- De Rode Loper 2020, Ondernemend Twente’s traditional New Year’s meeting, took place on Monday.
- Ad Louter, Hans ter Steege and René Venendaal talked about the three spearheads of Ondernemend Twente
Ad Louter, director of Urenco, presented the plans for accelerated construction of the high-speed railway connection between Amsterdam and Berlin. Twente’s position between these two economic centres is good for the economy. Twente is located on Berlin Boulevard and is the hub to Germany. It is important for the transport of goods, and the mobility of people. Entrepreneurs in Twente believe that there is a maximum to how much more road capacity the Netherlands can create. The train is a fast and comfortable alternative to the car for companies and employees. Moreover, a fast connection with Amsterdam and the Randstad is an important condition for attracting and retaining talent in Twente.
Hans ter Steege from Ter Steege Bouw made a plea for the construction of affordable and sustainable owner-occupied homes. Attracting and retaining talent is a priority for entrepreneurs in Twente. Affordable, sustainable owner-occupied homes increase Twente’s distinctive character. Talent outside of Twente will then have another reason to choose Twente. Together with a great job and sufficient training opportunities, housing plays an important role in this. We must make Twente the living alternative for the Randstad. A positive side effect is that the competitiveness of the construction sector in Twente will also be improved. The development of affordable, sustainable housing gives the sector a unique position in the Netherlands. To stimulate this even more, Ondernemend Twente is thinking about a “Twente Housing Fund for (top) talents”, where entrepreneurs can help finance the (top) homes for their talents. Discussions have already taken place with corporations and the banks. Although affordable housing usually makes you think of new houses, Hans ter Steege thinks that the solution should be found in the already existing homes. Homes from corporations can be bought by the fund, made more sustainable and then offered to talents with the help of (partial) financing from entrepreneurs and third-party funds. The funds that the corporations gain in this way can be used for renewal of the cities and revitalising village centres, which in turn contributes to an even more beautiful and livable Twente.
René Venendaal, director of Biomass Technology Group (BTG), expressed the last key point: “Twente farmers as energy suppliers”. Twente farmers In Noord-Deuringen are already producing green gas by fermenting cow manure from their farms. In this way, a new sustainable and renewable source of energy is created in the region. The agricultural sector is not a problem in Twente. It is a promising sector in which inventive farmers themselves come up with solutions instead. Twente serves as a testing ground for the development of new technologies. The Twente biogas network that supplies gas to SME’s is a great example of how innovation is shaped in Twente, while also making money. The technological solutions are an export product, and they are of great value for the socio-economic development of Twente.