News - November 12, 2009

Van Gorcom to be new RIKILT director

Robert van Gorcom will be the new director of RIKILT - Institute for Food Safety - from 1 January next year. He will succeed André Bianchi who will channel his efforts to the Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad. This was disclosed by Aalt Dijkhuizen on 11 November at RIKILT.

It's time for RIKILT to have a full-time director again', says Dijkhuizen to its employees. The coming work and staff exchanges with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) will require more attention. So too does the cooperation with the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA). Minister Verburg announced a day earlier that VWA research labs in the area of food will be concentrated in Wageningen near to RIKILT. Dijkhuizen also expects Van Gorcom to strengthen the position of the institute internationally. The projects on food safety with Chilean partners can be extended, adds Dijkhuizen. More cooperation with China can also take place.
There was no formal appointment procedure for the successor of Bianchi. 'We were eyeing two good candidates within our organization, and one of them has declined', says Dijkhuizen. Since Robert van Gorcom remained as an unchallenged candidate, an appointment procedure was not needed in our view. This is permitted in extreme exceptions. Luckily, the OR has given its approval yesterday.'
Van Gorcum, a molecular biologist by education, has worked for seven years in the institute.
He will inform his colleagues about his future plans during the new year breakfast on 4 January.