WPC is a platform that makes science and applied research accessible for the industry in the potato sector. The Wageningen based potato research is getting a podium, and the first 30 associated partners, all of them businesses from across the whole spectrum of the potato sector, are at the cutting edge when it comes to the newest developments in potatoes. Ideas of the associated partners also get the researchers’ attention. This creates two-way information exchange, which was one of the goals of the WPC from the beginning.
Unlocking knowledge for associated partners
The WPC organises four yearly expert meetings. These meetings are exclusively accessible to associated partners. During these meetings, two speakers are invited, usually scientists or researchers. Occasionally, a speaker from the industry is invited. This way, a wide range of actual affairs in the potato sector are raised and discussed. The newsletter Dynamisch (dynamic) is also published six times a year. It contains all kinds of facts about research in the potato sector, but also short reports of meetings. Finally, the partners of the WPC are offered the unique possibility of unlimited access to the profound information from the library of Wageningen UR.
Aardappeldemodag (potato demo day)
The idea to found a potato knowledge centre like the WPC was initiated five years ago by the partners themselves. This was a result of the partner companies participating in the Aardappeldemodag. There was a necessity for more knowledge and a deepening of it. Upon inquiry, it turned out a WPC had already been founded in the past by Anton Haverkort and several colleagues, but this WPC was no longer active. Anton was very pleased to hear that Thie Arend Brouwer and Marcel Tramper wanted to revive the WPC.
In the next five years, the WPC will focus on expanding the number of partners. There has also been international interest in the WPC concept. The first collaboration with Belgium has already been realised. Three Belgian research institutes have already joined the WPC.