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Knowledge institutions and companies in the Ems-Dollart Region (EDR) are joining forces in the Biotech Talent Unlocked project. It will start this year by training new talent for the growing circular and biobased economy in the north of the Netherlands and Germany.
Editorial office / Groningen

Finding and retaining adequately skilled staff in biotech and related fields is a challenge on both sides of the border. This could have a negative impact on business activity and the green transition in the EDR region. “Jobs in the circular and biobased economy are really up for grabs here,” says Cor Kamminga, chairman of the BIO Cooperative, the partnership of SME entrepreneurs in the northern Dutch bioeconomy. However, companies do not really know how to find young talent. Conversely, young people who choose an education do not know how to find companies. This problem occurs at MBO, HBO and master level.


That is why Biotech Talent Unlocked will focus on both visibility of green business in the north and on connecting education to the labour market. Kamminga: “The educational qualifications gained by young people should easily enable them to work on the other side of the border as well.”

To achieve this, opportunities for cooperation between business and knowledge institutions must be better exploited. Together, new cross-border education modules are being set up that seamlessly connect with the labour market. There is also a strong focus on publicity, including joint events and a social media campaign aimed at young people.

“With this project, we want to build bridges and ensure that we offer a complete picture to young people,” says Janneke Krooneman, lecturer within the Biorefinery lectureship at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. “We also want to join forces: together we are able to do more.”


Project partners in Biotech Talent Unlocked are BIO Cooperative, Hochschule Emden-Leer, BBENG, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, 3 N Kompetenzzentrum e.V., Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, NHL Stenden Leeuwarden, Noorderpoort College, Friesland College and Drenthe College. More partners are planned to join in the course of the project.

A grant of €558,000 for the period 2023-2025 has been awarded to this project from the new Interreg VI A programme Deutschland-Nederland. Interreg focuses on cross-border spatial and regional development. Greening the region and a good connection between education and the labour market are important themes in this respect.

For more information, visit the EDR website.

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