Deputy Friso Douwstra visits ICD companies

News | January 24, 2022

On Friday 21 January, the new Frisian deputy Friso Douwstra paid introductory visits to three companies of the Innovatiecluster Drachten (ICD). The ICD aimed to provide more insight into what the cluster does, which companies and knowledge institutions are affiliated and what the future plans are to further strengthen mutual knowledge sharing and cooperation. The working visit included Bauke Dam, alderman of South Friesland and Anko Postma, alderman of Opsterland. In Drachten, Mayor Jan Rijpstra of Smallingerland took part in the working visit.

The companies of the ICD contribute to solving social issues, such as the use of raw materials, energy or health. To realize this, their high-tech systems are needed. The basis for this is the conversion of knowledge and technology into unique high-tech systems, which in turn leads to internationally competitive propositions and market positions. The ICD companies annually introduce 50 new products and create workplaces for young technical talent by offering 275 internships for 45 nationalities. In collaboration with the University of Groningen, the NHL Stenden, Hanze University and Windesheim universities of applied sciences, we are working on properly training students so that they have the right knowledge and skills. The ICD also works together with MBO institutions in various parts of the region.

The day program consisted of a visit to Ventura in Bolsward, starting with a presentation by Bas de Nooijer, director of Ventura and a tour of the production environment for bus doors. Ventura bus doors can be found all over the world. In London, Berlin and Hong Kong the city buses are fitted with doors from Bolsward. Bus doors always have to work: both in the tropics and in bitter cold.

Visit Friso Douwstra At Ventura
Visit Friso Douwstra At Ventura
Visit Friso Douwstra To Ventura With Bas De Nooijer
Visit Friso Douwstra to Ventura With Bas De Nooijer and Binne Visser

The second visit took place at ZiuZ in Gorredijk. Here too, owner Gerrit Baarda gave a presentation about their expertise: visual intelligence and the guests were shown around the brand new work floor. 

At ZiuZ, a quarter of the employees are now women, including a technical director. In 2021, despite the corona crisis, the company had no fewer than 11 interns and in 2022 there are 8 internships. Due to a shortage on the labor market, ZiuZ invests mainly in the preliminary phase, and with success. 

There are now many applications from students who consciously choose an ICD company. The ICD offers them the opportunity to move from one high-tech company to another, which also makes it attractive to work here. All vacancies and internships of the ICD companies can be found on the ICD website. 

The third company visit took place at BD in Drachten. Joost Zeilstra, R&D director, received the guests in the R&D center where the new generations of laboratory instruments are being developed. Here the company watched BD's latest showpiece, which will be launched on the market shortly. Finally, ICD president Binne Visser and Henk Smid, treasurer of the ICD, explained the successful first 7.5 years and the future plans of the ICD for the period 2023-2028.

Friso Douwstra: “It was a good meeting with the right discussions about things that really matter: making the Northern Netherlands attractive for students and young professionals who want to work for an internationally successful technology company. It is good to see that the cooperation with the ICD is going so well. As a province, we would like to be a partner for the parties and with the ICD there are many possibilities, now and in the future.”

img 2447
From left to right: Alderman Opsterland mr. A. Postma, Provincial Executive of Fryslân mr. F. Douwstra, Policy officer economic affairs mr. H. Berga