Organisation - January 12, 2012

Dijkhuizen: ‘Exciting year for DLO and VHL'

The traditional New Year drinks party was not held in the Forum this year but in Atlas, the head office's new home. About 100 people, mainly policymakers and managers, gathered last Monday and heard Aalt Dijkhuizen's forecast for 2012.

According to the board chair, there's an exciting year ahead for the DLO institutes and for VHL. ‘As far as VHL's position is concerned, it's clear. The big question is: are we going to go on in Wageningen UR or outside Wageningen UR?' Never before has Dijkhuizen spoken so explicitly in public about a total split - up to now only cautious statements have been made about unscrambling the merger. The management of VHL is not in favour of cutting loose from Wageningen; on 18 January talks will be held with all staff. Dijkhuizen: ‘The results of that day are important for the go/no go decision.'
In the red
Things are tense for DLO too. Government funding is in decline. ‘So we shall have to try and get our nice ideas funded by someone other than EL&I and do without matching.' This is not working well enough at Alterra and the LEI, both of which got in the red last year. Alterra is already engaged in a slimming exercise, but that does not seem to be in order for the LEI yet.
Dijkhuizen also looks forward to the top sector policy with some trepidation. The government has put 51 million euros of DLO funding into a big pot for the top sector policy and it is not clear how much of this will come back to DLO. Dijkhuizen: ‘Luckily we are well represented in the top sectors Agrifood, Horticulture and Water. But a lot depends on the contributions from the business world.'

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