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Second Utrecht Science Lecture: Fostering Sustainable Collaboration for a Rapid Circular Economy

October 9, 2023

The theme of the second Utrecht Science Lecture revolved around sustainable collaboration, which is pivotal for the rapid advancement of a circular economy (an economy where waste is entirely repurposed). Businesses alone cannot solve this, nor can the realm of science. They must come together to formulate and execute sustainable solutions. During the lecture, keynote speakers Prof. Dr. Bert Weckhuysen, University Professor of Catalysis, Energy, and Sustainability at Utrecht University, and Dr. Patrick Cramers, Director of the Institute for Life Sciences & Chemistry (ILC) at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, showcased where the first strides in this intensive partnership are being made to enhance the sustainability of the Science Park. Their goal is to bridge the gap between their respective institutes.

Change is Imperative for a Revitalized Circular Economy
Bert Weckhuysen ardently champions the intensive collaboration between diverse educational entities and stakeholders to nurture a new wave of scientists. He emphasizes the significance of narrowing the gap between foundational research and applied science and is dedicated to bolstering mutual cooperation, knowledge dissemination, and infrastructure at the Utrecht Science Park.

In his lecture, he conveyed that societal and behavioral shifts are requisite for the birth of a faster circular economy. “The Utrecht Science Park is an ideal venue to collaboratively propel science, technology, and education forward. The campus, which serves as a hub for research, innovation, and education, possesses the perfect scale to act as an experimental site. Equipped with ample resources and a diverse user base to test, collaboration is of the essence. Communication — speaking, listening, connecting — is vital. Everyone holds a piece of the puzzle, and only together can we complete it,” asserts Bert Weckhuysen.

Dr. Patrick Cramers adds, “We have already groomed numerous individuals who are now making their mark in the business world. Hence, we are confident in our ability to educate those who will be the change agents of tomorrow. Our alumni in the corporate sector can champion these shifts from the inside. It’s crucial that we impart this vision during their academic journey, priming them for the challenge ahead.”

About the Utrecht Science Lecture
The Utrecht Science Lecture was conceived as an annual platform for distinguished Utrecht scientists to shed light on the contemporary state of science in the domain of healthy and sustainable living during the Utrecht Science Week. The inaugural Utrecht Science Lecture was delivered by Professor Hans Clevers.