With the push of a button, Barbara Oomen, Hendrik-Jan van Arenthals, Edward Nieuwenhuis, Marlon Baarends, Eric de Ruijsscher and deputy Harry van der Maas officially opened the Joint Research Center Zeeland on Thursday. The six represent education, government and entrepreneurs in Zeeland. These are exactly the groups that come together in the new research laboratory.
In the JRCZ, students and researchers from Scalda, HZ University of Applied Sciences and University College Roosevelt will work together with practitioners on issues surrounding water, energy, food and the biobased economy. These themes were featured in a video projection on the logo, which the six set in motion with their push of a button. Afterwards, students and researchers gave invited guests a sneak preview of what will soon be happening in the laboratory.
The JRCZ is unique in its kind. The building consists of laboratories for engineering, chemistry, ecology and a data lab, all equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. On each floor, there are so-called makerspaces where students meet with teachers and researchers. Here, they inspire and help each other solve complex, social issues around the themes of water, energy, food and the biobased economy. These are themes that fit the DNA of Zeeland and the South-West Delta.
The laboratory is located at Het Groene Woud in Middelburg, next to the branch of HZ University of Applied Sciences. In the research laboratory, students, teachers and researchers from University College Roosevelt (UCR), HZ and Scalda will work together. Companies and institutions from the region will contribute the bulk of the issues. As a result, the knowledge gained flows back into practice, but also contributes to the development of education.
The JRCZ helps make Zeeland's education and knowledge infrastructure future-proof. It is one of the projects resulting from the advice 'Zeeland in stroomversnelling'.
Construction of the laboratory took more than two years. The white, partly transparent building with the large staircase along the outside to the roof is a design by Rothuizen Architects and Advisors.