More than 500 million people worldwide live in deltas like Zeeland. Their livability is under pressure from, among other things, rising sea levels and changing ecosystems. How do we create sustainable, climate-resistant and prosperous deltas? That is the question the Delta Climate Center (DCC) is going to address. Read more below about the plan.
After more than two years of preparation, the center will start in Vlissingen in mid-2023. The DCC has six partners. In addition to the HZ, they are Scalda, University College Roosevelt, NIOZ, Wageningen University & Research and Universiteit Utrecht. The center will start with a budget of 88 million euros, provided by the central government and the province of Zeeland.
Education and research
The DCC will work on education and research on water and energy management and on new forms of food supply. The DCC is developing a continuous learning line for students in secondary and higher education. There will also be new courses at HZ, as well as at UCR and Scalda. The HZ is further strengthening bachelor education in the fields of water, energy and food with new courses and minors. There are also plans for new master's programs around cross-cutting themes such as artificial intelligence, governance and law and sustainable transitions.
Research is also focusing on the themes of water, energy, food and bio-resources. This leads to the strengthening of existing HZ research groups and to new research groups within both Applied Research Centers.
The DCC also stimulates business development and startups dealing with water, food and energy. Zeeland's delta is the DCC's living lab: with various parties, we work together here to find solutions to climate and sustainability issues in deltas.
Barbara Oomen, as president of the HZ Executive Board, is very happy that the DCC is now really getting started. "As HZ, we have been involved from the very beginning in the DCC that will work on our core themes of water, energy and food in relation to vitality," she says. "The DCC forms a wonderful partnership in which we can contribute even more strongly to the transition to a sustainable delta, with all the knowledge needed to do so. The fact that partners such as Utrecht and Wageningen are coming to Vlissingen offers plenty of opportunities for our staff and students, for example in the area of PhD positions, research projects and challenging new education. This is therefore the time for the whole of HZ, not just TWE, to start building on the cooperation."
The DCC will be located at the Kenniswerf, but it sees Zeeland as a living lab. The expected impact for Zeeland is great: new jobs, expansion of the number of courses, an increase in the number of students, an improved knowledge infrastructure and a positive effect on the business climate. Research projects will be set up and implemented in close consultation with Zeeland's business community, civil society organizations and governments.
The establishment of the DCC is part of the national government's ‘Wind in de Zeilen’ compensation package for not realizing a Marine barracks in Vlissingen. It will start in mid-2023.
In the coming months, work will include the appointment of an academic director and business director, housing and the further elaboration of the plans for education and research. Working groups will be set up within the HZ for this purpose and an internal project leader will be appointed.
The plan is currently only available in Dutch. We’re working on an English version.