Last month, Wafilin Systems organised a digital lunch for some of its partners. This event was prompted by Wafilin Systems being awarded the Leeuwarden Entrepreneurship Prize ‘De HET’ on 14 September. Wafilin Systems invited key partners from the WaterCampus to celebrate its success. Due to tightened restrictions, everyone had to attend the digital lunch from their own homes. Wafilin Systems nonetheless wanted to thank its various partners, while also taking the opportunity to discuss the future of the WaterCampus.
The lunch was hosted by Henk Schonewille – CEO, Harry van Dalfsen – Founder and Technical Director, and Jos van Dalfsen – R&D Manager from Wafilin Systems. Their guests were Hein Molenkamp – Managing Director of the Water Alliance, Johannes Boonstra – Executive Board member at Wetsus, and Koos Oosterhaven – Director of the Water Application Centre (WAC) and the Food Application Centre for Technology (FACT).
These companies played a significant role when Wafilin Systems was established in Leeuwarden in 2004. As Harry van Dalfsen explains: “After I came to the Van Hall Institute, the idea of the WaterCampus gradually started taking shape. Wetsus also had an important pioneering role. Our collaborations led to increased knowledge and eventually to the creation of the WaterCampus. The Water Alliance was established at the same time, enabling many companies to carry out research. Eventually this resulted in the business centre where we and other companies operate on a daily basis.”
Wafilin Systems has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years thanks to the collaboration with the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences – and the University’s facilities at the WAC and the FACT at its Leeuwarden site. Harry van Dalfsen describes this as an ideal location, where innovation in water and food technologies can flourish in the North.
The diversity of the various companies associated with the WaterCampus stimulates interaction and strong growth. The ability to share wide-ranging knowledge and networks catalyses exciting projects and collaborations between the WaterCampus companies.
In recent years, Wafilin Systems has increasingly focused on the dairy and food industries, in which water plays a key role. “For us, there’s an obvious cross-over because of the increased focus on a healthy diet and the growing complexity of the production processes in the dairy and food industries”, says Harry van Dalfsen. “It’s great for us that the FACT is based at the WaterCampus and we started working with the regional Dairy Campus years ago. Close links between the two campuses really helped us increase our potential to innovate”, he continues.
Thanks to its growth and professional management under the leadership of CEO Henk Schonewille, Wafilin Systems has expanded its network over time. However, the company continues to value the networks and contacts that the WaterCampus helped initiate.