The Dutch cabinet has made 12.4 million euros available for Wageningen UR to fit a virtual equipment centre for micro and nano technology. The Province of Gelderland will top this up with another 6.4 million euros. This was announced by the government on 6 November.
Initially, there were plans to invest in new buildings on Wageningen Campus to house all the micro and nano equipment. 'The Executive Board considered that too big a step because of uncertainty over when university groups will move to the campus', says Kampers. 'The equipment should be located where the researchers are and they are still housed on the Dreijen.' New buildings are planned for the second phase, after 2013.
The centre will offer the equipment at operating cost to Wageningen researchers and knowledge intensive companies in the agro food sector. 'The income will be pumped into a revolving fund to acquire more new equipment in the future', says Kampers.