Team Foodvalley

In the Foodvalley ecosystem many people work closely together to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and sharing facilities. The Foodvalley team is continously growing.

Jeroen Willemsen is in charge of the Protein Shift, one of Foodvalley’s Fields of Innovation. He is also the inspiring force behind The Protein Cluster. Jeroen stimulates innovative entrepreneurship, and accelerates the protein transition, “turning a serious business into serious business.” Jeroen has a long track record in green proteins. He is spokesman and founder of the Green Protein Alliance, and was also one of the initiators of Ojah. Jeroen holds an MSc in Chemical Technology.

+31 6 177 380 37

paula rijkens innovation manager

"There are, already, many circular programmes and projects running in the Netherlands. For me, however, as an innovation manager, the challenge is to create an ecosystem in which not only the leaders, but also every other company, can find its way and place.

To this end, Foodvalley NL is setting up chain projects together with knowledge institutes and the business community that show how to implement circular thinking and practice. We bring parties together and inspire other organizations to do the same. In this way we encourage and accelerate the transition to smart use of raw materials and a more- sustainable food system.

Got your own ideas for a circular project in agrifood? We'd be happy to talk to you."

+31 6 215 262 04


+31 6 528 016 32


Jeroen Wouters, PhD, is committed to International Relations as well as Human Capital. Jeroen provides guidance and support to stimulate innovation and cooperation in food and nutrition, and is the driving force behind projects bringing together Dutch businesses, knowledge providers and governments with their counterparts in Europe and far beyond. Jeroen is also in charge of the Human Capital program which includes attracting and developing talent and career paths. He is an expert on specialized nutrition.

+31 6 120 729 97


Jolanda Wels heads the Marketing & Communications team of the Foodvalley ecosystem, that stimulates the cooperation between companies, knowledge and educational institutes and governments. She has long experience in making television programs, and her strength is conceptual thinking. Jolanda develops concepts and is also organizing the Foodvalley booth on (international) trade shows that showcases Dutch innovations and supports international cooperation.

+31 6 211 243 11


“Creating a world-class ecosystem where innovative agrifood start-ups and scale-ups, all over the world, can find everything they need to be successful. From talent and research facilities to capital, development programs and seamless contact with larger companies. This is my challenge as the manager Entrepreneurship at Foodvalley. Innovation in agrifood is crucial in solving global food problems. The Netherlands is an acknowledged leader in this sector, with top research in Wageningen and companies developing and marketing groundbreaking solutions. The way we encourage entrepreneurship through the Foodvalley ecosystem makes such inventions applicable worldwide and generates an enormous impact.”

+31 6 821 215 12


Petra Roubos is Manager of Facilities at Foodvalley NL. “From DNA sequencing and X-ray equipment to pilot plants and test kitchens: within the Foodvalley ecosystem, just about every imaginable facility is available for agrifood businesses. For start-ups, purchasing certain equipment is often too expensive, while larger companies prefer not to invest in equipment they need only occasionally. Sharing facilities is an elegant solution. We bring facility supply and demand together. Sharing facilities means sharing knowledge, so I expect our approach to boost agri-food entrepreneurship. Are you looking for equipment or trial locations? Or are your research facilities underused? Let us know!”

+31 317 48 79 91


A favourable business environment for knowledge-intensive agrifood companies, knowledge institutes and NGOs? Sandra van Liere works together with many stakeholders to make sure the infrastructure for doing business in the area around Ede and Wageningen is as beneficial as possible, and employees enjoy working and living in this region together with their families. This includes mobility and recreation.

+31 6 510 752 24


"What do you want from your membership of Foodvalley? We always ask this question during the getting-to-know-you meeting with companies looking to join us. If an entrepreneur decides to become a member, I first make sure he is profiled on our website, and then that he can interact with other players in our network.

Members of Foodvalley can also come to me with all kinds of questions, whether they are looking for ingredients, technologies, knowledge, facilities or a location. If I can’t help them myself, I find the best person within our ecosystem. For example, I might connect them with suppliers of special vegetable ingredients or specialists in a new technology.

As project manager, I have a role in organizing the Foodvalley Champions, and I’m the first port of call for people and organizations, from outside the Netherlands, who are interested in joining our ecosystem.

Want to know more about Foodvalley and the benefits of membership? Please contact me."

+31 6 134 809 02


Miranda van Dijck makes innovation scans. She enjoys identifying new initiatives, innovations and companies in the agrifood sector and carrying out analyses for the benefit of the Foodvalley Members, bringing them in contact with new partners. Before joining Foodvalley NL she worked as a Labeling Consultant. Miranda did her MSc at Maastricht University. She graduated cum laude in Health Food Innovation Management.

+31 6 534 445 36


Tjerna Ellenbroek knows everything there is to know about the Foodvalley Members. She can explain why SMEs as well as multinationals should join the network and partner up with other innovative companies and knowledge institutes. Tjerna is also organizing the Foodvalley Member Meetings. Moreover, she is involved in the EU project New Frontiers in Food Fast Forward (NF4), and was a co-host of the Innovation Tour to China. Tjerna holds a MSc in Nutrition and Health.

+31 6 134 839 54

floor buitelaar project manager

“Sharing knowledge and bringing entrepreneurs together. That is the guiding force behind Foodvalley Protein Shift and The Protein Cluster. Over 40 companies already participate to this platform. We organize sessions that help them innovate faster, and we provide one-on-one advice. We organize meetings throughout the year in which specific themes and case-studies are discussed.”

+31 6 438 058 21


Kai Pruiksma is Project Manager. Kai holds a MSc Nutrition and Health. For her MSc thesis she did research in Rwanda about environmental determinants of birthweight.

+31 6 134  893 86


“Ensuring that the visibility of Foodvalley is increased and brand awareness is strengthened. This by, among other things, participating in (international) fairs and events, organizing Foodvalley Tours and creating local buzz". That is my ambition as Communication advisor and Event manager at Foodvalley NL.

+31 6 829 018 48


“As webeditor, I do the hands-on work of information provision around innovations; events; news (background, breaking and member); facilities; programs. I also ensure our newsletters are interesting, topical and on time. No day is the same: there is so much happening that is important to share within and outside the Netherlands. Many companies can benefit from both the information we provide and the network itself.”


“From company news and trend-reports to information about webinars, scale-up programs and research facilities. Our website is filled with useful information for members and other interested parties. For me, as the Online Content Specialist, the task is to present that information as clearly and attractively as possible, across all our media. Inspiration enough for giving companies access to the Foodvalley ecosystem’s online portal.”

+31 6 205 434 17

monique-grefkens july 2019

When visiting the Foodvalley NL headquarters, you are welcomed by Monique Grefkens. She embodies the Foodvalley NL office and is providing everyone with the appropriate facilities, whether you are a guest or a colleague. She is the person behind the friendly voice when you call the Foodvalley office. Monique is also responsible for management support, human resources and internal affairs within Foodvalley NL.

+31 317 427 095


Poulien van Marle is taking care of the financial administration. It is her job to deal with the complex and diverse financing flows of Foodvalley NL, including subventions from many Dutch and EU programs and contributions from Foodvalley Members. She is also in charge of the invoices. Poulien completed a bachelor in business economics from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences.

+31 317 427 095