Meet the Province of Gelderland one of the supporters of F&A NextOne of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands, Gelderland includes Wageningen as one of its major cities. Being home base to one of the world’s most renowned agricultural universities in the form of Wageningen UR made it an obvious choice for the province of Gelderland to support F&A Next.
As vice governor of Economic Affairs Michiel Scheffer explains, the provincial government regularly provides financial support to initiatives aimed at improving the SME and startup climate. “We recognise the vital importance of innovation for economic development in our region. The potential of knowledge-based startups and scale-ups in the food and agricultural sectors is high, especially if we succeed in matching ideas with investors. They form a vital link in the overall ecosystem for startups in Gelderland.”
Scheffer and his colleagues are fully aware of the agrifood domain’s relevance to the future of the province, with Wageningen UR attracting many research companies from the Netherlands and abroad. “It’s been impressive to see well-known brands such as FrieslandCampina, Heinz, Yili, Keygene and NIZO locate themselves in our province, and we also welcome the high potential SMEs which have spun off from the university, including Micreos, Solynta and Ceradis.” Overall, the Food Valley region around Wageningen accommodates more than 1,440 agrifood related companies, 70 research companies and some 20 research institutes. Indeed, agriculture in tis broadest sense accounts for over 10% of the overall economy in Gelderland.
According to Scheffer, the F&A Next platform is one of many parts of the total startup ecosystem to influence the development and growth of SMEs. “Gelderland supports networks like Food Valley NL and StartLife, provides funding for feasibility studies and prototyping, and participates via the venture capital company PPM Oost in more than 150 companies. We also support companies in business development and advice on all kind of questions ranging from IP, knowledge partners and assistance in setting up cooperative R&D projects to tax, incentives and investment opportunities.” Learn more about the activities of the Province of Gelderland