The municipality of Bergen op Zoom in the Southern Dutch province of Zeeland has been awarded a regional support grant of over €700,000 for the development of Delta Agrifood Business (DAB), the former Sugar lab in which HAS University of Applied Sciences is also located. HAS University of Applied Sciences was involved in the grant request, together with the regional development organisation REWIN, and supported by businesses in the region.
The grant has been awarded from the so-called Regiodeal funds and provides a significant boost for the development of the DAB, which has been growing in shape and substance over the past year. Alderman Patrick van de Velden expressed his enthusiasm in an interview with the regional newspaper BN de Stem: “We’re going to use this money to stimulate and facilitate cooperation between the business community and education in the agrifood sector.” The DAB is an important meeting place, an agrifood centre where innovation takes place, and students follow lessons and work on projects. The building is currently undergoing renovation and - in view of the corona measures - the expectation is that it will be fully operational from September.
Expanding activities further
HAS University of Applied Sciences is also delighted with the grant and the plans for the building. The academic institution has been active in the region for a number of years. Third and fourth-year students are involved in various projects together with commercial partners. There are, for example, already strategic partnerships in place with Royal Cosun, Lamb Weston, CZAV, Rijk Zwaan, Rabobank and ZLTO. HAS University of Applied Sciences also participates in regional networks and works together with foundations such as Proefmei, and also hopes to expand these activities in the coming years.
Godfried Hijl from the Southwest Delta team at HAS University of Applied Sciences: “There are currently more than 40 ongoing student projects in the region, covering various fields from the sector. These Regiodeal funds are a fantastic incentive to expand this further. This grant will greatly boost the connection between HAS University of Applied Sciences and the regional agrifood sector.”