Akira Amari, the Japanese Minister in charge of ‘Economic Revitalization’, visited Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) on 5 September. He came to learn about how collaboration between companies, knowledge institutes and governments can stimulate economic growth and new innovations in the Dutch agrifood sector.
Food Valley – researchers, entrepreneurs, governments
The 15-member delegation showed a keen interest in the Food Valley concept. Wageningen UR develops knowledge and innovations in collaboration with food companies, many of which are being set up in the vicinity of the knowledge institutes. This is being further stimulated by government policies. Their physical proximity to the university gives the companies easy access to excellent knowledge and well-trained staff. Good access to the labour market is also inspiring many young people to pursue their studies in Wageningen.
Unifarm and Restaurant of the Future
Greenhouse production and food research were two topics of particular interest to the Japanese delegation. They visited the Unifarm research site, where Manager Dolf Straathof updated them on the latest developments in Dutch greenhouse production. The delegation was then given a tour of the Restaurant of the Future. Managing Director Marchel Gorselink explained the food research conducted by Wageningen UR. The delegation dined at the restaurant before travelling on to The Hague to meet with three Dutch ministers: Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Minister for Finance and Wageningen alumnus), Lodewijk Asscher (Social Affairs and Employment) and Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs).