Joep de Vries 'Food transition is global puzzle we put together'

Joep de Vries 'Food transition is a global puzzle that we put together'

If we want to contribute from the Northern Netherlands to the food transition going on worldwide, two points are important: 1) What do we have to offer in health, food and agribusiness? And 2) What do the companies here need to continue innovating? By showing what we have to offer as well as what challenges remain, we connect with parties who have other valuable pieces of the puzzle. This will bring us closer to the New Solutions we are all looking for.

To promote investment in the Northern Netherlands, one of NOM's core tasks is to acquire and guide new and existing - foreign - investors. A responsibility of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) department that starts close to home. After all, why do companies come to the northern Netherlands? Because they want to tap into what is happening here if they see opportunities for further development! This blog is therefore an appeal to companies in our region to show what knowledge we already have here, but more importantly, what challenges exist. What is still needed to change the direction of existing knowledge, ideas and opportunities in an open innovation process? Therein lies the attraction for new parties.

Thinking and acting differently

Innovation is not just about new products and services. By thinking differently and approaching processes differently or smarter, we are on our way to New Solutions to break through the current stuck systems. Crucial to achieving a global food transition is cohesion: finding each other from different perspectives. Therefore, at NOM we encourage business development that contributes to the food transition in relation to three important Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) around food, climate and health. While at the same time, we are establishing lines of communication with parties who want to come to the Northern Netherlands through our FDI program, because here they find good starting points for achieving those same sustainable goals.

Part of the puzzle

Strengthen each other. Crossovers between sectors. Open innovation between parties that you would not initially look for together, but where surprising openings arise. That is what we strive for and that is why it is so important to make connections between the various cooperation partners and activities of NOM. With the companies as the pivot. Because from startups and SMEs to multinationals: the companies are connected to the market and form an essential part of the puzzle, for example by maximizing the value of raw materials. In this way we as a region can contribute concretely to a circular economy where food, climate and health are important benchmarks.

NOM as a connector

Companies are therefore also an essential link in test and innovation programs such as Fascinating (including Agrifirm, Avebe, Cosun, FrieslandCampina, LTO Noord). Fascinating works on the agricultural sector of the future by focusing on healthy food, doing more with proteins, efficient energy use and valorizing residual streams. This in turn links to the food transition and the global SDGs on nutrition, climate and health. A global challenge in which we in the Northern Netherlands certainly have important pieces of the puzzle, but also need other parts to move forward. As NOM we are a connector. Close to home and further away. By showing what we are doing here and the challenges we are working on, we also attract new business activity at establishment level. So that we as the Northern Netherlands contribute more strongly to solving global issues.

Is your company seeing leads? Are there challenges at play that you want to share openly in order to create new strategic connections? Do you have a piece of the puzzle that can contribute to the big picture? Then contact Joep de Vries: (06) 25 39 26 71 or