Side Stream Innovation Valley: innovation, research and production
Side Stream Innovation Valley is an initiative of the Rodenburg Group, the Province of North Brabant and the Municipality of Oosterhout. This biobased business cluster received a Regional Deal subsidy for the development and development of an innovation campus. A place where Rodenburg will expand and offer students and researchers space by working on the valorization of vegetable (food) residual flows from a central raw material bank.
From peel farmer to innovative campus: ‘Side Stream Innovation Valley focuses on innovation, research and production’
Over the past ten years, increasing attention has been paid to sustainability and the circular economy. That wasn’t very popular at first, because it was complicated and expensive, says Thijs Rodenburg. “People now no longer only look at economic values, but also at sustainable values. A smaller footprint, CO2 reduction and combating food waste are now important themes. The demand for our products is increasing. All kinds of parties want to collaborate and innovate with us. We are working on high-quality value creation and we see our company growing and expanding. We are ready for our next step.”
Side Stream Innovation Valley
That next step is the development of Side Stream Innovation Valley. “A campus will be built on the arable land next to our company at Vijf Eiken,” says Rodenburg. “There is room here for a knowledge and innovation center, research laboratory and large-scale production. We process organic residual flows into renewed raw materials for food production, or into biopolymers as replacements for polluting chemicals and oil.” We are also still waiting for the zoning plan change. The project expects a positive council decision around the summer of 2022. Then construction starts. The plans are therefore somewhat delayed.
Educating people for the future
Side Stream Innovation Valley is not only a physical campus, but also a creative place and community. Rodenburg: “Regional educational institutions Curio, Avans and Tilburg University are important partners for us. But also certainly the HAS University of Applied Sciences and Wageningen University & Research. To conduct research and train students here. Students, people who want to retrain and employees are desperately needed in the biobased sector. You need special skills for that. I look forward to people making great inventions here soon.”
Region Deal confirms relevance
“Thanks to financial support from the Regional Deal, we are implementing our plans,” he continues. “For recruiting a quartermaster, developing the campus program, for the community and for marketing.” An additional advantage, according to him, is that the Regional Deal also raises awareness of their plans. “They put us on the map with government, education and companies. I also see the Regional Deal as a validation of our plans. A nice confirmation that we are relevant to the region.”
Coming out more
Monday 7 to Saturday 12 February 2022 is the national Week of the Circular Economy. Here Rodenburg takes the (digital) stage to express the ambition. “After all, our processes are still relatively unknown. I want to change this, show how together we can capitalize on opportunities for a sustainable and circular future. I hope that visitors will soon walk across the campus boulevard in amazement and inspiration,” says Rodenburg.
Would you like to know more about the different projects and activities? Then take a look at the Side Stream Innovation Valley website .