King Willem-Alexander and Energy Innovation

In case you didn’t know, the northern part of the Netherlands is the ideal place to develop energy innovations quickly and effectively. It had been a while since I had been in the Zernike area of the city of Groningen and I was surprised how much it had changed. Lots of new buildings, a whole new (at least for me) science park.

Interesting enough for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to travel up north on 13 October 2015 and open the newest Energy Transition Centre (shortly called EnTranCe). Here students, researchers and companies will find an excellent facility in which they can work – together – on innovations in the field of energy. An initiative of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, in cooperation with BAM, GasTerra, Gasunie and Imtech. The goal is to keep the Dutch welfare. The north of the Netherlands needs the cooperation, and because of earthquakes (because of the gas), buildings need to be built differently and lasting. Sharing talent – move the world seems to be the motto. Young talents should be taken on a trip … And teamwork becomes more and more important, creativity is most welcome. Not exactly my field of expertise, but at least everything was explained clearly enough to understand what is going on.

The King hardly had to do something himself during the official opening. After a few clear and short speeches, and some interesting music by students of the Percussion Ensemble of the Prince Claus School of Music, he was asked to stand up and open EnTranCe by connectings two plugs. While afterwards everybody had to stay inside and drink champagne, the King went outside to tour five projects of the Science Park … without a coat by the way, and it was really not too warm. Luckily for him the sun only disappeared when he left. Inside people could watch his tour on a big screen and someone was supposed to tell what he was visiting. I actually quite quickly lost track of what he was doing. He saw a solar-boat and hydrogen cars and several other interesting things connected to mobility and living together. Back at the main building the King talked with some students and people working for EnTranCe. After that he said goodbye and left again … Anyway I was not allowed to join the tour of the campus, but Martin de Jonge was, and he took very nice photos, see his gallery.

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