The Regio Deal applied for by Twente Board on behalf of entrepreneurs, municipalities, educational and knowledge institutions and other parties involved in Twente has been honoured. This means that Twente may invest a further 25 million euros in the socio-economic development of the region, including a stronger commitment to recruiting technical talent by higher education institutions.
Broad prosperity has been named a central theme in the new round of Regio Deals by minister Hanke Bruins Slot. Broad prosperity, better known in Twente as Gross Twents Happiness, comprises everything people consider of value. Besides material prosperity, it also includes things like health, education, environment and living conditions, social cohesion, personal development and safety. Brede Welvaart, and with it Gross Twents Happiness, is not just about the current situation, but rather anticipates the future and offers room to respond to challenges.
"With this new round of Regio Deals, we can make even more impact on themes that could use an extra helping hand in Twente," says Twente Board chairman Wim Boomkamp. "We want to work hard together to relieve the pressure on the regional business community. Think about making the energy supply more sustainable and keeping the (SME) business sector future-proof, increasing the intake of technical students and making the best possible use of the available labour potential in the region and, in the border region, even better cooperation with Germany." Another important theme is the accessibility of healthcare. "To keep care accessible and affordable, it is important to cooperate even better in the care chain. And to invest even more in the concept of Positive Health. Central to this are prevention, early signalling/diagnosis, innovations in people's homes, remote care and training of care personnel."
Vinod Subramaniam, chairman of the Executive Board of the University of Twente: "The demand for qualified technical staff will continue to grow in the coming years. This is not only a challenge for business, but it may also pose a bottleneck in light of major societal challenges such as energy transition. It is therefore of great importance that young people choose to study engineering and ICT. As educational institutions, we can use the stimulus provided by the Regiodeal to interest even more students in technical study programmes. By doing so, we contribute to the further development of Twente as a green technological top region."
Provincial Executive member Eddy van Hijum: "The choice of proposals shows that the national government embraces the innovative power of the eastern Netherlands to tackle the major tasks in the coalition agreement. With this financial boost from the national government and co-financing from the region, we can speed up the development of technology and innovations that contribute to the broad prosperity of our society. This region is strong in safe and sustainable food, healthcare, digitisation, clean energy and circular economy. A good example is our medical technology companies, whose innovations contribute to improvements in healthcare. This benefits the whole of the Netherlands. As a province, we are therefore again happy to be a partner of the Regio Deal."
"In Twente, we have a lot of challenges on the existing business parks in terms of energy transition and sustainability, among other things. With the support of the Regio Deal, we now really want to work together as business associations to put our shoulders to the wheel," said Michel ten Hag, on behalf of Ondernemend Twente and VNO-NCW Twente.
Looking back on the spending and effects of the 2019 Regio Deal, Boomkamp is confident that the goals set will be achieved. "We are working together better and better in Twente. With this boost, we can continue to work on the development of the region, but we can only do that in cooperation with the province and national government."