History BioPartner Center Wageningen, the Food Valley incubator
BioPartner Center Wageningen was founded with the purpose of creating a regional entrepreneurial climate for Life Sciences businesses: startups, young companies, but also for (the business units of) large established concerns. Those new businesses required, and still require, multifunctional facilities and a broad range of services and support. Knowledge companies active in the field of biotechnology, agrifood, health and the living environment require laboratories for example.
Director and shareholder Jeff Gielen explains: "The government has in the first five years offered extra financial support via BioPartner to researchers seeking to valorise their knowledge and experience. There was a great deal of 'on the shelf' knowledge suitable for conversion into commercially viable products. By doing so, the government killed two birds with one stone: by creating space for new researchers and new employment at the same time."
That the initiative was successful is reflected by the large number of companies that started between 2001 and 2006 as one or two man companies and now have a workforce of as many as 10, 20 or even 30. This includes not only highly trained researchers, but also back office and marketing staff. "Add to this the supply companies and the result is an increasingly dynamic local economy. That was the objective and we were successful. Other than right at the start, no specials grants were received: we can keep ourselves operational!"
BioPartner Center Wageningen is currently recognised as the leading Food Valley Incubator.