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In striving towards a sustainable society, the transition towards a biobased economy has become irreversible; an economy where chemistry and materials from fossil fuels are replaced by sustainable alternatives. This produces attractive market opportunities, particularly for businesses in the North of the Netherlands. The opportunities to make a better and more efficient use of biomass are plentiful. There is a key role for the agro-food sector and the paper and cardboard industry, which process a substantial amount of the biomass. Traditionally, they are sectors in which the northern Dutch economy has always excelled. This region has an enormous value potential for high-grade applications of industrial residual flows and byflows. The objective is to benefit in full from the value of vegetable raw materials and to close the mineral cycles.
In the North of the Netherlands there have been significant investments in the biobased economy for some time. The region recognizes the urgency of industrial cooperation in development and implementation - from joint knowledge development and technology use to obtain more value from biomass. One such example is the Dutch Biorefinery Cluster (DBC), an alliance between agricultural cooperatives (Cosun, FrieslandCampina and AVEBE), Productschap Akkerbouw (Arable Farming Product Board), Courage, the Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Papierfabrieken (Royal Netherlands Association of Paper Factories) and NOM. This joining of forces is to lead to new technologies that turn residual products into raw materials for other products.
Region with unparalleled market opportunities
Or take SOLANIC, a subsidiary of AVEBE, that uses new technologies for extracting high-performance proteins for the food and pharmaceutical industry. Another important challenge lies in creating a partnership between agro-industries and companies from the chemical world. Such alliances could deal with separating proteins from the vegetable water of plants, which are then used for low-energy production processes. That is just one example. There is also work in progress around new applications of biopolymers and making the chemical industry greener, which includes studying other raw materials and new synthesis routes. The North of the Netherlands offers many different market opportunities that could provide an impetus to actually realizing a green economy.
For more information please contact Wim A,B.: email@example.com or +31 (0)6 27 08 71 72.
Food technology is of vital importance to the Northern Netherlands. It forms an important pillar of the regional economy. With its abundant arable farming, the region has always been a major producer of raw products for the food industry and aquaculture. The sharp focus on innovation is another attractive aspect.
The products include sugar beets, potatoes, milk (and all of its derivative products) and grains. This makes the Northern Netherlands exceptionally attractive to companies with activities based on the ingredients produced by agro-processors. The sharp focus on innovation is another attractive aspect. The conditions to enhance the innovative strength of the Agro-Food industry are constantly being created.
Fundamental and applied research
The food sector in the Northern Netherlands is related in many ways to relevant knowledge and research centers, where top quality fundamental and applied research is carried out. There is also plenty of knowledge that can be used to improve opportunities in the chain from consumer to production and vice versa. A good case in point is the Carbohydrate Competence Center, a consortium of knowledge institutions and businesses setting out to generate, develop and share knowledge in the carbohydrates area. The purpose of this is to promote innovation and to contribute to a healthy and sustainable society. Or take Food Circle and Food Future, projects more specifically for the SME sector and also intended to encourage innovation. The Northern Netherlands therefore has a strong network culture and numerous experimentation options for customer-based product development. And then of course there is Wetsus, centre of excellence for sustainable water technology. Wetsus is facilitating intermediary for trend-setting know-how development. The inspiring and multidisciplinary collaboration between companies and research institutes in Wetsus results in innovations that contribute significantly to the solution of the global water problems.
The region aspires to becoming a world leader in the area of healthy ageing: getting older healthily and actively. For that reason University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Groningen University and the northern universities of applied sciences are acting in close cooperation with the business community and public authorities to the generation of fundamental new knowledge and application options in that area. About our food pattern, for example. This manifestly creates inspiration and opportunities for the development of new food products.
Agro and Food-related companies
Cosun, FrieslandCampina, AVEBE, DOMO, Lypack, Hellema, Van der Meulen Meesterbakkers, Steensma Food Ingredients, DOC Kaas, Agrifirm, Royal Smilde foods, Frysian Egg, Koopmans Meelfabrieken
Knowledge and other relevant institutes
Groningen University, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, UMCG, Van Hall Larenstein (division of Wageningen University), Dairy Campus, Dutch Drying Institute, Wetsus
For more information please contact Joep de Vries: firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)6 25 39 26 71