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IBL-strategy meeting in Noordwijkerhout

Scientific director Herman Spaink brought almost all scientific staff members of our institute together in Noordwijkerhout for a two-day meeting about strategies for the future.

Hotel and conference center NH Leeuwenhorst was the venue for an IBL-staff retreat, like two years ago. Institute Manager Laura Zondervan, Kick Moors from Human Resources, and Management Assistant Sonja Wijfjes-Chang, joined the more than 20 associate and assistant professors and several post-docs. Together they exchanged ideas and thoughts and heard about the scientific progress, current funding success and plans for the future by the leaders of the three research clusters within our institute: Animal Sciences & Health (Herman Spaink), Plant Sciences & Natural Products (Peter Klinkhamer), and Microbial Biotechnology & Health (Gilles van Wezel).

Aletta Debernardi from LURIS was invited as special guest and spoke about grant opportunities and procedures for European grant proposals in the HORIZON 2020 programme. IBL-researcher of molecular oncology Ewa Snaar-Jagelski added notes on personal experience with several successful European applications. Han de Winde, vice-dean of the faculty and IBL-professor in Industrial Biotechnology (since 2013), highlighted national grant opportunities and emphasized alertness and optimal timing of preparation for successful submissions.

A surprise intermezzo to the serious presentations and inspirational discussions was arranged through Arthur Tolsma, who was invited to tell about the ‘ins and outs’ of a successful elevator pitch. Arthur Tolsma is writer of the book ‘Startups and Downs’ and a talented public speaker who won a major pitch competition on dutch tv. All staff members readily participated in the interactive workshop, which was an entertaining and informative part of the programme.

On day two, IBL Communications Officer Nathalie van Dooren drew attention to updates and upgrades to our website and stimulated everybody to contribute to an optimal presence of the IBL in the digital world. The dean of the Science Faculty Geert de Snoo also joined the meeting to listen to our scientific director, who summarized the current state and future developments in the IBL for him with respect to teaching, research, collaborations, valorisation and funding. The dean answered questions and provided feedback and advice to our plans and strategy.

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