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Well-attended third University of the North roadshow

24 November 2022
University of the North Roadshow Drachten
University of the North Roadshow Drachten

Exactly a year ago, the University of the North presented its knowledge agenda. To allow stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the ambitions and activities of the University of the North, three roadshows were organized in the northern provinces. After visiting Greenwise Campus in Emmen and Campus Groningen, it was time for the final roadshow held at the Innovation Cluster Drachten on Thursday 10 November. Technology and human capital were key themes.

Dick Pouwels, chair of the Executive Board of Hanze University of Applied Sciences and steering group member of the University of the North, opened the afternoon. After his introduction, Marloes de Vos, site manager of Philips Drachten, took the floor. She described the rise and shine of Philips Drachten and its close collaboration with the Innovation Cluster Drachten.

Joost Krebbekx, programme manager of the Innovation Cluster Drachten, contended that collaboration between knowledge institutions—from senior secondary vocational education to university level—and businesses is of crucial importance to the growth of knowledge-intensive high-tech businesses in the region. Jacquelien Scherpen, professor at the University of Groningen and chair of the Groningen Engineering Center, talked about the Smart Factories graduation track as part of the Master’s degree programme in Mechanical Engineering at the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen, among other topics. As the Master’s students of this graduation track partly follow it in Drachten, they come into direct contact with the high-tech SMEs in which Drachten is rich and they see that it is possible to remain in the Northern Netherlands while pursuing a challenging career in technology. Furthermore, attendees of the roadshow pointed out the importance of national collaboration. Klaas Dijkstra, associate professor of Computer Vision and Data Science at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, provided an interesting interlude and used a number of examples to demonstrate that the use of AI is sometimes not what it seems. Finally, Arjan Edzes, associate professor of Regional and Spatial Economics at the University of Groningen, discussed developments in the regional labour market as well as a number of undiscovered possible solutions to decrease the acute labour market shortages.

The roadshow ended with a networking drinks reception.

The roadshow in Drachten was the final instalment of a series of three roadshows. There was high interest in the roadshows and they were well attended. They formed a good point for departure to show what the University of the North stands for. The University of the North plans to organize gatherings again next year, in which collaboration between knowledge institutions, businesses, government institutions, and society with the aim of succeeding in the adaptation challenges that face the Northern Netherlands will be a central theme.

Last modified:24 November 2022 3.01 p.m.
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