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Research window Future-oriented and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

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    Research that makes our world greener

    In order to fight further global warming, we - as citizens, governments and businesses - need to make our society more sustainable and speed up the transition to a circular economy. This is also the ambition of our university of applied sciences: careful handling of raw materials and protection of our living environment. This requires not only innovative and smart technological knowledge, but also the adaptation of existing economic frameworks, current methods of production and all kinds of strategic business models. Even though there is a will, the way is unfortunately not always straightforward.

    Our view is wider

    Practical research can help turn things around: within family businesses, from SMEs to multinationals. Family businesses, for example, have to make decisions about how to make their business more sustainable, besides issues relating to business succession and good governance as a family. Entrepreneurs sometimes face obstructive legislation within their sector. This requires expertise that is not always available within their own family. Similar issues arise in medium-sized and large companies. How can you check in the logistics chain whether suppliers are producing sustainably? Blockchain and big data can provide more insight into this.

    Setting up a circular business operation in which waste is reused as raw material is another theme that many companies are struggling with. How, for example, can you recycle composite from wind turbine rotor blades? And how can you do this in a way in which the business model and technological innovation are not diametrically opposed but instead reinforce each other?

    Our research: from sustainable to circulair

    Our research: from sustainable to circulair

    Researchers at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences address these issues from a variety of research disciplines. Together with partners from the field. This translates into concrete solutions for business, government and industry. Solutions that improve the living conditions of our immediate living, working and learning environments (in the longer term); and that offer new economic opportunities.

    Time is of the essence; we have to step up the pace. That’s why Jeike Wallinga's professorship actively focuses on accelerating the energy transition. After all, accelerating energy savings and the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources, that's what it's all about. 

    The professorship contributes to energy technology that makes a sustainable contribution to the energy transition in our built environment. And the team also looks at energy supply for specific areas, including the associated energy infrastructure. By (re)designing energy technologies and energy chains. By conducting practice-based research in the fields of work, education and society.

    Want to know more? Contact Project Assistant Annet van Woerdekom via +31 88 469 9367 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    With knowledge and insights from research, the Dutch Expertise Centre in Family Business aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial power in family businesses.

    An important aspect of the research carried out by the professorship is finding a good balance between business and family interests. Through direct contact and long-term relationships with family businesses in various sectors, they know exactly what is going on now and what will become an issue in the long term. 

    Want to know more? Read more about the Dutch Expertise Centre in Family Business or contact Office Manager Karin Rozendal via +31 88 469 8426 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    The innovation centre for (green) polymers, fibres and composites. Here, various partners initiate and facilitate business-driven knowledge development.

    Green PAC, Polymer Application Centre, is an initiative of NHL Stenden and Windesheim universities of applied sciences. It is an important link for applied research of smart materials in the polymer industry. Within Green PAC we carry out research that contributes to concrete projects from the business community. And we focus on education in the northeast of the Netherlands. Knowledge circulation between universities of applied sciences, universities, technological companies and regional education plays an important role within Green PAC.

    Want to know more? Take a look at our website(opens in new tab)

    Many people see eHealth as a promising development. Yet few IT innovations are sustainably embedded in healthcare practice.

    Marike Hettinga and her research team bridge this gap by conducting multidisciplinary research combining data from the fields of care, technology and business. Their research results in applicable knowledge and useful tools that support healthcare providers in deploying eHealth, or handy tools used by entrepreneurs.

    Want to know more? Contact Professor Marike Hettinga via +31 88 469 7762 (phone) or    email(opens in new tab).

    Whether it concerns digitization, automation or robotization: the business world is innovating at full speed. The professorship contributes to this development.

    Industrial automation and robotics offer many opportunities and possibilities, for companies and education as well as for professionals. That's why a quartermaster should set up a professorship that will carry out applied research on this subject. This research group is growing steadily. And so we have taken an important step for tomorrow's innovative technical education.

    Want to know more? Contact Associate Professor Aart Schoonderbeek via +31 88 469 6733 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    Research and education in the field of rubber and polymer processing has been given less priority in the Netherlands. The primary aim of the research within the Professorship of Polymer Engineering is to promote higher education in polymers with practical results for industry.

    Professor Margie Topp and her team focus on the sustainable use of raw materials and sustainable production processes. Recycling, environmental impact and energy savings are important areas of research. With its focus on Industrial Additive Manufacturing and Smart Industry 4.0, the professorship contributes to keeping the regional manufacturing industry competitive.

    Want to know more? Click here for our page about Polymer Engineering or mail us(opens in new tab).  

    In a constantly changing labour market, you always keep on learning, and lifelong development is an asset. The research conducted by Professor Menno Vos focuses on what’s needed to achieve this.

    As a result of increasing technologization and digitization, the demands made on employees and managers are changing ever faster. What do these changes demand of us when it comes to knowledge and skills? What is the importance of lifelong development and how do we jointly promote a (more) active learning culture within organizations? These questions are answered by practical research in and with SMEs and other companies, sector organizations and educational institutions.

    Want to know more? Contact Project Assistant Vibeke Oenema via +31 88 469 7394 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    Liesbeth Rijsdijk and her team are the competence center for sustainable entrepreneurship: from the reuse of raw materials to strongly diminished waste and pollution.

    More and more companies are acknowledging that the current ways of production and consumption are unsustainable in the long run. A circular economy offers a new perspective on more responsible and successful entrepreneurship. The professorship aims to enable the discussion on these issues both within the education sector and within all regional organizations so as to contribute as a competence center to the transition towards a circular economy. 

    Want to know more? Contact Dr. Liesbeth Rijsdijk via +31 88 469 7767 (opens in new tab) (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    Our labour market continues to evolve and employment relationships change with it. Anneke Goudswaard's professorship combines sustainable craftsmanship with a sustainable economy. 

    All technological developments make great demands on the flexibility and learning capacity of companies and workers. Entrepreneurs, educational institutions and public authorities in the area share the common challenge of strengthening the competitiveness of local businesses. The professorship actively supports the area in this. For example, with knowledge about how SMEs can grow with flexibility and inclusiveness. Or with knowledge about how public and private partners can collaborate to strengthen the professionalism and agility of the entire workforce.

    Want to know more? Contact Project Coordinator Brigitte Toes via +31 88 469 9582 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    Every employee has different qualities. How do you turn such differences into added value? That’s the focus of research conducted by Professor Sjiera de Vries and her team.

    How does your organization become attractive to a broad group of employees? And how do you prevent people from finding an organization unattractive or from finding themselves unable to work there because they are 'different', for example in terms of gender, age or physical or psychological abilities? Through practice-based research into social innovation, the professorship aims to answer these questions. They look at the various qualities of employees and how to turn all these differences into added value.
    Want to know more? Contact Professor Sjiera de Vries via +31 88 469 6974 (phone) or email(opens in new tab).

    How do you spread risks and improve the position of companies in supply chains? Together with his team, Professor Michiel Steeman addresses this issue.

    Supply Chain Finance is the generic term for all forms of financing between companies within the supply chain. The aim is to improve the financial positions of all parties in the chain and to spread financial risks. Research shows that companies can save money by improving their working capital position. As a result, less financing is needed and banks are more willing to grant loans based on a strong working capital ratio. Supply Chain Finance plays a major role in this. 

    Want to know more? Check out our page on Supply Chain Finance or contact our project-assistant Mira Benes via +31 88 469 7502 (phone(opens in new tab)) or email(opens in new tab).

    Creating opportunities and increasing innovative strength in collaboration with high-tech companies: that's the goal of TechForFuture. A collaboration between universities of applied sciences Saxion and Windesheim.

    TechForFuture incentivizes mission policy and key technologies by conducting practice-oriented research. The knowledge developed directly benefits education and the regional area. Each project involves companies, professors, researchers, lecturers and students. Collaboration between the two universities of applied sciences Saxion and Windesheim and the broad scope of the research ensures interesting synergy. This is how we contribute to the innovative power and growth of the regional area. 

    Want to know more? Take a look at our website(opens in new tab)


    Would you like to know more about our research, our researchers or projects? All you have to do is call or mail our information centre.

    Meet our professors

    Meet our professors

    Dr Anneke Goudswaard, professor

    Professor Anneke Goudswaard conducts research into increasing the agility of companies and the workforce within the professorship of New Labour Relations.

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    Dr Marike Hettinga, professor

    The multidisciplinary (research) background of our professor Marike Hettinga is valuable to help realize structural embedding of IT innovations in healthcare.

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    Dr Aart Schoonderbeek, associate professor

    Aart Schoonderbeek specializes in research in the field of industrial production processes, particularly in the area of automation and robotics.

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    Dr Menno Vos, professor

    Menno Vos is professor of Lifelong Development. His research focuses on ways in which organizations can encourage their employees to keep developing themselves.

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    Dr Sjiera de Vries, professor

    Professor Sjiera de Vries focuses on social innovations that aim to make use of the diversity of people's competences in society.

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    Dr Jeike Wallinga, professor

    Jeike Wallinga combines personal passion as a physicist with technical expertise on energy transition and ample programme management experience gained in corporate positions.

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