The ‘WaterTech Regiodeal’ was presented to PM Mark Rutte at a visit to the Campus, this week. The ‘Regiodeal’ was presented to Mr Rutte in his working visit to the WaterCampus Leeuwarden on Monday the 20th of August.
It is a joint proposal by 15 northern Dutch parties to try and develop the Campus further and strengthen the ‘knowledge economy’ around water technology. The presentation of the deal follows a call by the central government for regions to come up with innovative new ideas for tackling societal challenges and improving economic opportunities.
Through the WaterTech deal, challenges of global water availability come hand-in-hand with regional economic development; with water use and technology having huge importance both globally and locally. Under plans submitted to the PM, the WaterCampus Leeuwarden would be turned into a mature campus- becoming the European hub and innovation driver for water treatment technology. This would make an important and continuing contribution to regional development; including in economic structuring, creating local jobs and improving the knowledge economy of the area through innovation and new developments.
WaterCampus has had success in recent years in stimulating the creation of more knowledge-based companies, a leading international research institute and opportunities for continuous learning- from HBO (professional education at universities of applied sciences) to PhD. Buck Consultants (in Dutch) recently named the WaterCampus as one of the fastest growing of its kind in the Netherlands. The Campus has particular importance for the region of Friesland- as a driver of economic growth and national co-operation around water based challenges.
The ‘Regiodeal’ has proposed a direct government investment of 25 million Euros, whilst the Campus sees the need for over 150 million euros of investment in the next 10 years, from other research institutions, regional authorities, the EU; and from the private sector.
At the end of August, the ‘Regiodeal’ will then be formally submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. In Groningen, Zernike Campus has recently unveiled its renovation and improvement plan.