Delta Areas and Resources

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For the Applied Research Centre Delta Areas and Resources an ideal delta is safe, healthy and ecologically resilient. In addition to that the delta is inhabited by people which are engaged in sustainable use of landscape and natural resources and contribute to a restorative and regenerative economy. 


As a university of applied sciences, our skills and expertise are related to teaching and conducting applied research. Therefore, to contribute to the realisation of our vision, the efforts of ARC DAR focus on improving sustainable land use and resource management of urbanised deltas through applied research, training and teaching. 


The ARC DAR aims for

  • a landscape- and user-centred approach;
  • an optimal use of the stakeholder’s expertise;
  • connecting parties to jointly work on a sustainable future.

To realise this ARC DAR makes use of the Living Lab principle.

Living Lab

Working in close collaboration with the four stakeholder groups (Government, Academia, Entrepreneurs/Industry and Citizens) in a territorial context are important features of DAR research. This form of collaboration is also referred to as the ‘quadruple helix’ and is known to accelerate the innovation process. If we apply the quadruple helix approach to a defined geographical location we get a setting which is referred to as a ‘Living Lab’.

"A living lab is a research concept. A living lab is a user-centred, open-innovation ecosystem, often operating in a territorial context (e.g. city, agglomeration, region), integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership".

Because VHL as a ‘green’ university is most interested in achieving change at the landscape level most DAR research will be carried out using the Living Lab research concept.

Conducting applied research in Living Labs

To guide the consortium of the Living Lab through the process of realising the desired and sustainable goals, the ABCD-roadmap is used. This tool is developed by the Alliance for Strategic Sustainable Development. Like Radboud University (Institute for Science, Innovation & Society) also VHL university is a member of this alliance. The tool prevents scientists to lose contact with societal stakeholder groups down the road or end up in ‘pit hole research’.

In the transition towards a sustainable future three types of innovations are key and need to be harmoniously developed and applied in the Living Lab setting:

  1. new ways of collaborating (new governance)
  2. new ways of financing (Innovative finance)
  3. new technology and engineering (Clean Tech & Smart Engineering).

Please find an overview of the professorships of the Dealta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre:

Toine Smits is leading professor for the Delta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre.

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Custom-made gender mainstreaming course

18-07-2018 • From 30 October to 8 November the short course Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programmes will be organized at VHL in Velp.   read more

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