Zeeland will receive 8.7 million euros over the next four years for innovation cooperation. The money comes from the Nationaal Groeifonds and is intended to scale up partnerships between education, research, business and government. In the province, this is done through the New Waves project. We focus on collaborations in the themes of water, energy and food.

The consortium consists of Dockwize, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Delta Platform, Scalda, World Class Maintenance, Fieldlab Zephyros, FoodDelta Zeeland, Impuls Zeeland and Platform Energy Port Zeeland.

The New Waves project was applied for by innovation hub Dockwize, the HZ, Scalda, World Class Maintenance, Food Delta Zeeland and Impuls Zeeland. In addition, dozens of partners are involved from the business and social domains. Marlon Baarends (director at Dockwize) emphasizes that new ways of cooperation between education, entrepreneurs and government are essential to find solutions to the challenges in the areas of water, energy and food. "With this project we can expand existing labs in Zeeland, attract new startups and set up innovative projects. A wonderful opportunity for Zeeland."

Joining forces

In Zeeland, we face specific challenges, such as rising sea levels, soil salinization and limited freshwater availability. Several public-private partnerships have been established to address these challenges. In New Waves forces have been combined to increase the impact, provide companies with more opportunities to work on the transitions and, from an educational perspective, respond better to the developments. This is essential because the issues are urgent and the need for qualified personnel is great. Barbara Oomen, chairwoman of the Executive Board, is also very pleased. "The best education and the most valuable research comes about together with practice. New Waves helps to give this cooperation a huge boost, for example in the Joint Research Center Zeeland."

Launch in September

New Waves starts in September and lasts at least four years. After that there is the possibility to apply for a follow-up of two years. The allocated 8.7 million euros will be used to strengthen and scale up public-private partnerships and investments in development, test and demo sites, such as KAAP or a new food innovation center being developed at the Kenniswerf in Vlissingen. There are also investments in living labs such as Living Lab Schouwen-Duivenland and funds for talent development activities, lifelong development and for innovation projects with the business community.

Nationwide, the cabinet has allocated 123 million euros for this type of public-private partnerships.