New research facilities at Shared Research Facilities

Published on
October 28, 2020

In addition to research groups from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), research institutes and the corporate sector are now able to make use of the high-tech facilities that fall under the umbrella of the Shared Research Facilities (SRF) division. The Province of Gelderland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, who are keen to ensure that as many parties as possible make full use of this research equipment, have subsequently provided funding in an effort to encourage the sharing of these types of state-of-the-art research facilities.

This is consistent with the ambition to make advanced equipment and facilities available for shared use in the Food Valley innovation ecosystem. To this end, Shared Research Facilities have been working closely with Food Valley Facilities (Foodvalley NL) within the Food Valley 2030 programme.

An additional advantage is that the facilities are consequently supported by specialists. In addition to financial gain, the expertise has ultimately been raised to a higher level. And where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) did not ordinarily have access to advanced facilities, thanks to SRF they now do.

The facilities are located on Wageningen Campus and are housed within external organisations or groups who, in their role of key user, possess the expertise to use and maintain the equipment.

State-of-the-art MRI facility in Gelderse Vallei Hospital

Two new research facilities recently opened. Last week, an important step was taken towards the realisation of a state-of-the-art MRI facility in the Gelderse Vallei Hospital when a new MRI scanner was hoisted into the hospital building. In the process, a unique facility for innovative nutritional research and high-quality diagnostics was realised.

MRI Scanner being hoisted into hospital building
MRI Scanner being hoisted into hospital building

The facility, which will be used for research, is expected to be available to knowledge institutions and companies from December onwards and will also be available to researchers from other hospitals and universities or companies.

The MRI scanner offers new possibilities for research into the effects of food on the brain, body composition and digestion (which is important for obesity, for example); in addition, the MRI scanner will also be used for research into smell and taste disorders, prostate research and professional and amateur sports injuries.

Optimal support for DNA innovation

In the interests of DNA innovation, a Pacific Biosciences Sequel II platform was added to the so-called Next Generation Sequencing facilities.
The investment in the PacBio Sequel II is a partnership of Wageningen Plant Research-Bioscience, KeyGene N.V. and BaseClear B.V. The machine is housed in the lab of Bioscience WUR.
The new platform will increase the potential to offer partners optimal support when answering complex research questions about crop innovation. As a result, agricultural research will be able to advance to a new phase.

As for the acquisition of the Sequel II, Dick Roelofs from KeyGene is enthusiastic about the company’s collaboration with WUR. “Thanks to our joint efforts, we are now be able to provide our customers with the latest long-read sequencing technology that best suits their research needs.” 

The facility sharing offers many other opportunities. Use the search engine to find facilities you need.