Centre of Excellence launched at Naturalis Biodiversity Gala

Geert de Snoo at the Naturalis Biodiversity Gala
© Naturalis on YouTube

Centre of Excellence launched at Naturalis Biodiversity Gala


Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden has marked its 200th anniversary with a festive Biodiversity Gala, attended by King Willem Alexander. At the Gala, NIOO-director Geert de Snoo presented the Centre of Excellence for Netherlands Biodiversity Research: a joint venture that brings together four leading Dutch knowledge institutes.

The new Centre of Excellence comprises NIOO, Naturalis, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ-NWO) and Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute. Its aim is to build a nationwide approach to boosting knowledge of biodiversity in the Netherlands, and stemming its decline.

After a short film presentation, NIOO director Geert de Snoo was asked on behalf of the four insitutes how the Centre's joint approach can expediate both fundamental and applied research.

"In practical terms," he said, "it means the parties within the Centre will coordinate biodiversity research in the Netherlands among themselves and with their partners."

This involves bringing together researchers, and making smart use of each other's research facilities: "To understand, preserve and make good use of nature, such mutual cohesion is essential."

De Snoo concluded: "We just need to run faster, because there's so much urgency!"