Establishment of Delta Knowledge Center: a boost for Zeeland's economy
Compensation funds for a broad partnership with Zeeland knowledge institutions
Contributing to Zeeland as a knowledge region in the fields of water, food, and energy: this is the aim of establishing the Delta Knowledge Center at the Kenniswerf in Vlissingen. In it, the Zeeland educational and knowledge institutions Scalda, HZ University of Applied Sciences and University College Roosevelt will collaborate with Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research, among others. The partnership is financially supported with over € 68 million from the government’s compensation package to strengthen the Zeeland economy and quality of life. In the next months, the plans will elaborated in more detail in the ‘quartermaster phase’.
Zeeland knowledge region
The participating educational and knowledge institutions, regional governments, ministries involved and the business community broadly support and are enthusiastic about the establishment of the Delta Knowledge Center. With this initiative they aim to bring about a positive effect on the socio-economic climate, the business climate and employment in the province.
Living and working in the Delta
The Knowledge Center will give substance to the social task: “Living and working in the Delta: climate adaptation through natural solutions”. The aim is to realise innovative solutions for a future-proof, safe and prosperous Delta. Solutions that are, of course, not only interesting for the Dutch delta, but can also be applied outside national borders. The knowledge center will be characterised by:
- A unique combination of research and education in the fields of water, food, and energy.
- The conviction that ‘the different knowledge areas (alpha, gamma, beta) have to be combined: biological, technical, chemical, ecological, socio-economic, legal, cultural and political-administrative.
- The integration of different types of research (from fundamental to practice-oriented) and its translation into question and problem-based education (MBO, HBO and WO).
Perspectives for young people
Zeeland as a knowledge region in the fields of water, food, and energy offers (career) perspectives for young people within and outside the region. For example, the establishment of the institute should increase the influx of (inter)national MBO, HBO and WO students into existing or new study programmes. With the arrival of the institute, it is expected, for example, that 200 additional (inter)national MBO and HBO students will join each year, who will study and live in Zeeland for two to four years.
Young talent will therefore be more inclined to continue living and working in Zeeland after their graduation. The province also wants to become more attractive to research university students. For example, students from Utrecht and Wageningen could graduate in Zeeland in living labs in which the business community also participates.
Employment and business climate
The Delta Knowledge Center will generate new jobs at the knowledge center itself and at the various research and educational institutions and (new) companies that are active in the collaboration. Higher educated people who are recruited can play an important role in Zeeland’s social life. It is estimated that the additional employment would increase to approximately 140 FTEs in 2032.
The headquarters, research lab facilities, the development-, test- and demo facilities and business development are located at the Kenniswerf in Vlissingen, where the Technum and Dockwize’s skills labs are also located. Activities will also take place in other parts of Zeeland, such as at the NIOZ in Yerseke, the Joint Research Center Zeeland in Middelburg and the Rusthoeve experimental farm in Colijnsplaat.
The total contribution to the Delta Knowledge Center from the compensation resources amounts to over € 68 million. This is almost half of the total required resources for the center in the start-up period. The other half is financed by the participating educational and knowledge institutions, the province of Zeeland and companies and NGOs.
Delta Knowledge Center ‘Founding Fathers’
Scalda, HZ University of Applied Sciences, University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research
The ‘founding fathers’ have expressed their administrative commitment to the plans. Before the center is actually established, a quartermaster phase of 3 to 6 months is needed, in which the plans will be elaborated. Collaboration is expressly sought with other – yet to be involved - partners: the government, Province of Zeeland, Campus Zeeland, Municipality of Vlissingen, NIOZ, Dockwize, Impuls Zeeland and the Economic Board Zeeland, the business community. The institute can be operational from 2021.
The Delta Knowledge Center’s activities develop upon the building blocks of Campus Zeeland: the Joint Research Center Zeeland, the Engineering Department of the UCR, the project ‘Samenwerking in de Groene Delta’ (Cooperation in the Green Delta) and the cooperation platform ‘Deltavraagstukken Vlaanderen-Nederland’ (Delta Issues Flanders-Netherlands).
The Ministries of Education, Culture & Science, Economic Affairs & Climate, Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Infrastructure & Water Management are involved.