The board of DutchSA is proud that Frank Weits, our former president and current advisory board member, as well as honorary consul for the Netherlands, has been appointed as the new CEO of ACH Group, a leading provider of aged care services. Frank's ability to turn his mind quickly to complex business issues and help solve them makes him a valuable organiser and contributor of change, innovation and customer centricity, qualities highly anticipated by ACH Group.
"It is vital that ACH Group seizes opportunities to grow and prosper in a deregulating market. The combination of Frank’s attributes as a problem solver and decision maker, his strategic vision and experience in growing businesses through innovation, will enable ACH Group to identify new opportunities so we can continually improve the way we support people throughout their ageing journey." - Mary Patetsos, Chair ACH Group Board
Ambassador Erica Schouten attended the Dutch Remembrance Ceremony for the fallen of WWII. In her speech, the Ambassador addressed this year’s theme for the 4 May commemoration: resistance. The Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le A.O. also spoke at the ceremony.
During her visit to South Australia, the Ambassador furthermore paid a visit to the University of Adelaide. Waite Research Institute Campus is a research, education and commercialisation precinct for agricultural science and a great location to exchange views on agri & food matters. The Ambassador also visited the Tonsley Innovation District where leading-edge research and education institutions, established businesses and start-ups, business incubators and accelerators as well as the wider community connect and collaborate. The Ambassador met with the Hon. David Ridgway, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in South Australia, to discuss possibilities for cooperation in agri/horti culture and food innovation. Working together for a more sustainable future!
While in Adelaide the Ambassador also made time to meet with the new DutchSA board, which was highly appreciated. DutchSA expresses its gratitude for the ongoing close relationship with the embassy and consulate of The Netherlands in Australia. This is of great value for bridging business opportunities and fresh ideas between Australia and The Netherlands!
DutchSA is honoured and proud to announce that Professor Anton Middelberg, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at The University of Adelaide, has joined the advisory board of DutchSA. See Our Board for a complete overview of our (advisory) board members. We look forward to Anton's guidance for our contributions to the South Australian innovation and commercialisation agenda and our relationship with the Dutch consulate and embassy.
Prior to becoming the Engineering lead of the University of Adelaide, Anton was Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and International) and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at The University of Queensland. He has been a Fulbright Fellow at UC Berkeley, taught at the University of Cambridge and was appointed as a Fellow of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, focused on research and its commercialisation.
Professor Middelberg is an internationally-recognised research and thought leader in chemical and biomolecular engineering. His research is fundamental but directed toward significant problems including in the health and advanced bio-manufacturing sectors.
In 2003 he returned to Australia as an ARC Federation Fellow and then as the Queensland Premier’s Fellow. During these Fellowships he researched, patented and ultimately licensed new technologies in the vaccine and bio-nanotechnology sectors.
The impact of Professor Middelberg’s research has been recognised by Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and through award of the Brodie and Shedden-Uhde Medals of IEAust. In 2006, he won the TechConnect Prize in Boston for new technology having the highest potential, in the category of Physical Sciences, for market impact.
DutchSA organised a conference call with the development directors of Tonsley and Brainport to initiate a process of knowledge sharing. Brainport was represented by Joep Brouwers (development director), Tonsley by Philipp Dautel (development director) and Terry Burgess (Tonsley project chair, and member of the economic development board for South Australia). The call was also attended by the University of Adelaide (Anton Middelberg, Executive Dean of the science and technology faculty) and facilitated by DutchSA (Frank Weits and Edwin Roman).
Joep answered questions and talked us through some inspiring history. After the close down of traditional manufacturing industries, government, municipalities, companies and universities in the Eindhoven region (with the Philips High Tech Campus) worked closely together in a 'triple helix' approach to turn around the region. An approach so successful that Brainport is now the #1 European region for innovation strategy and one of the 3 European regions attracting most foreign investments and companies in the whole of Europe.
The biggest problem for Brainport is now attracting enough international knowledge workers to fill the many research and development jobs in the region. Eindhoven registers more patents per capita than the 3 runners up together (San Francisco, San Diego and Malmo) and has been named the smartest city in the world.
In conclusion this shows that Tonsley could be in the early stages of a very similar path, and that continued focus of government, industry and knowledge institutions over a long period can result in a world class innovation district. It is great to share insights and opportunities with one of the development leaders of the smartest region in the world and we intend to keep doing that.
Jan Bijlsma retiring from the DutchSA Board
Jan Bijlsma will ‘retire' as Treasurer from the Board after 8 years active and successful involvement in DutchSA Events, taking care of IT and Finance and many other social events and board activities. Jan, we thank you and will seriously miss your energy, wisdom & expertise, stakeholder management, and of course your Friese ‘nuchterheid'!
New DutchSA Board members Nancy Spork and Anton Scholte
We welcome Nancy Spork and Anton Scholte as our new Board members. Anton will take over the position of Treasurer from Jan Bijlsma.
DutchSA Advisory Board
The DutchSA Advisory Board with DutchSA founders Willem Ouwens and Roland Lever will be extended with Jan Bijlsma. We plan to extend the Advisory Board with more expertise and access to various industries.
New DutchSA Committees for Business and Member Engagement
We have set up two new Committees Business Engagement and Member Engagement, to involve more of our members in organising business events & trade missions, and effectively manage member related activities. We are welcoming expressions of interest to grow the team. Email email@example.com, or talk to us at the First Thursday networking drinks to let us know you are interested.
Today Willem Ouwens retires from his position as The Netherlands Honorary Consul to South Australia. DutchSA joins the Dutch Embassy in Australia in thanking Willem for his long time service and dedication to the Dutch community in South Australia!
We already had a closed Facebook group for our members.
As of now we also have a Public Page on Facebook:
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We will use the public page for public announcements and events (which is not possible with the (closed) Facebook group.