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NL: New innovation center The Green East opened

“We are proud that we have such a gem in the municipality of Raalte,” said mayor Martijn Dadema during the opening of The Green East on Friday 24 August. Exactly a year ago, the presentation of the plans for a new innovation center with its focus on a circular economic future for the agri-food business was held. Now a large part of the innovation center was ready for use. During this festive day, The Green East, ABC Kroos and Energiefonds Overijssel also signed an agreement to jointly establish a pilot factory for the extraction of proteins out of duckweed.

Cultivation room

The new innovation center wants to be a 'home of green development', not only for Raalte and the Zwolle region, but it also has ambitions to be active nationally and internationally. Educational institutions, (research) companies and start-ups can head to The Green East to acquire knowledge and to exchange information with each other. For example, secondary education students will be able to complete a research project at the innovation center. Also for higher education institutions, there is the opportunity to gain knowledge about the latest developments in the field of circular economy. For example, students from Aeres Hogeschool Dronten will start their Entrepreneurship minor at The Green East in early September, as is explained by Geert Sol, board member of The Green East. “Knowledge valorisation and multifold value creation are two of our core values. We are very much looking for links with companies, governments and educational institutions to take steps together in the transition to a circular economy in the agri-food business.”

Water lentils the new gourmet food
Jeroen Willemsen, 'green protein crusader', was pleased with the cooperation agreement signed between The Green East, ABC Kroos and Energiefonds Overijssel in order to work towards energy efficiency in the meat industry. ABC Kroos is going to install a pilot factory on the site of The Green East where duckweed, also called water lentils, can be processed into ingredients that can be used in human food and food supplements, but also in raw materials for use in animal feed. In order to provide the world's population in the future with food, a food transition has to take place. "There will have to be a shift in the consumption from animal to vegetable proteins. A margarine manufacturer already advertises with the slogan 'plants are the new cows'. Soon water lentils will be the new gourmet food", according to Willemsen.


Martijn Dadema, mayor of Raalte, is also pleased with such an innovation center within his municipality, where companies and educational institutions are willing to contribute to the revolution in agribusiness. One of the other speakers, Menno ten Heggelen, program manager for circular economy at the Province of Overijssel, was also positive about the arrival of an innovation center that fits within his field of expertise. He already sees various initiatives in the province in the field of circular economy, but calls for a transition of, for and by the sector. "The Green East research center is already a great example of this."

For more information:
The Green East B.V.
Drosteweg 6 - 8
8101 NB Raalte
The Netherlands
[email protected]
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