Drachten university technology study richer

News | 15 Feb 2019

With this, the University of Groningen will settle in Drachten. The university, the municipality of Smallingerland, the province of Fryslân and Innovatiecluster Drachten signed an agreement for this on Friday 15 February. This happened during the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the high-tech business cluster in Drachten. It was also announced there that the Shared Facility Center of the high-tech companies on the Philips site will be converted into a high-tech shared facility building for technical training and business throughout the Northern Netherlands.

According to chairman Binne Visser, growing from 5 to 18 high-tech companies spread across the Northern Netherlands within five years is a great achievement, but he is mainly concerned with what companies and training courses do together. ,,Together we achieve wonderful results and as a result can market products and services that are just that little bit better and smarter than those of our competitors.'' But there is more. The business cluster is now working with all MBO and HBO courses in the North on special courses and attractive internships for technical talents. This now includes the unique collaboration with the University of Groningen. “By bringing academic students to Drachten for part of the Mechanical Engineering master's track, it is easier for them to come into contact with our high-tech SMEs. We are happy to facilitate this with our high-tech shared facility building from Philips. In this way, the students experience that you can simply stay in the Northern Netherlands for an interesting and challenging technical career.”

University of the North

The RUG is making progress in the field of science and technology. The new master's degree is part of a broad package of technical courses that the university offers. According to President of the Executive Board Prof. Dr. Jouke de Vries, many students are not aware of this, even though the university awarded the engineering degree decades ago. "We are now changing that, partly thanks to the collaboration with the companies of Innovatiecluster Drachten."

The Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering falls under the Faculty of Science and Engineering and offers Advanced Instrumentation and Smart Factories. This will be expanded in 2020 with the fields of Process Design for Energy Systems and Materials for Mechanical Engineering. After completing the master's degree, students may use the ir title. Smart Factories students follow their second year of study in the Hightech Innovation Hub in Drachten with lectures and research. "We train them there together with the high-tech companies to design intelligent, coherent and tailor-made production processes for the factory of the future," says De Vries.

Limitless collaboration

Partly thanks to money from the province of Fryslân, Innovatiecluster Drachten makes cooperation for the master track Mechanical Engineering Smart Factories possible. “The business cluster shows that collaboration throughout the Northern Netherlands leads to great results. Such as the collaboration between the ICD, Technologies Added in Emmen and 5Groningen in Groningen. This is the only way we remain attractive for technical talent and certainly also for existing and new companies. After all, we desperately need them in the North to offer permanent work to our residents.”

University City

For alderman Robert Bakker of the municipality of Smallingerland, a long-cherished wish has come true. The municipality has been making efforts for years to entice study programs to establish themselves in the municipality. And with success. “We offer not only our own residents, but the entire region a range of MBO courses. With the arrival of the technical master track of the University of Groningen, we are a little bit like a university city. And we are Tige Grutsk with that.”