Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds looks for natural ways to create new vegetable varieties. In autumn 2014, the company began operating a laboratory to allow HAS students to gain an insight into their business. The laboratory is called BayLab Plants Vegetable Seeds and is part of a global network of Bayer laboratories, where knowledge exchange between students and Bayer is key. For lecturers, the BayLab is also ideal, giving them the opportunity to be at the forefront of science and to exchange knowledge and experience. This helps ensure our teaching programmes are kept up-to-date.
Students and employers need to know each other
Personnel manager, Jan Cauberg, is responsible for Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds R&D employees worldwide. Together with his collegue, Eveline Angels, Jan was involved in the development of the BayLab. “Bayer believes it is important that students and employers know each other, work together and share knowledge,” he explains. “Bayer is an innovative company where knowledge is key. We want to contribute to food security. Our mission is ‘Science For A Better Life’. That’s why it’s essential that we introduce students and school pupils to our area of work.”
Practical lessons lead to internships and business assignments
In the BayLab, students from the Applied Biology and other study programmes, perform part of their lab tests. There are separate rooms for laboratory experiments such as DNA analysis or breeding trials. There is also a space for lectures and talks. But the collaboration doesn’t stop there. “Practical lessons regularly lead to internships and business assignments. Because students are already familiar with us, expectations are clear before they start on their follow-up assignment. That way, we attract the right kind of people and create a win-win situation.”
Business assignments to establish a collaboration
Two HAS students stood at the cradle of BayLab. In February 2014, Birgit Eickmans and Sanne Geuskens, students of Applied Biology at HAS University of Applied Sciences, began their business assignment at Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds. Sanne and Birgit were given the task to establish a collaboration between HAS, location Venlo, and Bayer CropScience. This resulted in BayLab Plants Vegetable Seeds. The lab is primarily intended for collaboration with HAS University of Applied Sciences. In addition, it is also used for open days at Bayer CropScience, such as the Green Day for Higher Professional Education students and the Experience Day for schoolchildren.
Collaboration with knowledge institutes is a serious matter
“Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds takes a special place among the total number of partner companies of HAS University of Applied Sciences location Venlo,” says Frans van Leijden, director of HAS University of Applied Sciences, Venlo. “First and foremost we’re delighted that our students have such direct access to one of the most prominent seed-enhancement companies in the world. In addition, Bayer’s willingness, through the Baylab, to invest directly in education, proves that they take the collaboration with HAS as a knowledge institute seriously. We look forward to continuing this collaboration for a very long time.”