Organisation - April 26, 2018

Extra millions to strengthen WR knowledge base

Albert Sikkema

Wageningen Research will be investing the extra 13.2 million euros that it gets this year in research models and 10 strategic programmes. The idea is to improve the institutes’ knowledge base.

©Sven Menschel

The additional money came from the cabinet, which is spending an extra 200 million in total this year on applied research. Over 13 million is going to Wageningen Research. WUR drew up an expenditure plan last month that was approved by the relevant ministries on 19 April.

WUR is basing its expenditure decisions on what is known as the ‘Thin Ice’ analysis in 2016, in which WUR concludes that the research institutes no longer have any development money for new knowledge because of the constant cutbacks. That is why Wageningen Research will be investing an additional 3.3 million this year in modernizing research models in areas including farm incomes, crop growth and the climate. Around 40 research models are due an update, says Karin Horsman of Corporate Strategy & Accounts.

A further 8.9 million is being earmarked for 10 thematic research programmes on such topics as organic fertilizer, precision agriculture and a nature-inclusive living environment. Each of these themes will get between 600,000 and 1.2 million euros and involve at least three Wageningen science groups. Wageningen Research will use a further 1 million as co-funding for EU projects that have already been accepted.

The institutes will get 13 million more from the government over the next few years as well. This extra revenue will virtually double the amount of cash the institutes have available for the knowledge base. Last year Wageningen Research had 16.4 million for maintaining its knowledge base; now it is getting 13.2 million on top.