“FoodValley region offers IT companies enormous opportunities”

Arnoud Leerling Regio Food Valley

INTERVIEW with Arnoud Leering from Regio FoodValley on successfully doing business in the FoodValley region. 

Arnoud Leerling is responsible for communications, marketing and customer acquisition at Regio FoodValley.

“I believe that IT companies can make even better use of the opportunities in the Food Valley region.”

 

Staying ahead of the competition

The applications for innovative technology in food production are varied and are increasing: from developing an incubator where no chicken is involved to saving energy in the production of meals. 

The Netherlands is a step ahead internationally in the field of agrofood and technology. If the country wants to maintain a competitive advantage, companies must cooperate even more and make use of existing knowledge, including that at Wageningen UR.

Software for food companies

Arnoud Leerling: “IT companies are very focused on office automation. Why not develop software for food production if the knowledge needed is already present in house? People are becoming more and more interested in healthy nutrition, as well as the way in which food is produced. It is a very current and global issue.”

Verse vruchtensap - langer houdbaar maken van food producten

“For example, some production processes currently require huge amounts of energy, such as heating and cooling food to increase its shelf life. Companies are very interested in technology that makes these processes more efficient. But consider also IT applications in logistics and food distribution. There are enormous opportunities for IT companies in the region.”

Examples of successful IT applications

Eieren Food Valley Regio food en ict

In the FoodValley region there are already many success stories of innovations in food production where IT has played a vital role. Leerling: “A wonderful example is the poultry sector. Once the chicken has laid the egg, no human hand will touch it until the moment the consumer wants to fry it. This is a fully automated system packed with IT applications.”

“Or take the company HatchTech in Veenendaal, a supplier of incubators. Their systems are so advanced – they really are a major global player.”

Matching knowledge and ideas

Wageningen UR

Wageningen UR

New knowledge and insights play a key role in innovation. Leerling: “Collaboration between Wageningen UR and the business community is very important for innovation. However, matching knowledge is sometimes difficult in practice. The parties don’t always know where to find each other. Entrepreneurs are unable to find their way to the Business Developers at Wageningen UR. Too many people only see the university and know too little about the market-oriented institutions that facilitate cooperation with businesses.”

Leerling: “Regio FoodValley can also play a role in this. Our network is large. We try to bring parties together during network meetings or via personal introductions.”

The municipality of Veenendaal is also quite active in this area. Veenendaal organises an annual meeting during which IT companies and researchers from Wageningen UR can meet. Last year this event was entitled “Sharing Innovation”. During the FoodValley Region Open Days we organise similar meetings for entrepreneurs, education and research.”

Foreign interest

Leerling has seen a lot of interest from abroad. “Innovation in food is attracting attention. And that’s exactly the strong suit of this region, despite there being much room for further development – which is in fact good and interesting for companies that see opportunities here. I regularly accompany foreign delegations. They see the FoodValley region as a real leader in the field of agrofood. And that is of course more than justified.

About the FoodValley region

Kaart FoodValley Regio

In the FoodValley region, government, businesses and education work together to strengthen the regional economy. The distinguishing feature of the region is its knowledge in the agrofood domain. Opportunities exist in connecting clusters such as food and ICT and food and energy.

The region is bordered by the municipalities of Barneveld, Ede, Nijkerk, Renswoude, Rhenen, Scherpenzeel, Veenendaal and Wageningen.

Veenendaal is the ICT hub within the FoodValley region with 462 IT businesses and 2,461 people working in the IT sector.

Would you also like to do business in the innovative FoodValley region?

Het Vizier Veenendaal vanuit het Oosten

Het Vizier business park in Veenendaal is located at the heart of the FoodValley region. It has a unique location right next to the A12 and is within walking distance of public transport connections.

Doing business at Het Vizier means doing business in good company. Detron, Squerist, Bartosz and the Van der Valk Hotel Veenendaal have already given Het Vizier their vote of confidence.

Contact us

If you want to know more about Het Vizier, please call Joop Camminga for a non-committal appointment on +31 (0) 6-14915950 / +31 (0) 88-70 70 260 or request the Het Vizier information package.