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HZ University of Applied Sciences in Middelburg, the Netherlands, will open the new Joint Research Centre (JRCZ) in February. It will house researchers from the Biobased Construction and Marine Biobased Chemistry professorships, among others.
Editorial office / Middelburg

The sturdy, white building comprises several laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment. On the ground floor there will be an Engineering Lab with state-of-the-art 3D scanners, laser cutters, digital milling machines and other equipment. On the second and third floors are labs for analytical and organic chemistry and life sciences. In the data lab, students and researchers can present their research results in a creative, visually appealing way. The ecology lab works on questions about issues such as food production, climate adaptation, sea level rise, salinisation and nature-based solutions.

At the heart of each floor is a so-called makerspace. These are lively environments where students, teachers and researchers from different disciplines meet and work together. On the roof, which you can reach via the stairs on the outside, people will soon be studying, but also doing research with the equipment there.

Societal issues

At the JRCZ, students, lecturers and researchers from HZ university (cooperating in the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy), but also from University College Roosevelt (UCR) and Scalda, will work together on important societal issues. Apart from biobased building and marine biobased chemistry, these include themes such as water, energy and food; subjects that are in the DNA of a delta region like Zeeland and pose current challenges, such as salinisation, the lack of fresh water, the protein transition and the switch to sustainable energy. Leading lecturer Robert Trouwborst of HZ stresses that new professionals will be needed for this in the coming years: “It is about people who understand the scale of these transitions, want to and can cooperate with each other and the field and communicate well about this.”

For more information, visit the JRCZ website.

Image: JRCZ