The Wageningen Marine Research regional centre in Yerseke recorded a profit last year. The institute has taken on two new members of staff and was able to offer a redeployment candidate a job after all. This news comes from Nathalie Steins, the programme manager for the regional centre.
Last year, the future of the institute in Yerseke, Zeeland, was in doubt but then the Zeeland shellfish sector made a decision to pump half a million euros a year into the research institute. Moreover, the shellfish sector and WUR decided to introduce a new approach in how the research is managed. The mussel and oyster farmers now have a multi-year pre-paid ‘ticket’ that lets them buy research in Yerseke. The institute no longer writes proposals for studies purchased with this ticket; instead, it involves the shellfish farmers more when deciding on the research questions and carrying out the studies.
The new regional centre celebrated its first anniversary on 31 March. Last year, turnover was two million euros and it recorded a profit of 85,000 euros, says Steins. ‘And we have a lot of work. We now employ 23 people. This new way of managing research is going really well.’