About the Flevo Campus
In January 2017, the Flevo Campus was born: the scientific hotspot for innovations in terms of food and urbanisation issues for the future. Almere’s students, researchers and businesses are brought together under the roof of Flevo Campus, to explore and test how food provisioning can change and innovate in growing cities. Flevo Campus is a collaborative effort between Aeres Hogeschool Almere, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), Gemeente Almere and Provincie Flevoland.
Both the city itself and the surrounding region play an important role. Almere is situated at the edge of the Amsterdam metropolitan area to the west, and the agricultural production landscape of Flevoland to the east and north, and forms the scene where this collaboration is demonstrated and more importantly, tested. The Flevo Campus forms the bridge between research, education and entrepreneurship, in order to accomplish new smart developments. The Flevo Campus is working on three objectives:
The first objective is shaped by continued development of an internationally appealing Aeres Hogeschool Almere, in close collaboration with the branch in Dronten (University of Applied Sciences) with a leading Dutch and English educational programme aimed at food and the city, thought-provoking scientists, its reputation as a ‘living lab’ and various branches. In addition, this University of Applied Sciences has strengthened the international network.
Aeres Hogeschool Dronten has been a household name for years when it comes to education and research in agriculture and horticulture, with appealing courses, a substantial research group with seven lectorates and many relationships within the regional business climate. With the addition of Aeres Hogeschool Almere as the latest sustainable green college faculty, the position of the Aeres hogeschool as an international University of Applied Sciences is strengthened further, also by making a connection with the global theme of green, healthy and sustainable cities of the future.
Two lectorates, an associate professor and three doctoral students in the field of urban food provision and the network of international ‘Researchers in Residence’ are a testament to that. By 2022, the current bachelor courses will be supplemented with two professional Master’s courses. As a result, both branches of the Aeres Hogeschool have a significant contribution to the annual Floriade Dialogues.
The second objective is to strengthen the competitive position and growth opportunities of local and regional companies in the agro industry. By helping companies with knowledge questions, students, scientists and professionals can contribute to this objective. The regional and local business networks are activated, including the FlevoFood network; businesses are called on to participate in ‘challenges’ such as the ‘Floriade Werkt!’ Challenge, and specific industries such as the potato and onion industry are approached for participation through the lectorates among other things.
Entrepreneurs often hit barriers which can be removed with the right knowledge solutions. We quickly create the right connections between knowledge-demanding entrepreneurs and knowledge suppliers such as the AMS Institute and Aeres Hogeschool Almere and Dronten. This should contribute to a stronger economic structure of the agro industry in the region by 2022.
Being a new city, Almere was created with a lot of nature and water in the direct vicinity. Maintaining this natural environment while increasing food production within the city borders, raises a lot of questions. What does a so-called ‘new town 2.0’ look like? Education about urban food provision and knowledge application form the core activities of the Flevo Campus. And as a result, Flevo Campus contributes to the public interest in the municipal public health policy. But issues with regards to urbanism and landscaping, such as Oosterwolde, the Eemvallei, or food forests including those in the Floriade area, soil usage (from vertical farming to precision agriculture) and even citizenship are all part of Flevo Campus’ area of expertise. The AMS Institute has deployed researchers from Wageningen UR and TU Delft to these themes and students of Aeres Hogeschool will be working on projects within the various areas in the city as part of their education.
Ambition for 2022
The ambition for 2022 is to ensure that the Flevo Campus consists of various strong knowledge partners with a lot of collaborative efforts with businesses, aimed at open innovation. In addition, a productive collaboration between research, courses, entrepreneurship and development will be in place. The Flevo Campus excels in terms of urban food provision, has appeal to international students, but also functions as a hotspot for international knowledge exchange between cities and universities. The Floriade Dialogues and other events such as the Summerschool, the Think Tank and Flevo Campus Live are all concrete examples. All of this comes together in a physical location at the Floraide terrain.