"Double the number of technical students"
Venlo, The Netherlands, 12 June 2012 – “Dutch industrial companies will encounter massive problems if the technical student population does not quickly double in number. Approximately 60% of these companies expect recruitment challenges in the years ahead. An ageing workforce makes this pressing issue even more acute.”
The thoughts are those of Jeroen van der Veer, the former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, during his keynote speech at the Van der Grinten Lecture. This annual event is named after the founding fathers of Océ N.V.. The Van der Grinten Lecture is hosted by Maastricht University, Océ and the Municipality of Venlo, where it was held today for the seventh time.
Addressing over 200 captains of industry, academics and other guests on the theme of 'Innovation: pump it or drown!', Van der Veer commented on innovative developments in both society and business. Timely graduation of double the number of technical students should be a top priority of any new Dutch government to be formed after the national elections, says Van der Veer. "The Netherlands is lagging behind its neighbors in the number of university graduates with technical degrees."
Van der Veer believes that industry and government must cooperate in positioning the manufacturing sector as the third pillar underpinning the Dutch economy – after services and trade. He alluded to Germany, where much more manufacturing takes place and where government and industry invest a much larger share of GDP (gross domestic product) in innovation than in The Netherlands.
Currently a non-executive Director of Shell and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of both ING and Philips, Van der Veer presented the audience with a "clear choice between sink or swim; it's down the drain if we don't innovate now!" During his tenure as CEO (2004-2009), Shell increased investment in research and development from USD 500 million to more than USD 1 billion per annum.
Van der Veer, speaking off the cuff, spiced his speech with anecdotes and personal experience drawn from a long career at Shell, where he started in 1971 after gaining a degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Delft. In the ensuing years, Van der Veer held a range of management positions at Shell in Curaçao, the United Kingdom and the United States before being appointed President & CEO.
The guest speaker at the Van der Grinten Lecture was introduced by Martin Paul, President of Maastricht University, and Anton Schaaf, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Océ N.V. The venue for this year's lecture was the Floriade World Horticultural Exposition, which has been held in the Netherlands roughly every 10 years since 1960. Océ is proud to be the Document Partner of Floriade 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Manager Media Relations, Océ
Telephone: +31 77 359 5628
Océ is one of the leading providers of document management and printing for professionals. The Océ offering includes office printing and copying systems, high speed digital production printers and wide format printing systems for both technical documentation and color display graphics. Océ is also a foremost supplier of document management outsourcing. Many of the Fortune Global 500 companies and leading commercial printers are Océ customers. The company was founded in 1877. With headquarters in Venlo, The Netherlands, Océ is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. For more information visit www.oce.com.
Océ and Canon: Stronger together
In 2010 Océ joined the Canon Group of companies with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, to create the global leader in the printing industry. Canon develops, manufactures and markets a growing line-up of copying machines, printers, cameras, optical and other products that meet a diverse range of customer needs. The Canon Group comprises over 197,000 employees worldwide. Global net sales in 2011 were more than USD 45 billion. For more information visit www.canon.com.
Leading in Learning Based in Europe, focused on the world. Maastricht University is a stimulating environment. Where research and teaching are complementary. Where innovation is our focus. Where talent can flourish. A truly student oriented research university.
Municipality of Venlo
Venlo is the city where the future is in the making. Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer in the region is an important focal point for the municipality. Venlo is located in both the heart of industrial Europe, close to the Ruhr area, as well as at the center of a hightech region, with companies like Océ, Philips, DSM and ASML and the technical universities of Eindhoven, Leuven and Aken.
Venlo is prominently positioned in the development of Cradle to Cradle as a creative economic concept and has taken the initiative to leverage the power of innovation within the region. A new C2C seat of learning and the C2C-Expolab give the Venlo region a sustainable innovative platform. In Venlo, deeds count more than words. It is the second top technology region of The Netherlands and the third Logistics center in the country. Together with the Agrobusiness Region Niederrhein, the Venlo region is the largest horticultural area in Europe. Floriade 2012, held every 10 years or so in The Netherlands and for the first time in Océ's home town, is living proof of the sustainable innovative power of Venlo and the vicinity.