Organisation - November 9, 2009

University to get equipment centre

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.

The CAT-AgroFood centre will buy new cutting edge equipment with the money. These will include a MRI scanner which will be used, in conjunction with the Gelderse Vallei Hospital, to determine the types and composition of fats in the human body. Another apparatus will be an Auger scanning probe microscope which provides information about the shape and composition of nano structures. 'That is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment. It's not available anywhere in the Netherlands or nearby', says Dr. Frans Kampers, founder of CAT-AgroFood.
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.

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