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Marnix Pool retiring as the director of the Houdstermaatschappij, University of Groningen

‘Value creation support starts with listening’
11 July 2018

For over 20 years, Marnix Pool has been supporting researchers from the University of Groningen (UG) in their attempt to market knowledge. On the 1st of September, the director of the Houdstermaatschappij from the University of Groningen will be accorded ‘emeritus’ status.

Marnix Pool
Marnix Pool

Marnix: ‘Researchers nowadays don’t have it easy. The pressure to publish is high, and on top of this they must also justify their knowledge to society. The Houdstermaatschappij and the Business Development & IP Department of Northern Knowledge can support researchers in this.’
How? Marnix: ‘First of all, you need to listen carefully to their wishes and ideas and then we can bring researchers into contact with people from our network within and outside of the university. Marketing knowledge covers a wide area.’

The University of Groningen offers support on the path to value creation with patenting knowledge, find funding for research, and shape collaboration with the business world across the board of the academic research community. Marnix: ‘Alfa, gamma, beta, medical; every kind of knowledge has elements of valorisation in it. We like to think along from our expertise.’

Van Swinderen Huys
As director of the RUG Houdstermaatschappij, Marnix Pool stood at the cradle of many start-ups originating from the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), such as Polyvation BV , ARGO BV and the Van Swinderen Huys on the Oude Boteringestraat. The Van Swinderen Huys is a meeting place where the university reinforces its contacts with the business world and society. The Van Swinderen Huys is a student-led enterprise where they get the chance to experience in practice the skills that entrepreneurship requires.

To stimulate new business, Marnix is closely involved in innovative developments such as Innolab Chemie on the Zernike Campus. Innolab Chemie offers laboratory facilities and support services to starting SMEs in the chemistry sector. A similar service providing facility is currently being set up for start-ups in AGRI FOOD on Zernike Campus in the new Innovation Center where AVEBE will also become a tenant. ‘SMEs are increasingly taking the lead in purchasing knowledge from knowledge institutions. They are the driving force behind innovation,’ says Marnix.

Marnix and Innolab
Marnix and Innolab

A rewarding task
The University of Groningen closely collaborates with companies on the northern themes of bio-based economy, health, agri-food, energy, chemistry, HTSM and water. The UG is an active knowledge partner in public-private initiatives such as the Bio Economy Region Northern Netherlands (BERNN), Zernike Advanced Process Facility (ZAP), Carbohydrate Competence Center (CCC), Life Cooperative, and the Groningen Engineering Business Center (GEBC).

Successful initiatives of public-private project developments that make an important contribution to the northern economy. Marnix: ‘Valorising knowledge sometimes turns out to be a long road. But when researchers experience that their knowledge has a social value, they are proud, and rightly so. This experience makes business development a rewarding task.’

Would you like support in valorising knowledge? Feel welcome to contact Northern Knowledge Business Development & IP department via

Logo Northern Knowledge
Logo Northern Knowledge
Last modified:11 July 2018 2.36 p.m.
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