''Without cows in the meadow you will not learn to be a farmer''

News | 27 May 2015

DRACHTEN – Three of the twelve high-quality technical companies of the Innovatiecluster Drachten will open their doors on Saturday 6 June, during the national Dutch Technology Week, to give young and old a look at their high-tech kitchen. According to Roel ter Heide, director and owner of Whisper Power, students do not find technology attractive. ,,Our company is a kind of black box along the A7 where many people drive by.'' That is why he likes to show what makes working in the high-tech industry so beautiful and challenging.

In the spacious showroom, there is a real solar boat that took part in the Solar Challenge solar boat race last year. ,,That's a hobby of ours'', says Roel ter Heide. He is an avid skipper himself and combines racing with this electric boat with transferring his love for technology to young people. ,,The youngsters are working on the boat for several months to get it ready for the race. In this way they get to know the technology and come up with solutions to problems themselves. As icing on the cake, they can also race with it themselves in a competition in which student teams from different countries participate.”


According to Ter Heide, this practical way of getting acquainted with technology is the best way to motivate young people to follow a technical study. “If there are no more cows in the meadow, you will not learn to be a farmer. Young people have to see and experience technology for themselves. That is why we often work with interns, both in technology and marketing. People who want to do communication about technology are also very welcome, because how do you sell technology? These interns add value to our company, because there are always some talents among them."


Renewable energy is the most important pillar for Whisper Power, which sells energy-efficient power systems to the maritime (boats and luxury yachts) and the mobile sector (trailers, campers and trucks) with 8 branches and distribution centers in more than fifty countries. The company was founded in 2007 and now has more than 40 employees. Ter Heide expects his company to triple within five years. “Everything we develop here is aimed at sustainability. We make energy generators that use minimal fossil fuel and offer maximum comfort, say the Prius of the power supply''. According to him, the market for homes and companies that generate energy completely independently is on the rise. He therefore sees it as a challenge to technically demonstrate that you can generate your own energy completely independently. "The energy companies don't like that, but it's the future."