The Dutch Provincial Executive has approved funding of 65 million euros for OnePlanet over the next eight years. The centre will explore and develop innovative technologies for food, health and agriculture.
February 28th, 2019, Wageningen, Nijmegen and Eindhoven - The Provincial Executive voted in favour of the opening of a new technology and innovation centre, OnePlanet, in the Dutch province of Gelderland. The province agrees to fund 65 million for an eight-year period to develop and accelerate innovations in food, agriculture and health.
According to the initiators of OnePlanet, technological innovations are desperately needed to tackle societal challenges such as climate change and population growth. The research centre will, among other things, work on new technologies for the early detection of human diseases. Many diseases can be prevented with the right nutrition based on personal health data, or treatments already tested by growing organs on chips. Also, the way we grow and consume food will be innovated. With new agricultural technology, such as sensors that measure nutrients in the soil and water, or with smart technology for vertical agriculture, the aim is to produce more food locally, with fewer raw materials.
From the two locations in Wageningen and Nijmegen, interdisciplinary teams will work together with food technologists, data scientists, physicians and biochemical researchers. At the start in 2019, 35 researchers will be hired; this number will gradually grow to 120 in 2028. OnePlanet will also occupy a central position by working together with knowledge institutes, the government, (local) SME companies and schools for intermediate vocational and higher professional education. The centre also wants to promote future-proof training courses and offer internships that respond to rapid developments in the labour market through the influence of artificial intelligence, robotization and automation. OnePlanet is expected to have a positive impact on indirect employment and become a magnet for international talent.
At the beginning of April, the partners will organise a launching event for OnePlanet, showcasing sustainable technology and innovations. During this event, they will provide information about the plans and the concrete applications.