Programme Green Life Science Company Visit


Enza Zaden and Incotec

On Thursday 23 June, PCDI and the Amsterdam Biomed Cluster organised yet another Life Sciences Company Visit. This time we visited Enza Zaden and INCOTEC in Enkhuizen, to explore the diverse activities at these two international companies in the Seed Valley cluster. "Seed Valley" is the area between Enkhuizen and Alkmaar that has a global reputation in green biotechnology, plant genetics and seed technology. It is the home base of a dynamic, very successful business sector with a clear life science character. The region is home to dozens of specialised companies, providing growers all over the world with high-quality seeds for ever improving vegetable crops and ornamental crops. This makes Seed Valley a challenging international work field for PhDs in the field of (green) life sciences.

Plant breeding and seed technology are multidisciplinary activities. The development of new and improved seeds requires a thorough knowledge of genetics, physiology, cell and tissue culture, biochemistry, bioinformatics, plant pathology et cetera. Specialists in these varied fields work continually in teams on new plant varieties and better seeds with higher yields, resistance to diseases, optimum growth under specific climate conditions, more attractive flowers and/or better flavour.

The introduction of molecular techniques has brought about a great improvement in the efficiency of breeding. Thanks to molecular marker technology, properties can be distinguished at DNA level, enabling early screening and selection of desired genetic characteristics. It's a technology that enables a much shorter time-to-market. Seed technology has developed applications for selection, disinfection, priming and coating of seeds, supplying growers with seeds that germinate faster and more uniformly and that are better protected against plant diseases. The industry invests a great deal in research and development: on average, around 15 to 25 per cent of the turnover.

The interactive company visit, allowed the participants to fire away all their questions about a career in the green life science sector at the presentations and network drinks.


12:15 Lunch at Enza Zaden  
13:00 - 13:10 Introduction to Seed Valley Erwin Cardol MSc

Programme Manager Seed Valley
13:10 - 13:25

Enza Zaden
Company profile & research themes
Karin Posthuma, PhD – Manager Phytopathology

13:25 - 13:55

Enza Zaden
Research Perspective on vegetable breeding

Karin Posthuma, PhD – Manager Phytopathology

Alberto Maurer, PhD – Manager Seed Technology

14:00 - 14:30

Site visits  

Biotechnology lab: Karin Posthuma PhD

Seed Technology lab: Alberto Maurer PhD
14:40 - 14:55 Free Transfer to Incotec  

15:00 - 15:10

Company profile & research themes
Frans Tetteroo, PhD - Sr Research Technology Specialist,
International Technology Research

15:10- 15:40

Incotec (Seed Technology)

'The world of Seed Enhancement'
Mariken Rebers, PhD - Sr Research Product Specialist,
Integrated Product Research
15:40 - 16:15 Site visits Frans Tetteroo, PhD and Mariken Rebers, PhD
16:20 - 17:30 Round up
Informal reception at Incotec Meeting Room
Meet R&D professionals of several Seed Valley companies




Seed Valley Visit


Thursday 23 June 2011
12:15 - 17:30

Enza Zaden, Haling 1E Enkhuizen
Incotec, Westeinde 107, Enkhuizen
For who? Postdocs and final year PhD students

Free of charge
but registration before June 18
via PCDI is required