"Developing Northeast Brabant into an excellent AgriFood region with international appeal“
Developing Northeast Brabant into AgriFood Capital, an excellent AgriFood region with international appeal, national attraction and local collaboration; Its ambitious, but realistic. The Northeast Brabant AgriFood cluster contains such high quality and is so complete, it is unique in its kind. At this moment the cluster is already responsible for € 1.9 billion in economic added value and 30% of the region's employment.
In the DNA of Northeast Brabant lies a deep connection with AgriFood and thus serves as AgriFood Capital, a strong region and the ideal trial for new food related products, technologies, and concepts. Our strategic location provides us with resources from academic centres in Wageningen, Nijmegen, Eindhoven, and Tilburg.
Northeast Brabant has a unique ecosystem of companies, governmental authorities and educational institutions that are involved in the production and processing of healthy food for humans and animals. From breeding to fresh produce and in partnership with other sectors like construction, logistics, engineering and healthcare. The goals of this collaboration are clear:
- networking and making connections
- process and programme management
- facilitating initiatives with co-financing from the Regional Fund
- public affairs and communication
The collaboration is realised as all attached sectors come together with innovations oriented towards the global issues such as sustainability, nutrition, and health. We achieve our goals by developing innovative products and services, by adapting education to the knowledge needs of our industries and by creating room for innovation and expertise centres. This way we create enterprising activity together.
By turning our shared ambitions into tangible projects and programmes we maintain our position as a leader in the AgriFood domain and make AgriFood Capital the vital, lively centre for AgriFood in the world. We will increase or current advantage by creating a challenging environment for both enterprise, investment and study, as well as a nice place to live.
To achieve our ambitions, we have the following 4 program lines:
1. Excellent labour market
In 2020, Northeast Brabant is an attractive working environment. We have well-trained and well-educated people with a deep-seated sense of craftsmanship and enterprise. Together, we have created 4,000 new jobs within six years.
In our labour market programme 5* Northeast Brabant Works!, partners in business and education work together in order to achieve a balanced labour market that offers good future prospects. Part of their joint ventures includes developing education in process engineering, setting up a mobility portal and developing a HRM network.
Knowledge gains its value from sharing. For example, in the triple helix organisation OndernemersLift+, we help innovative start-up enterprises to turn their ideas into businesses. With the ‘Leadership of tomorrow’ talent programme, we surface discovered talent and help it grow. Northeast Brabant embraces its people who provide ideas and ambition!
2. Strong enterprise
The entire Agrifood chain has deep roots in Northeast Brabant, from plant breeders and fresh producers to the largest retailers and caterers in The Netherlands. There is a close connection to consumers. Organisations that wish to innovate can rely on the expertise of both their fellow enterprises and knowledge institutions through the “AgriFood Innovation Engine”. From identifying opportunities to developing strong new products, we see endless opportunities instead of boundaries. We collaborate with the regions around us to ensure that the southeast of The Netherlands has a great attraction to both large and small (agrifood) companies from home and abroad. At the same time, we are brokers and advocates for causes like attracting capital, finding business locations and/or pinpointing the right knowledge and connections.
3. Meaningful innovations
In 2020, AgriFood Capital is the innovative trial for new products, technologies and concepts. The region will contain multiple innovation centres and living labs, which are committed to the cause of finding solutions for the questions facing society on issues like sustainability, nutrition, and health. Both the private and public sectors and knowledge institutions will work together and share knowledge to create and innovate.
Successful innovations often appear on the interfaces between sectors. This is why we actively strive to make connections, such as between ICT and care, food and design or construction and high-tech. Currently the region contains about 10 innovation clusters with physical innovation centres and living labs. With these centres, we can seize upon promising ideas fast and test them directly.
Examples of innovation programmes are the ‘Healthy Nutrition’ programme, which is about investigating ways to enrich food for special target groups, such as the elderly or cancer patients. ‘Innovative animal husbandry’ focuses on animal welfare and their environment. ICT and AgriFood collaborate by actively seeking the best developments and applications for precision agriculture. The programmes ‘Sustainable Energy’, ‘Greentech Park’ and ‘Greentech Campus’ focus on (social) issues such as recycling biological materials, saving energy and reducing consumption of fossil fuels.
4. High Quality of Life
Green and enterprising, healthy and active. Good accessibility and still plenty of room to grow. More precisely: a region with a good climate for home, work and living. It is not only about jobs or money; its about the quality of life. To be able to get around without being stuck in traffic, to have enough options to relax, to recreate and to have an ample supply of affordable (spacious) housing.
Cities and country sides become increasingly interconnected. Combining the best of both worlds requires some direction. One of the ways we do this is with our programmes for physical and economic connection between city and countryside. Another way is stimulating animal-, people- and environment-friendly farming.
Mobility and accessibility are important requirements for economic development. We tackle problems in a variety of areas; from redesigning busy intersections to connecting access roads or by creating connecting routes for bicycles. Modern and affordable business locations are also a priority, of course easily accessible with fast connections to areas like the Randstad in the Netherlands, the Ruhr district in Germany or the ports of Antwerp. Bottom line is, either you are a top region or you are not. Our choice is clear.
Our ambition translated into 15 objectives for 2020:
- No shortage on the labour market thanks to cooperation from over 250 AgriFood companies in the regional HRM network.
- Leading knowledge- and educational institute for food, food marketing and food retail.
- Running the “AgriFood Innovation Engine”, generating support for 50 enterprises per year and 10 successful innovations annually.
- Creation of profit-making cooperation model for regional products, from producer to consumer.
- Development of 5 personalized food concepts, intended for specific target groups such as the elderly, cancer patients, the obese, allergy sufferers, etc.
- Development of 2 care concepts with crossovers to ICT and environmental factors.
- Development of a new generation of ready-made meals. Tasty and nutritious, for both the healthcare sector and retail/out-of-home.
- Establishment of the 'One Health' programme; in which we work towards a connection between healthy people and healthy animals in a healthy environment.
- Development of 5 concepts for maximum monetization of waste flows and/or by-products through conversion into raw materials.
- Development of new concepts in animal husbandry. With every attention for humans, animals and their environment along with added value for the consumer, producer and citizen.
- Development of 5 local chains for alternative, sustainable protein production.
- Development of 5 concepts to fight waste in the AgriFood chain. As well during production (smart farming), in processing, distribution (smart logistics), retail, as in preparation and consumption.
- Development of 5 concepts for sustainable energy production. Waste flows and by-products from the production of food and green materials produce energy.
- Establishment of the high-profile Dutch AgriFood Week, in which new and existing events in the broad spectrum of AgriFood connect and reinforce each other.
- Northeast Brabant is acknowledged and recognized as the leading trial for converting knowledge into products, services and concepts with added value for humans, animals and the environment. Both within the region and beyond it.