VDL Groep and UM intensify collaboration

From robotics for the agriculture of the future to further developing recycling techniques: VDL Groep and Maastricht University (UM) see ample opportunities to expand and intensify cooperation in these and other areas. To underline this, the two organisations signed a declaration of intent on 20 December.  VDL and UM want the cooperation to contribute to attracting and retaining talent in the region and help ensure that Limburg retains sufficient 'development and manufacturing industry'.

VDL Groep is a business group with over 100 companies that develops and produces industrial products in the fields of high-tech, mobility, energy, infratech and foodtech. These fields of activity offer common ground with what happens at UM: education and research and the creation of social impact, including in the fields of sustainability, biomedical materials, imaging, life sciences, data science and social sciences.

VDL and UM already know how to find each other. For instance, researchers from the Faculty of Science and Engineering are looking at how to support employees on the work floor of VDLNedcar with artificial intelligence in a responsible way. And VDL, through the Einstein Telescope Technologies (ETT) project, is contributing to the Einstein Telescope, in which UM is also participating. The company brings to ETT its expertise, among other things, in the field of large steel structures with ultra-high vacuum and cleanliness levels.

With the declaration of intent, the two organisations are laying the foundations for intensifying that cooperation. As matchmakers, programme managers from both organisations will support new collaborations and stimulate acquaintance between relevant organisational units.

Nick Bos, UM Executive Board: "The manufacturing industry has a solid history in Limburg. If, together with VDL, we can ensure that we combine that manufacturing activity with the scientific knowledge and innovative partnerships that have gained strength in Limburg, including on the Brightlands campuses, in recent decades, that will be of benefit to all parties."

Paul van Vuuren, executive vice president VDL Groep: "With the development and production of high-quality industrial products, we aim to make the difference for the world of tomorrow and thus secure the future earning capacity of the Netherlands and the region. To keep fuelling the cycle of innovation and production, and thereby continue to offer added value, we pursue prosperity and well-being for future generations. In that context, this strength can be seen through cooperation. We look forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation with Maastricht University".

Signing of the agreement between UM and VDL
The signing of the declaration of intent by Nick Bos (r) and Paul van Vuuren (l)

Photo: Harry Heuts

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