The Dutch government will provide WUR with 2 million euros for the development of a Dialogue Centre on campus. This was announced by Louise Fresco, President of the Executive Board, on 13 March during the appearance of minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Dutch Minister of Finance) at WUR.
<Debates and dialogues regularly take place in Impulse; photo: Guy Ackermans>
The cabinet wants to stimulate the development of Wageningen Campus. The majority of the investment, 1.6 million euros, will be spent on building a dialogue centre; the remaining 0.4 million will go toward the establishment of a ‘start-up village’ on campus. The cabinet thus wants to further stimulate successful innovation regions. The water institute Wetsus in Leeuwarden also received an investment, Fresco mentioned. The timing of the allotment coinciding with Dijsselbloem’s visit was ‘pure coincidence’, said the minister.
The Dialogue Centre will organise meetings among students, lecturers, entrepreneurs, politicians, executives and civil society organisations. The new centre should also relieve the congested Aula of the university, as well as diminish the load on the education rooms on campus, which are now sometimes used for debates and conferences.
To stimulate the start-up companies, the Executive Board wants to establish a ‘start-up village’, where all facilities required by young companies will be available. Those companies will probably also wish to use the Dialogue Centre. How much the debate centre will cost is unknown yet. It is to be erected in front of the new Unilever accommodation on campus.