HZ University of Applied Sciences and Dow Benelux have extended their collaboration until 2029. HZ Board Chair Barbara Oomen and Tabita Verburg, Area President of Dow, signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday.

The collaboration is of great importance to both parties, emphasized Oomen and Verburg during the signing. HZ seeks authentic cases from the field to enrich education. The research groups, in collaboration with companies like Dow, conduct research into urgent societal issues in the region. At the same time, this partnership offers Dow the opportunity to attract talented (international) students and involve them in projects and research.

Sustainability Goals

The Zeeland knowledge institution and the company in Terneuzen have been working together since 2019. This has led to a multitude of research and education projects in the areas of water management and technology (e.g., freshwater availability), chemistry (in the context of Dow's sustainability goals), developments around (green) hydrogen, and projects in logistics, leadership, and culture.

HZ students from various programs can also do internships at the company. Often, this later leads to a job offer. In recent years, 46 HZ alumni have started working at Dow. Dow employees regularly give guest lectures at HZ and are involved in graduation projects. "At HZ, our education and research start with questions from the field," Oomen explains. "That practice-based education requires structural collaborations, like our relationship with Dow.

Countless student internships and collaboration projects have resulted from this, leading to great jobs for many students. We also share the goal of working towards a more sustainable Zeeland. Dow can make a significant contribution to this, and our students and colleagues work from that ambition. It is wonderful to continue with this."

A Great Added Value

In the coming years, the parties want to work on projects around the use of hydrogen in the energy transition, making logistics activities and fuels more sustainable, digitization, and the possibilities of artificial intelligence. "Collaborating with educational institutions like HZ is very important for Dow. In the Netherlands, we have several partnerships with colleges and universities. Involving talented students adds great value to our projects and research," says Verburg. "Moreover, this allows Dow to continue to profile itself as one of the largest employers in the region to the workforce of the future. For students, it is a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience at Dow and contribute to our sustainability goals."

She speaks from experience, as Verburg first became acquainted with Dow as an intern. "I am extremely proud of our collaboration and all the talent we have recruited from HZ."