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The Dutch province of Gelderland is funding the OnePlanet initiative with €65 million over the next eight years. The centre will explore and develop innovative technologies for food, health and agriculture. The initiative is founded by Wageningen University & Research, Radboud University, Radboudumc and imec Nederland.

According to the initiators of OnePlanet, technological innovations are desperately needed to tackle societal challenges such as climate change and population growth. The research centre will, among other things, work on new technologies for the early detection of human diseases. Many diseases can be prevented with the right nutrition based on personal health data, or treatments already tested by growing organs on chips. Also, the way we grow and consume food will be innovated. With new agricultural technology, such as sensors that measure nutrients in the soil and water, or with smart technology for vertical agriculture, the aim is to produce more food locally, with fewer raw materials.

Wageningen and Nijmegen

From the two locations in Wageningen and Nijmegen, interdisciplinary teams will work together with food technologists, data scientists, physicians and biochemical researchers. At the start in 2019, 35 researchers will be hired; this number should gradually grow to 120 in 2028. OnePlanet will be working together with knowledge institutes, the government, (local) SME companies and schools for intermediate vocational and higher professional education. The centre wants to promote future-proof training courses and offer internships that respond to rapid developments in the labour market through the influence of artificial intelligence, robotization and automation.

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OnePlanet – Duurzame technologie voor een betere toekomst from OnePlanet on Vimeo.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.