• Ref. Code: WS01

  • Chair: Marsha Wagner, Jan Geurt van Kessel, Pim Opraus and Yvette Lanting

  • Duration: 3h

  • Organization:Energy Innovation NL, GroenvermogenNL, HAN University of Applied Sciences

In this workshop, we will share our good practices from The Netherlands, of which the proven method of Learning Communities. We will illustrate how research, education, and practical implementation of innovations can reinforce each other and better tackling societal challenges like the energy transition. Next, we would like to discuss the possibilities of an international network in which we can share learnings of proven and new concepts.

With this paper, we describe the strategy on knowledge and skills development in the Netherlands – based on successful approaches of Energy Innovation NL (EINL) and GroenvermogenNL (GVNL) for the energy and hydrogen transition. To achieve success in these transitions, substantial new knowledge is required. To apply this new knowledge in the labour market, research and innovation must increasingly intertwine with regional learning communities (LC) where innovation, learning, and work are harmonised. This way, skill valorisation will be realised: valorising new knowledge from research and innovations through developing professionals’, students’, and teachers’ skills and practice-oriented research through public-private partnerships. We argue that skills valorisation is an imporant part of the knowledge and innovation policy and a strong collaboration between Universities of Applied Sciences and Vocational Institutions are needed to strengthen education and research. The next step is the recognition of acquired skills through the LC approach. The goal of this solution is to bring together several effective approaches: the development of a national approach to enable individual learning pathways towards skills profiles, across the different educational partners and regional public-private campuses.

1. Gain more knowledge about the Learning Communities (LCs) approach for the energy and hydrogen transition.
2. Learn from other countries on issues associated with the continuous renewal of education and lifelong learning for an energy and hydrogen system in transition.
3. Explore opportunities for further collaboration within the European Union to better cope with these and future events.This is the discussion we aim to have with multiple countries during the SEED Conference.
The topics are:
• Are companies ready to make this change to being a partner that cocreates in innovation and skills development?
• How will a teacher need to transition into a new role and acquire additional skills to effectively establish and participate in learning communities?
• Does government policy (knowledge, innovation, economy, education) support the strategies of educational institutes to implement the LC approach? What kind of stimulation or incentives are offered?
• What are the good and bad practices in positioning the practice-oriented research (use cases) as learning base for educational and lifelong learning processes?
• Do participants from other EU countries share the vision of learning communities, and if so, how do they act on it?
• To what extent do the representatives of the countries in the workshop recognize the struggle in the Netherlands with the positioning of vocational institutes (practorates) in the research and development and innovation system?
• How can we learn from other countries how to utilize micro credentials within the context of innovation and research?
• How can we learn together on these topics? And what breakthroughs do we need?

Marsha Wagner
Marsha Wagner is specialized in lifelong learning and in strategic public-private partnerships and developed this concept to be implemented into vocational education and universities of applied science. She participates in several advisory boards on these subjects. She has a background in artificial intelligence and previously worked as a director at a university of applied science. For several years she is working as the director of the Human Capital Agenda of the Energy Innovation Netherlands and of GroenvermogenNL. Both programs enable the national sustainability goals, as defined in the climate agreement of July 2018, by doing research and development and driving innovation. The Human Capital Agenda’s concern the labor-market challenges that inhibit realizing these goals. Marsha works on a national research program on lifelong learning in cooperation with the Dutch Research Council. She developed ‘learning communities’ (learning – working – innovation). She is also chair of the board of 75INQ; a foundation which aims at accelerating the transition to sustainable energy through promoting gender equality. And she is chair of the national committee for the Innovation traineeships for SMEs, an experimental program of the Taskforce of Applied Research – SIA . Finally, she is member of the Monitoring committee of the Just Transition Fund.

Jan Geurt van Kessel
Jan Geurt van Kessel is a passionate manager, educator and engineer. He has a background in Electrical Engineering, Control Systems Engineering and Meteorology and held positions in industry, education and research. He developed and implemented several concepts for the technical domain to improve the connection between personal development, education, research and industry. His latest development is the Applied Research Team concept as a means to enable and accelerate multilevel (university, applied university, vocational) collaboration on innovation and knowledge development and sharing. This concept is proving to be valuable to minimize the time to market of new knowledge and demonstrates the value of all people in important societal challenges. Currently Jan is manager at the Sustainable Electrical Energy Centre of Expertise (SEECE) for the system integration and flexibility cluster and GroenvermogenNL human capital liaison for the eastern part of the Netherlands including the LifePort (Arnhem-Nijmegen) and Brainport (Eindhoven) regions. From both positions Jan works on limiting the quantitative and qualitative mismatch between the available human capital and the labor-market for the energy transition. He is board member for human capital of the Dutch hydrogen branch organization NWBA and member of the advisory board for the Chip Integration Technology Center with a focus on connecting high-tech industry with all levels of research and education.

Pim Opraus
Pim Opraus is a dedicated Innovation Manager at Duurzaamheidsfabriek in Dordrecht and a driving force in the energy transition sector in the Drechtsteden. From his experience, Pim specializes in forging connections with innovative companies and leading projects that actively involve students and teachers. His commitment to integrate the next generation into the innovation process is a hallmark of his approach. In his role at Duurzaamheidsfabriek, Pim identifies and seizes opportunities for innovation in the energy sector, fostering strategic partnerships and overseeing project execution. His unique emphasis on student involvement not only provides hands-on experience but also addresses human capital challenges in new skills and evolving technologies. By this, he aligns educational curricula with industry needs, ensuring students are equipped with the latest skills. His dedication to bridging academia and industry makes him a key player in advancing sustainable practices and shaping a future powered by innovation in the region. He brings together his knowledge and experience in innovation to develop new ideas and implement, and to promote best practices that enable organizations to achieve their achieve goals. He strongly believes in the concepts of open innovation and open networks and is likely to use the phrase ‘he who cannot divide, cannot multiply’.

Yvette Lanting
Yvette Lanting is project manager for the Centre of Expertise Smart Sustainable Cities at the HU University of Applied Sciences. She holds a MSc in Urban Studies and has worked as an urban developer. She is striving to improve sustainable energy education in Utrecht within the COVE SEED project. Her field of expertise is project management and sustainable urban development.

Energy Innovation NL, GroenvermogenNL, HAN University of Applied Sciences