40 million euros for new research facilities

'Our approach with a Roadmap for Research Facilities clearly paid off.'
Wageningen Plant Research will invest in two research greenhouses . Photo Marte Hofsteenge

WUR is set to get 40 million euros from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for four new high-grade research facilities. This is the first time in years that funding on this scale has been made available for research facilities.

Two of the four planned facilities will be for Wageningen Plant Research, and the other two for Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Wageningen Food Safety Research.

Wageningen Plant Research will invest in two research greenhouses at Unifarm and 22 advanced climate chambers for studying various functions, interactions and processes in plants down to the molecular level. In addition, Bleiswijk will get a new cluster of greenhouses for research on the fossil-free, zero-emissions cultivation of resilient crops with minimal use of chemicals. These facilities will of course have the latest technological features, such as artificial intelligence, data control, robotics and sensors.


Wageningen Food & Biobased Research will get a budget to set up a hypermodern food-tech facility, for use in various kinds of research relating to food processing technology, product formulation and consumer research, all with the support of AI techniques.

Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) will get what is termed a Biosafety Level 3 facility for research on new high-risk pathogens, including multi-resistant micro-organisms and viruses, that can be transmitted via food or animal feed. This will let WFSR prepare for future microbiological risks.

Smart approach

The millions of euros are from the first round of funding in the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ scheme for Applied Research Facilities. Nationwide, a total of 14 projects secured 184 million euros. That WUR (or more accurately WR) is getting a fifth of that budget is partly due to the close and strategically smart collaboration between the various organizational units, says Monique Bremer of Shared Research Facilities. ‘Last year, we drew up a Roadmap for Research Facilities to make sure our investment proposals would be of the highest quality. That approach has clearly paid off, and should also help in the new investment rounds still to come.’

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