Each month we have a rubric in our newsletter: ‘Relation of Demokwekerij Westland’. In the rubric we ask clients, relations, visitors and/or users of Demokwekerij Westland for their opinion and movements to work together with Demokwekerij Westland.
This month; Frank van de Helm of Hogeschool InHolland
Can you give a short description of the company you work for:
The education Horticulture and Agribusiness of InHolland was created from the Higher horticulture school, which was situated at the Brasserskade, and before that in Dordrecht and Utrecht. An education with a long tradition, which has found a space within the discipline of Agri and Life Science of InHolland; a much bigger and broader school. This offers good possibilities for innovative ideas and less obvious cooperation’s; like the development of a drone scout in the greenhouse by aviation students.
What do you think about the role of Demokwekerij Westland concerning the newest developments in the Dutch horticulture sector?
I think that the Dutch horticulture sector benefits from a wide offer of research possibilities and that Demokwekerij has a good position within this. What I like a lot is the strong interaction with business life. Also the demonstration of technical products is a nice billboard for the Dutch horticulture suppliers.
How long does InHolland and their students research at Demokwekerij Westland and what are the movements to become a participant? InHolland already rents long term facilities at Demokwekerij for practical education, I don’t know exactly how long. The education is not really big and getting our own greenhouse and maintaining it is much more expensive than renting it. for a few years Demokwekerij and Inholland are doing projects/tests together. It turned out that, for students but also for the teachers, this is a nice way to learn and it also contributes to solutions for questions and innovations in practice. This gives extra motivation with the students, and the students receive extra speciality knowledge from the business live and the costs can go down, a win-win situation.
How do you see the developments with the new to build Demokwekerij building?
I haven’t seen much yet about the new building, but the artist impression of the plans look good. It’s a shame that it’s further away from me, which means I need to cycle further.
Have you got a nice anecdote/ funny occurrence?
Once a group of students gave a presentation at the end of a trial they have done together with Demokwekerij, the presentation was really bad, though the tests were done well. Jeroen Sanders (researcher at Demokwekerij and helped the students) told them that the presentation was bad. A year later these students were there again for a different test and the presentation was good. Its nice to see that one bad presentation has been a really important learning moment.