Editorial: Gaining momentum

There are a couple of weeks left before we close the books for 2018. I know everybody is busy this time of year, but I do hope you will find a few minutes to read though our InTouch newsletter.

The venue in Burger’s Bush provided a charming African safari background for our one-day event. The TiFN staff did a great job in organizing the event. With close to one hundred participants (PhD students, project leaders, staff and board members) we discussed the benefits of being part of a TiFN project and shared our best practices. For many it was the first time to look beyond the scope of their own project and see what TiFN is all about. We have defined many follow-up actions which include creating an alumni database, setting up new collaborations and a project leader intervision group that will convene early next year. For me it was very inspiring to learn what drives the individual researchers in our TiFN projects.

TiFN is delivering a steady stream of PhD’s and Dr Mariya Tarazanova was the 200th PhD from our institute. Mariya did a great job defending her thesis supported by her promotor Prof. Jan Kok and co-promotor Herwig Bachmann. Like many TiFN PhD’s, Mariya already found a great job with a former partner of our institute, Avebe. To celebrate this occasion, I presented Mariya with a glass TiFN sculpture. I am sure it will find a nice spot and serve as a great memento for Mariya of this special occasion and her achievement as a TiFN PhD. Of course, I hope that the 199 PhD’s that preceded Mariya also have fond memories of their TiFN days. In fact, we are now compiling a list of this alumni to create a new network of professionals that have a strong background in making public-private partnerships work.

TiFN is gaining momentum in its portfolio. We have started our first project in the theme Sustainable Food Systems and we will also start a new project in the Consumer Engagement theme. We have assisted 3 teams that filed preproposals for the NWO cross-over call and, if all goes well, we will finalize two more project proposals on infant microbiome studies and innovative dietary assessment tools before th end of this year.

Looking back, I am confident that next year will be even better with exciting results, new projects and inspiring events. We’ll keep you posted!