Spring 2011

TenCate in Twente, the Netherlands and Europe

If Europe wishes to withstand the economic growth and innovative power of the United States and Southeast Asia, then it must continue to innovate. Through technological and social innovation you can strengthen your competitive power and create added value on the basis of high-grade technological developments. It doesn’t have to depend on the available funds but rather on the boldness and willingness to make choices and work together.

Frans van Vught (member of the TenCate Supervisory Board, chairman of the supervisory board of Medisch Spectrum Twente and adviser to EC chairman Barroso) contemplates the developments and the role of TenCate at the Twente, national and European levels. Excerpts from the interview in txtures 1.

Frans van Vught

‘In substance the European Union is strongly driven by the question: how can we ensure new economic growth? How can we respond to the rapidly growing economy in the United States and above all in Southeast Asia? Actually the only answer is innovation. In this area, we would be better served by greater cooperation and quicker decision-making.’

'The stronger the links between the levels - Twente, the Netherlands and Europe - the greater the chance the economic growth will be generated. Establishing links between the levels means, besides communication on policy processes, jointly seizing opportunities. The European government leaders have decided that large chunks of regional stimulation must be dedicated to knowledge and innovation. The provinces can help to develop a more robust innovation policy for the regions. It’s important for managers to know what the links are like between the Netherlands and Europe as far as regional innovation processes are concerned.’

‘There’s a great deal of innovation potential in TenCate. We have new activities under development, for example nanoscale inkjet technology. In principle, a package of new products is possible in which considerable innovative power can find expression. TenCate has already developed into a major player in the field of advanced materials.'

‘TenCate is certainly a global company. We can make good use of this on the regional and national scales for high-tech systems and particularly materials. From a European perspective TenCate is an interesting company. It is a good example of a company of Twente origin that plays a role on the national scale in the national innovation policy and is involved on the European scale in part of the development and implementation of European innovation policy.'

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)