News - January 7, 2016

Imares reorganizes

Albert Sikkema

Research institute Imares of Wageningen UR has reorganized as of 1 January. The marine institute lets go of the department structure and may have to decrease with 22 positions.

Photo: the new  Imares accommodation in Den Helder

Director Tammo Bult of Imares explained the reorganization in December. Reasons are the decreasing research assignments which caused Imares to conclude the last couple of year with a loss.

Imares, which still has about 160 employees, lets go of the department structure. Five department heads need to search for another job. From now on there will be theme teams, in which the researchers receive more responsibility and trust to bring in research assignments. The management team of the institute controls the outline. ‘I realise that this is unusual compared to how we used to operate, when permission was required from the head for every for general and acquisition hour’, Bult suggested to the employees. ‘The new method is to letgo.’ The management board expects that employees will focus on the external demand and form flexible internal teams to carry out assignments.’

To overcome the financial deficits, they may have to decrease with 22 positions. The most transfer candidates (herplaatsingskandidaten HPK-ers) are researchers. They will remain employable for projects. ‘They are not candidates to dismiss’, says Bult. ‘We will do everything to help each transfer candidate with a new job within or outside of Imares.’ If the assignments pick up, they will be the first to be considered to fulfil the vacancies. If the relocation does not succeed their contract will be terminate after 15 months. Part of this shrink is that five of the fish farming researchers will transfer from Imares to Livestock Research in Wageningen, so in fact there are 17 employees put at risk.

The reorganization should also provide more clarity on the location of Imares. In Yerseke will remain, if the agreement with the shellfish sector is signed there, a Regiostation with fourteenactive employees. If vacancies arise then the new people will be accommodated in Den Helder, in the new accommodation of Imares in the former Maritime Academy. That starting point led to unrest among the employees of Imares in Ijmuiden. ‘The location in Ijmuiden is not a house for the dying’, Bult emphasizes. ‘Until 2022 we will stay in Ijmuiden for sure. When I look at the people that work in Ijmuiden, then ‘house for the dying’ is the last thing that comes to mind.’

Imares thinks that they will have a turnover of 23 million euro. That is not really an ambitious turnover, says Bult.