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HZ Nexus

Water Technology

Among other things, the Water Technology research group investigates how water can be used or reused as efficiently as possible so that scarce fresh water can be used (also) as drinking water. A delta area such as Zeeland has hardly any area-specific fresh water. It often comes from other areas. However, many companies, for example in agriculture and the chemical industry, need a lot of fresh water for their processes. For livability in delta areas, water supply, water purification and resource recovery are therefore important issues. These challenges require special techniques for reusing and purifying water. The Water Technology research group deals with this and focuses on desalination techniques, reuse of water flows and the application of systems that monitor and regulate water quality and quantity.

Supply Chain Innovation

The Supply Chain Innovation research group at HZ University of Applied Sciences is working with businesses and governments in the region to investigate how innovations can make logistics chains in Zeeland more efficient, responsive, sustainable and competitive. Researchers analyze the opportunities and impact of new technologies, the added value and conditions for successful cooperation in chains and the characteristics of new business models when new concepts are introduced. Because logistics is a "global playing field," the research group collaborates with universities and colleges in the Netherlands and abroad and examines the position of Zeeland's logistics companies within the context of international supply chains. The research group works closely with Zeeland's innovation platforms Zeeland Connect and Food Delta Zeeland. Four themes The themes on which it conducts research are: - Logistics flows and connections: The Zeeland economy and especially the port can only remain competitive if the connections to the hinterland are good and reliable. We examine how companies can work together to strengthen hinterland connections. - Zero Emission Logistics: For logistics, the ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement means a transition to clean energy carriers. The transition process to those goals is also complex for logistics service providers. The professorship conducts research into logistics innovations to implement zero emission, the investment decisions for companies and the required loading and fueling infrastructure in Zeeland. - Digitalization and robotization: This will make companies more responsive and less sensitive to labor availability. The group is investigating how companies can record and process data and information automatically and robotize processes. - Autonomous transport: In the coming years, 'connected' vehicles, such as 'truck platooning', will first be introduced on a large scale in the Netherlands before taking steps towards the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles. Autonomous ships are also making their appearance. Supply Chain Innovation is investigating how to deploy this technology and what adjustments are needed to do so. It is happy to make the developed knowledge available to companies in the region.

Resilient Deltas

The Resilient Deltas research group conducts applied research on how to design a delta region as safe as possible and how to use the power of society, government and business to create a vital, resilient delta. Resilient Deltas examines the relationship between land use, social capital, economy and the vital infrastructure of delta areas. It also examines the governance of water safety and area development processes to provide an integrated picture. Based on this insight, the research group seeks a dynamic balance that allows society in delta areas to develop resiliently, vitally and safely. The research group works together with parties such as Veiligheidsregio Zeeland, the province, Rijkswaterstaat Zee & Delta and municipalities.

Elderly Care

The research group Elderly Care conducts research into innovations in elderly care based on issues from practice. "Innovations with which we can ultimately improve the quality of life of the elderly," says Gerda Andringa, Lecturer. According to her, innovating in elder care is necessary for the quality of elder care in the province, because of the ageing of the population, sharp increases in the cost of care and shortages on the labour market. Moreover, elder care has an image problem. In Zeeland, the quality of care is still high, but there are concerns about the ageing population and young people moving away. Gerda Andringa is a lecturer in elder care. She delivered her inaugural address on Wednesday, Nov. 16: 'Leren met lef: naar een toekomstbestendige ouderenzorg'.

Marine Biobased Specialities

The Marine Biobased Chemistry research group aims to apply marine biomass and the substances you can extract from it sustainably in the transition to a biocircular economy. Established in 2017, the lectureship has the Joint Research Center Zeeland (JRCZ) in Middelburg as its home base. The research group is firmly anchored in the Southwest Delta and Zeeland in particular. "With our research we want to contribute to sustainability, knowledge development and innovation capacity in the region. We focus on the transition of the food chain and biobased applications," said associate lector Tanja Moerdijk. Low-trophic biomass Marine Biobased Chemistry innovates around low-trophic biomass, such as (micro)algae and seaweed, valuable food production and biobased applications. "Seaweed is a sustainable source of protein, but is still relatively little applied. We are good at researching taste, which is very specific, smell and texture of this biomass. That knowledge is important if you want to process the products and make them part of the food chain. In fact, consumers are not yet convinced of the value of marine biomass. Our research plays a big role in this." Biobased applications If seaweed becomes more established, Europe will become less dependent on imports of protein-rich crops such as soy. Marine Biobased Chemistry is helping to shape the protein transition in the Southwest Delta, putting the region in the national and international spotlight. A third focus of the professorship is the use of marine biomass as feedstock for biobased applications. The lectureship works closely with industry and other knowledge institutions. Within the HZ, there is a strong link with the Chemistry program. "As a lectureship, we feed the course with relevant case histories, but we also try to teach students entrepreneurial skills, for example." The research group is part of MNEXT, a collaboration between HZ University of Applied Sciences and Avans.

Healthy Region

The Healthy Region research group investigates the relationship between healthy behavior of citizens and tourists in relation to environmental factors in Zeeland. As part of HZ University of Applied Sciences, the research group has a core team of several researchers, surrounded by lecturer-researchers from the various programs that participate in the research and education of the professorship. In addition to research, it works as a knowledge partner in devising innovative solutions around health. Examples include projects that deal with health tourism, stimulating healthy behavior at elementary school, optimizing home care, stimulating the participation of vulnerable families in neighborhood-oriented health promotion and developing innovative products to help people with dementia exercise more. With this knowledge, they also promote health among employers and explain how they can contribute to the health of their employees so that they feel vital and happy, leading to less absenteeism and better performance at work. Develop and share Healty Region develops and shares knowledge about health promotion, healthy lifestyle and everything around it. The goal is to stimulate healthy behavior that improves the health and quality of life of residents and tourists in Zeeland. It cooperates intensively with education, government, healthcare providers, researchers, entrepreneurs and users. Regionally, nationally and internationally. The goal is to put Zeeland on the map as a healthy region and to have facilities and services developed in such a way that the healthy choice is the easy choice. The researchers see health as a positive concept. It is about looking at opportunities and ensuring that people remain in control of their own lives: good health on a social, mental and physical level. More active and independent It's about getting enough exercise, eating healthy and sleeping well. At home and at work. About finding the balance between stress and relaxation and about the influence of your living environment. All these factors contribute to a healthier, more active and independent life for Zeeland residents and tourists with less urgency of care and resources. This keeps Zeeland attractive for residents, tourists and businesses. Lector Olaf Timmermans delivered his inaugural speech 'Crossing over to a healthy region' on 11 June 2015.

Aquaculture in Delta Areas

The Aquaculture in Delta Areas lectureship supports entrepreneurs in the aquaculture sector by investigating their knowledge questions in a practice-oriented way. The demand for seafood is rising on a worldwide scale. The world’s population is increasing and more people are now eating fish and seafood because it’s healthy. However, in contrast, the supply of fish, shellfish and crustaceans from wild fisheries has stagnated. We are now in need of more controlled production methods, or rather aquaculture, in order to satisfy the increasing demand for seafood. The province of Zeeland boasts a long tradition where salty aquaculture is concerned. The province is located in a delta area and the salt water is readily available; a perfect location for the sustainable farming of fish, as well as shellfish and crustaceans. Many Zeeland entrepreneurs are leading the way in the growing of algae, seaweed, worms, lobster and fish. Innovation challenges Yet aquaculture is still very much in its infancy when you compare it to agriculture. Entrepreneurs in aquaculture have run into plenty of knowledge issues and innovation challenges. Including, for example, how to optimise their production, what the possibilities are for growing new species, or which techniques would be better. Support The Aquaculture in Delta Areas research group supports these entrepreneurs by researching some of the practical questions and issues. They often do this together with other knowledge institutes and consultancies. Lecturers, teacher researchers, project employees and students all work together with professional representatives in various different projects. The research is conducted on location, in the field or in the specially designed SEA lab. In addition to conducting the research, the research group also organises aquaculture training and courses.

HZ Center for Community Research Zeeland

HZ Center for Community Research Zeeland conducts research on social and, if required, economic issues in Zeeland. The researchers thus recognise, describe and analyse trends and developments in Zeeland. With this knowledge and deepening, the knowledge centre wants to contribute to the quality of life in Zeeland. By monitoring and researching what residents think, experience and do, by actively involving residents in thinking about the research topics, informing them and letting them discuss the results, the centre challenges residents to look further. In doing so, it also stimulates their involvement in society. Describe, compare and explain Researchers do more than just provide data. The data are a means to answer the research questions. "We describe, compare, explain and place data within the context of Zeeland. In doing so, we are mindful of regional and national developments and findings from other research." The researchers are experts in their field, operate independently, are reliable and cooperate as much as possible, on the one hand with the people who are the subject of the research and on the other with organisations and institutions that contribute to knowledge optimisation and sharing this knowledge in Zeeland. Research function The centre works primarily on behalf of the province, which bases part of its policies on the data coming from the centre. Organisations, institutions and companies can also contact them when they have questions. The research function of the province was previously housed at ZB. Since 30 June 2021, it has been under the banner of HZ. More information can be found at

HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation researches issues surrounding sustainable innovations and entrepreneurship on behalf of SMEs, interest groups, governments, residents and education. The centre helps these target groups find answers to socio-social challenges. These challenges come in all shapes and forms an can be conflicting in some cases, due to different interests. "We provide insight, create new perspectives and realise projects," coordinator Ageeth van Maldegem says. The centre focuses on improved customer insights, always aims to make an impact with its research and focuses on knowledge that allows you to develop product and business models. Behaviour of organisations The researchers have a good picture of the behaviour of organisations and know what does and does not work when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. The centre summarises its findings in clear reports for and about entrepreneurs. The knowledge gained is easy to deploy and is used, for example, in the business network and incubator Dockwize. Whenever possible, the researchers work together with students. Deep customer insight Researcher and manager Ageeth van Maldegem holds a PhD from Cranfield University in the UK. She studied how organisations in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) create and use deep customer insight in innovation projects. The results of the doctoral research are reflected in concrete manuals and applied in study programmes at HZ. The research can be read here.