Economist, policy-oriented, using scientific knowledge to solve societal challenges, especially to enhance the sustainability of sectors such as food and agriculture, mobility, industry and energy production. A huge challenge, as it involves CO2 emission reduction and solving other environmental problems, with a different set of actors and sarting points in each sector! Agriculture or the energy sector; there are huge differences. I graduated at the Free University Amsterdam (Development Economics), got a PhD at the University of Amsterdam (Spatial Economics), and worked at Utrecht University before (2000-2009), at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. Back then, I looked at spatial and institutional approaches towards economic development, with an emphasis in both research and education on the effects of clustering of SMEs for productivity and innovation.
As from 2009, I started working in strategic policy areas at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and later at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality. There, enhancing the sustainability of several economic sectors became the focus in my work, with projects on Green Growth, Circular Economic Development, Climate Change and the Nitrogen crisis in the Netherlands. I am happy to return to the U.S.E. to align with students willing to take on societal and policy-relevant research work to enhance the sustainability of the before-mentioned sectors, where various problems hinder transition and require targeted solutions. I live in Utrecht, with my wife, daughter and some bikes (hobby).