The sector and PhDs

World leading in innovation

What mechanisms underlie e.g. effective germination and growth? How to improve these processes? Product innovation requires deep scientific knowledge. This is where the Netherlands proves her excellence: Innovation of plant reproduction material. Did you know that 60% of all potatoes and 35% of all vegetable seeds in the world are originally developed in The Netherlands? This has a significant economic impact too. The plant reproduction materials sector can be regarded as a Dutch motor for export and innovation.



What is product innovation?

Growing world population and changing environments demand new sustainable products for the future. Salification/salt intrusion of soil for instance is a worldwide threat to productive areas.

The development of salt tolerant crops is a solution to extend the possibilities of agricultural production. On the isle of Texel, salt tolerant potatoes are being developed, product innovation steps towards a scenario in which even irrigation with sea water would be achievable!


Strong focus on R&D

Just to illustrate how important research and development is for this sector: 15% of the turnover is spend on innovation. This percentage is higher than R&D spendings in the Dutch pharma and significantly higher than the Dutch national average in industry, which is no more than 4,7%. About 85% of these R&D spendings are allocated to product innovation and this is where scientists enter the story...

Opportunities for early career scientists

In order to maintain the world leading position, good scientists are in great demand in this sector. Plantum companies are looking for qualified scientist with solid research skills in e.g. molecular biology and genetics, which you have probably developed during your PhD or postdocs in life sciences, be it (bio)medical or agricultural. These skills are transferable to plant product innovation too!

Innovative companies are not only interested in your skill set, they are also aware of the added value of a PhD. You can therefore expect to be challenged at your level in a working environment that may be much alike to what you already know: Many Plantum companies have tight collaborations with academia and certain companies even run postdoc programmes.

Challenges, differences, benefits... find out!

What challenges are there for a Life Sciences professional like you in this sector? What are the differences and similarities to working in academia? What about possibilities to work abroad, do they exist? (Yes absolutely!) What do the companies offer you in return?

The Plantum Matchmaking Day on 9 October 2014 is your unique chance to visit the 
premises of our host Bayer CropScience, meet multiple companies to find out the answers! Check the programme.