From Innovation to Impact

On Tuesday January 26, 2016, KIT hosted and co-organised the event “From Innovation to Impact”, in close cooperation with KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

450 guests attended  a very inspiring afternoon of lecture, debate and discussion on how to have a positive impact on global development.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to a successful and fruitful afternoon.
As KIT we are proud to be a forum for events like this and hope to organise similar events in the future.

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Introduction by Mark Schneiders

Lecture by Hans Rosling

Keynote Nutrition and food security – Frank Cobelens, followed by panel discussion

Keynote Global Health – Bart de Steenhuijsen Pieters, followed by panel discussion

Conclusions by Martijn van Dam & Bill Gates

Enhancing rural labour productivity


Donors are increasingly interested in agricultural growth and economic development. The persistence of poverty in rural areas and the role of agriculture in climate change and food security, has renewed interest in smallholder and family farming for development solutions.

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Tuberculosis research in the Netherlands: innovation to accelerate global tuberculosis elimination

Tuberculosis research in the NetherlandsTuberculosis, often thought a disease from the past, is still rampant in large parts of the world. With 1.5 million deaths annually it is the most important global killer due to an infectious disease. In May, the United Nations World Health Assembly adopted the new post-2015 Global TB Strategy. This “End TB” strategy sets highly ambitious targets: to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB. For the first time, the global ambition is not just to control TB, but to eliminate it as a (public) health problem.

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In 2015 the world community agreed on an ambitious development agenda for the years leading up to 2030. Now that tangible goals have been set, the time has come to plan how to actually fulfil our promise to present and future generations.

Innovative approaches, new products and cross-sectoral collaboration will be required to make sure that we can bring these Sustainable Development Goals to fruition, improving life for all, particularly the most needy among us. The roadmap from R&D to innovation and then through to scale-up for global impact will be our focus for the afternoon.

Nutrition (food security) and global health (TB control)

In the panel we propose to focus on two specific examples – nutrition (food security) and global health (TB control) – in which Dutch innovative capacity, working in global partnership throughout the innovation cycle, has brought about significant change.

How can fundamental research by academia be transferred into a proposition that can be implemented worldwide? What role can public institutions, the private sector and NGOs play and how might they interact in order to achieve an even greater and more targeted contribution? Bringing together thought leaders from different parts of the ‘from innovation to impact’ chain, we can showcase how specific successes came about and explore future synergistic ways to cooperate across sectors.

Game-changing ideas

Focusing specifically on Dutch areas of excellence in nutrition and health, what are the game-changing ideas and delivery solutions for the public, private and academic sectors that can facilitate effective collaboration and innovation? How can this deliver the versatile solutions needed to ensure inclusive development, as aspired to in the SDGs? How can we make sure that innovations are brought to the stage and scaled in such a way as to make an impact on individual lives across the globe?


16.00 – 16.30:  

Introduction – Mark Schneiders
Lecture – Hans Rosling

16.30 – 18.00:

Panel Debate – From Innovation to Impact

Moderator: Ralf Bodelier

16:30 – 17:15:  Public Health

  • Reina Buijs (Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Frank Cobelens (KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation / AIGHD)
  • Walter van Kuijen (Phillips)
  • Hanneke Schuitemaker (Crucell-Janssen)

17:15 – 18:00: Food Security & Nutrition

  • Louise Fresco (Universiteit Wageningen)
  • Berry Marttin (Rabobank)
  • Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters (KIT)

18.00 – 18.45:

Conclusions – Bill Gates & Martijn van Dam

18.45 – 20.00:


Reijna BuijsReina Buijs

Deputy Director General International Cooperation (DGIS) – Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Reina Buijs is Deputy Director General International Cooperation (DGIS) at the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs. DGIS is responsible for designing the Dutch development cooperation policy and for its coordination, implementation and funding. Inthe recent policy note “A world to gain”, the new agenda for aid trade and investment, Food Security is one of the central themes. Reina has a background in international Public Health and Nutrition. She joined the Ministry in 2001 and has held advisory and management positions in the policy fields of Nutrition and Health, SRGR and HIV/Aids and civil society strengthening and relations with NGOs. From 2011–2013 she was The Netherland’s ambassador in Nicaragua. Before joining the ministry she worked in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe.


Frank Cobelens

Frank Cobelens

CEO – AIGHD / Scientific Advisor – KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation

Prof. Frank Cobelens MD MSc PhD studied medicine in Amsterdam and communicable disease epidemiology in London, and took his PhD at the University of Amsterdam. He worked for several years in HIV/AIDS control and tropical and travel medicine. He became involved in epidemiological research on tuberculosis in Asia, Africa and Latin America as Senior Epidemiologist with the Netherlands based international NGO KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. Since 2008 he has led the tuberculosis research group at what later became AIGHD and the Department of Global Health of the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, where he was appointed full Professor of epidemiology and control of poverty-related infectious diseases in 2011. From 2013 to 2015 he combined this position with that of KNCV’s Scientific Director. As of January 2016, Frank Cobelens is Scientific Advisor at KNCV and Chair of the Board of AIGHD.


Louise Fresco

Louise Fresco

President of the Executive Board – Wageningen University

Since July 2014 Professor Louise O. Fresco  is President  of Wageningen University and Research, in The Netherlands. She is a member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences and of four foreign Academies, as well as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Academy of Sciences of South Africa. She served for nearly ten years as Assistant-Director General at the a Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, spent extensive periods in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission. In 2014 the EU Commission asked her to chair the Evaluation of the Seventh Framework Program for Research. Professor Fresco serves as a non-executive director of Unilever, is a member of the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize and is also involved in many philanthropic and cultural foundations.


Walter van KuijenWalter van Kuijen

Senior Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs – Phillips

Walter van Kuijen started his career at Philips in 1992 as a Marketing Specialist at Philips Industrial Electronics in the Netherlands. After further work in Product Management, Sales and Service and Marketing Management for Philips Medical Systems, Walter became the Director of the Sales and Services District Netherlands in 2001. In 2005, he assumed responsibility for the activities of Philips Healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Africa. After his appointment as Senior Vice President in 2006, Walter became General Manager for the Home Healthcare Monitoring businesses in 2008. This role continued until August 2011, when he headed up the Strategy and New Business Development function for Philips’ Markets. In 2013, Water assumed responsibility for the European Affairs Office in Brussels. Walter’s current appointment as the Senior Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs began on October 15th, 2014. Walter holds a degree in Applied Nuclear Physics from the Technical University of Eindhoven and an MBA from the TSM Business School in Enschede.


Berry MarttinBerry Marttin

Executive Board – Rabobank

As a member of the Executive Board, Berry Marttin is responsible for the Rural & Retail International division, as well as for the Sustainability domain. He joined Rabobank as a management trainee after earning his degree in Business Administration in his native Brazil. Over the course of his career at Rabobank, he has gained extensive experience as a banker in both the Wholesale and Retail Banking business.


Hanneke SchuitemakerHanneke Schuitemaker

Director of Vaccine Development -Janssen Diagnostics

Hanneke Schuitemaker is the Head of Viral Vaccine Discovery and Translational Medicine in the Infectious Disease and Vaccines Therapeutic Area of Janssen and Professor in Virology at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam (since 2004). She joined Crucell on September 1, 2010, which was acquired by JnJ in February 2011. Hanneke Schuitemaker is medical biologist by training, received her PhD in Medicine in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam and worked for more than 20 years on HIV-1 pathogenesis, first at Sanquin (1989-2007), the blood supply foundation in the Netherlands, where since 1998 she was the chair of the department of Clinical Viro-Immunology, and then at the AMC (since 2007), where she was the chair of the Department of Experimental Immunology and a member of the Research Council. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Netherlands Aids Fonds.


Bart de Steenhuisen PitersBart de Steenhuijsen Piters

Head of Sustainable Economic Development & Gender – KIT

Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of inclusive agricultural value chain development, innovation dynamics and sustainable business development in low and medium income countries. He has expertise in private and public sector reforms and policy development; stakeholder participation; governance of public-private partnerships and the design of sustainable production and consumption chains. He has over twenty-five years of experience, gained through long-term

positions in Mali, Cameroon and Tanzania and numerous short-term assignments in Africa and Asia. In his current function, Dr de Steenhuijsen Piters is Head of the Sustainable Economic Development and Gender Unit. He is member of the management team that reorganises KIT towards financial sustainability. Recently he was involved in various impact evaluations of agricultural development programmes and published a paper entitled ‘Enhancing rural labour productivity: reaching the rural poor’.




Ralf Bodelier

Ralf Bodelier is a journalist and since January 1st Head of the World’s Best News Campaign in the Netherlands. He holds a PhD
in Philosophy. Bodelier was lecturer at a university college, led a development organisation in Malawi and a Center for Debates
in the Netherlands. Ralf Bodelier published ten books and produced a documentary on life in African slums.




Mark SchneidersMark Schneiders


Mark Schneiders has a LLM from the University of Leiden, and completed the AMP at Harvard Business School. He has extensive experience in the development financial sector. From 1984 onwards he was internationally active for ING in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Starting 2010 he joined African Development Corporation (ADC), a private equity fund with specific focus on financial institutions in Africa. He was appointed CEO of KIT in 2014, leading the organization into a transition, building on its 100 years of experience as a knowledge institute with a focus on LMICs. He serves on the supervisory boards of CEPD (a pharmaceutical distributor in Central Europe) and BancABC (a regional financial institution in Southern Africa).




Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling is a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. He is the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet and co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system. Rosling began his wide-ranging career as a physician, spending many years in rural Africa tracking a rare paralytic disease (which he named konzo) and discovering its cause: hunger and badly processed cassava. He co-founded Médecins sans Frontièrs (Doctors without Borders) Sweden, wrote a textbook on global health, and as a professor at the Karolinska Institut in Stockholm initiated key international research collaborations. Among a wider audience he is best known for his appearances in several TED-talks or the BBC broadcast ‘The Joy of Stats’.




Bill GatesBill Gates

Bill Gates is a technologist, business leader, and philanthropist. He grew up in Seattle, Washington, with an amazing and supportive family who encouraged his interest in computers at an early age. He dropped out of college to start Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. He married Melinda French in 1994 and they have three children. Today, Bill and Melinda Gates co-chair the charitable foundation bearing their names and are working together to give their wealth back to society.

More about Bill Gates

Martijn van Dam

Martijn van Dam

State Secretary of Economic Affairs – Ministry of Economic Affairs

Martijn van Dam has a MSc in Industrial Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology. Upon graduating he worked briefly for Philips Lighting BV, leaving on 30 January 2003 when he was elected to the House of Representatives. He served as a member of the House for the Labour Party (PvdA) until 3 November 2015. The issues he covered included economic affairs, integration, media and foreign policy. On 3 November 2015, Martijn van Dam was appointed Minister for Agriculture in the Rutte-Asscher government.