During the Northern Netherlands New Year’s reception on Thursday 9 January 2019, Chair of the Board of the University Prof. Jouke de Vries was presented with the Langman Prize in front of 900 entrepreneurs, managers and the Minister for Medical Care and Sport Bruno Bruins. He was awarded the prize in appreciation of the way that he ‘actively thinks and acts from the northern perspective’ when running the ‘University of the North’. The presentation, an initiative of the Stichting Noord-Nederland& (a group of northern entrepreneurs and managers), was held in MartiniPlaza.
To quote the jury report: ‘Jouke de Vries wants the entire Northern Netherlands to feel part of the UG. Concrete examples include the branch in Leeuwarden and the intention to work more closely with the education sector in Drenthe. In addition, research facilities have been set up for the chemical cluster in Delfzijl, Eemshaven and Emmen. The jury considers that actively thinking and acting from the northern perspective is more than enough reason to award the Langman Prize to Jouke de Vries.’
This is the third time that the Langman Prize has been awarded. It is presented to people or organizations that think, act, manage and do business outside the box, boosting northern opinion formation and/or stimulating economic development.
Harrie Langman was a Minister who stood up for the interests of the Northern Netherlands. During his time as the Minister of Economic Affairs in the early 1970s, the Frisian was responsible for supporting the economically weaker regions of Limburg and the North. He also initiated the relocation of various state organizations to the northern regions. Later, he was the man behind the billion-euro financial investment in the North, known as the Langman funding. Gebiedscoöperatie Westerkwartier (the regional cooperative ‘Westerkwartier’) won the award in 2018.
The jury was inspired by the guests of the New Year’s reception, bringing forward a huge number of people and organizations who were eligible for the prize. Harry Oosterman, Mayor of the municipality of Ooststellingwerf, chaired the jury. Mr Langman and Mr Oosterman were close friends. The other members of the jury were:
The Northern Netherlands New Year's reception was instigated by Stichting Noord-Nederland&, a group of entrepreneurs and managers from the north of the Netherlands. Stichting Noord-Nederland& aspires to increase the number and scope of collaborations within the three northern provinces (Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen).
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