Grandiose words have little meaning for Agnita Mur, Board Member of the Hogeschool Leiden, but cross-connections within the Leiden region do. “I think it is important to sit down together and look beyond our borders. Cooperation within Economie071 is an obvious choice to us.”
Optimal Link with the Labour Market
“We strive here at the Hogeschool Leiden for an optimal connection between our education and the labour market. We want to provide graduates who are valuable. Being a professional education institution we are automatically connected with the region as we can only offer research assignments and internships in close cooperation with the industry.
Furthermore we employ at least a thousand people many of whom live in this region. It is therefore important to properly shape the regional cooperation in many areas.”
“We educate the managers and employees of the future. They are going to be working in multi-disciplinary teams in a constantly changing world. Just like us now, they must also continually keep learning and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
I am therefore extremely excited about HUBspot. Students can learn with this and become entrepreneurs. The multi-disciplinary approach appeals to me in particular. Our students sit together in one location with students from the university and other institutions. That is precisely how we organize our own curriculum. This initiative therefore fits extremely well with what we are doing.”
Regional Health Economy
“I am also enthusiastic about the Centre for Vitality project because through this we will be creating a regional healthcare economy. We are leading this project and will be working together with at least the Leiderdorp and Voorschoten districts. We want to set up a public-private network that is dedicated to innovation towards a healthy lifestyle. Other partners are also interested, VNO-NCW, Topaz and the Alrijne Hospital to name but a few. We are doing this not just for people, but also for employers so that their workforce can remain healthier for longer.”
“Together with the university, the hospitals and Leiden BioScience Park we form a region with a huge amount of knowledge in the field of health and innovation. A good starting position for a healthcare region. Several other regions in the Netherlands have the same goal. The pressure to be concerned about whether your school is unique means little to me. This is not important. I would prefer to search for all kinds of regional cross-connections with the aim that together you can achieve more.
Our educational building is located at the Leiden BioScience Park, where we continuously bump into each other. The proximity is important for knowing each other’s needs well. We have many areas in common and are well connected with each other. Companies provide internships and our curriculum provides the talent needed for the future.”
Discussions that Make a Difference
“I strongly believe in bringing people from differing backgrounds together, people who collaboratively think about a given subject. The value of Economie071 to me is therefore in the meeting. Discussions that make the difference. We sit together with groups that vary widely; from entrepreneurs from Katwijk to students to (applied) scientists.
For me a partnership has to produce something, so I remain critically watchful. I am proud of the solid results which we have already achieved with Economie071, for example the Expat Centre and HUBspot. It would be great if we could get our projects up and running quicker, but cooperation takes time. When we have completed our current projects we must definitely start new projects. This will continue to give depth and meaning to our partnership.”
Gap in the Market
“All of the participants are happy that we all share in the successes of our projects and in what we bring to Economie071. By sharing initiatives, others in an early stage are able to participate. As such different districts are involved in the Vitality project. Furthermore, I believe it is important to make use of established infrastructures and consult together.
It would be wonderful if a group of students started working at HUBspot on a specific issue from a healthcare institution. Not only would the students learn from this, but also the guiding mentor would strengthen his knowledge. It would be truly great if it produced a concept which could be used further by an institution or entrepreneur; it could lead to further research or perhaps highlight a gap in the market for a new product. This creates a chain of activities which strengthen each other. This is my dream.”
Being Anchored in the Region
“As the Hogeschool Leiden we do not have any ambition to grow. We do strive for a lasting high quality in our graduates. We educate the managers and employees of the future. They possess innovative, learning and entrepreneurial skills. This can only be achieved when you are well anchored in the region.
When that happens, you also become a better partner in a much greater partnership. After their studies, many of our students go on to work in this region, but many also spread out elsewhere. This means that we are not only working together within the Leiden region, but also with various other universities and colleges. After all, we are part of the Zuidvleugel, the Randstad, the Netherlands…. Where does the region end? If fact, there are no borders anymore.”