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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 issuesYet 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. 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.


The Assetmanagement chair conducts research into effective and efficient long-term management of the assets that determine the liveability and sustainability of the South-western Delta. The group brings together researchers, students, professionals from the field and policy makers. Asset management is about the management of business assets, usually in public space or as part of the infrastructure. Examples are bridges, roads, locks, traffic control centres, sewers and green spaces. StrategiesThe researchers develop strategies based on performance, costs and risks. With strategic asset management, they focus on the newest markets and technical developments, the management of assets with new techniques and innovative methods and smart and data driven asset management. The latter will become more important in the future. Themes such as circularity, extending the life span and climate adaptation are also becoming increasingly important within the research area. With their research, the researchers ensure that the region remains safe, sustainable, attractive and accessible. Another important task is to increase knowledge about asset management. The researchers do this both by teaching students and by providing courses and workshops. Regional partnersThe research group works together with partners in the region who manage the assets. These include major players such as Rijkswaterstaat, the province, Waterschap Scheldestromen, North Sea Port, the Zeeland municipalities and KIC/MPI. The chair shares knowledge with these partners so that asset managers in the South-western Delta can continue to develop.

Biobased construction

The research group Biobased Construction collects, develops, valorises and disseminates knowledge about the application of biobased materials in construction and civil engineering. It focuses on residential and non-residential construction, existing and new buildings, foundations, constructions, the finishing of facades, roofs and the interior and on civil applications in road and hydraulic engineering. The research group is part of the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoE BBE), a collaboration between the HZ and Avans. The researchers carry out practice-based research in cooperation with (international) companies, research institutions and students. Residual streams The research group focuses on building materials and systems that are produced from agro-residual flows available in the region. The focus is for example on building materials and composites from flax, hemp, bamboo and wood and insulation materials such as (flax) lime hemp, mycelium, reed and straw and weed. By examining bio-based building materials from Zeeland and Brabant companies in particular, sustainable networks can be created that offer opportunities for employment and start-ups. A good example of the practice-based research of this lectorate is the development of the knowledge database It has created this in cooperation with 40 companies and knowledge institutions from the Green Deal Biobased Construction. Through this knowledge bank, everyone - from the builder to the policymaker and client - can gather and share knowledge about the availability and application of bio-based materials, products and building concepts.

Building with Nature

Vooral delta’s zijn ontvankelijk voor fenomenen als klimaatverandering, zeespiegelstijging en natuurrampen. Daarom is kustverdediging belangrijk in deze gebieden. De ervaring heeft geleerd dat natuurlijke oplossingen veerkrachtiger zijn om verstoringen te weerstaan. Het lectoraat Building with Nature onderzoekt hoe je in de kustverdediging zo veel mogelijk gebruik kunt maken van de natuur, zodat ze naast veiligheid ook mogelijkheden biedt voor recreatie. Nederland heeft voor een groot deel een zandige kust van strand en duinen. Zo’n kust kan in stand blijven door het samenspel van zand, wind, golven en stroming. Een voorbeeld van een Building with Nature-benadering is het aanvullen van het tekort aan zand waarna het aan de natuur wordt overgelaten om de kust in stand te houden. Extra voordeel is dat je op het strand kunt recreëren. Naast zandige kusten heeft Nederland dijken. Voorbeelden van Building with Nature-oplossingen in dit soort gebieden zijn kunstmatige oesterriffen of het herstel van schorren waardoor de golfaanval op de dijk wordt verminderd. De onderzoeksgroep doet ook onderzoek naar het verhogen van natuurwaarden op de dijken zelf. De onderzoekers werken veel op locatie, in het veld of in het laboratorium.

Data Science

The Data Science chair carries out practice-based research into the creation of data products. It focuses particularly on products that are important in a delta area such as Zeeland, for example for coastal protection, safety, tourism, food, industry, energy and logistics. The lectorate works together with entrepreneurs, governments and other lectorates and knowledge centres so that data products can be combined with knowledge from these domains. With data products, users can take faster, more efficient, more effective and more accurate decisions. Disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, software engineering and machine learning come together in Data Science. Business understanding Every data product is based on a research process. In the first, crucial step (business understanding), the question is investigated. After that, raw data is collected and made suitable for the rest of the process. A possible next step is to visualise the data or communicate it in another way. The data can then be further modelled using machine learning. This includes various techniques such as clustering, predicting, classifying and detecting anomalies. Ultimately, this leads to a data product. Mischa Beckers is a lecturer in Data Science. He delivered his lectoral address on 16 November 2017: 'Do believe the hype'.

Delta Power

The research group "HZ Delta Power" investigates innovation in sustainable energy systems, particularly within the context of delta regions like the Dutch province Zeeland. Research includes topics like tidal energy, hydrogen in energy chains, sustainable heating, offshore wind power, offshore solar power and system integration of renewable energy in industry and harbors. The global energy transition and the fact that over 60 per cent of the global population lives in (over 400) delta regions makes this research area highly topical and drives our focus to co-develop relevant low carbon energy technology.

Excellence and Innovation in Education

The Excellence and Innovation in Education chair wants to maintain and further develop the quality of and connections in Zeeland education through practice-based research and new initiatives. The chair is a partner of all schools in the region. The importance of learning together in a learning culture is central to the chair. In addition, (distributed) leadership and the connection with the environment are important. "That connection concerns the continuous line from early and pre-school education and primary education to higher education, but also the connection between education, government and the professional field," says professor Patrick van Schaik. Regional knowledge centreHe believes that there is a joint responsibility for education and training in Zeeland. "As a lectureship, we will contribute to this through research. "The importance of education for a province like ours is enormous. As a university of applied sciences, we share responsibility for the education of children and young people with primary, secondary and vocational education. What happens elsewhere affects us and vice versa. If things don't go well in primary or secondary education, we will have a problem too. That is why, as a lecturer, we want to be a regional knowledge centre for educational innovations together with partners in education." Patrick van Schaik delivered his lectoral speech on 21 April: 'Towards a shared responsibility for education and training in Zeeland'.

Expertise and Valorisation Management (EVM)

Expertise and Valorisation Management (EVM) approaches complex social issues in a multidisciplinary manner. The social challenges we face, such as climate change, robotisation and limitations in economic growth are 'wicked' in nature: there is no single problem, let alone a single solution. The Expertise Management Methodology (EMM) provides a framework in which stakeholders from different backgrounds and with different, often opposing world views, search for solutions that have the broadest support. Using this methodology, knowledge gained from research is analysed and stored in a common place. Based on EMM, the social theory of a sustainable, learning society was developed. This social theory describes a process of bringing about reasoned, desirable and culturally feasible changes with a lasting impact. EMM and the social theory are described in the on-line book We Got to Move.

Coastal Tourism Knowledge Centre

HZ Coastal Tourism Knowledge Centre (KCKT) is the knowledge partner in the leisure domain in Zeeland. As part of HZ University of Applied Sciences, it has access to a rich knowledge network of research, policy and practice. KCKT answers questions from entrepreneurs, governments and social organisations through knowledge development and knowledge transfer. The goal is to stimulate sustainable innovation of the leisure domain in Zeeland. In addition, KCKT supports the government in making strategic choices that create a playing field for businesses. The researchers always take into account the common interest for the region and the balance between inhabitants, economy, nature and living environment. In answering the questions, the knowledge centre makes use of the domains of the HZ, varying from economy, care and welfare to ICT and area development. The practical case studies are in turn used in the HZ's courses. This creates optimal cross-fertilisation. Research and generating facts and figuresKCKT measures tourism and visualises the behaviour of guests. It conducts research into the wishes, needs and experiences of guests. It also studies the impact of tourism on the region, in economic and social terms. To do this, KCKT uses various research methods and utilises a wide variety of data, including big data. Translating and interpretingKCKT shares knowledge about the leisure domain in Zeeland. Thanks to research and knowledge of the region, it can interpret facts and figures. The knowledge centre shows connections, explains the figures and places them in perspective of current trends and expected developments. Guiding and connectingKCKT's knowledge is a building block that entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders can use to make choices. The knowledge centre is happy to assist in this selection process and brings parties into contact with each other so that developments can be achieved collectively.

HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

HZ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation conducts applied economic research supporting businesses in their path towards more societal value. Our cliens are SMEs, their (supply chain) partners, governmental organisations and educational partners.