Advisory expertise & research centre in Cooperative and Co-Creative Enterprise

This ERC is all about innovative enterprise with cooperation, co-creation and an active advisory board as its basis. The whole of the HAS University of Applied Sciences is being encouraged to adopt a more entrepreneurially approach with professors from the professional field: Roger Engelberts from Imagro and Pierre van Hedel from the Rabobank Foundation. In addition, HAS lecturers Marnix Wolters, Mary van Hoek, Susan van Dijk en Piet Verhoeven, the man behind the Esbeek Village Cooperation, are also involved in this advisory network of expertise. The students are represented by Rik Verhoeven (chairman) and Leon de Mooij.


The ERC aims to connect parties within HAS University of Applied Sciences with one another and to build crossovers, in order to work towards the sustainable development of innovative enterprise through cooperation and co-creation.

Sustainable economic developments and food-related issues

This ERC wants to contribute to a sustainable economic development and issues regarding food by:

  • Making an active contribution to the development of entrepreneurial students and lecturers
  • Connecting young people within HAS University of Applied Sciences with their counterparts outside of HAS University of Applied Sciences and getting them involved in the development of cooperative and creative enterprise
  • Promoting the role of a cooperative model in international collaboration
  • Following the dynamics of, or within ‘new’ cooperatives, e.g. in the areas of food and energy, and integrating these in the HAS academic programme
  • Studying co-creative models in innovation programmes and new business models in the agrifood sectors, and using these to come up with new useable concepts

In addition, the ERC also organises activities in which students, lecturers and business are linked up, and in which those involved are encouraged to adopt cooperative and co-creative enterprise. Examples include organising inspiring sessions for students and giving an inspirational platform to lecturers, like the BreakfastClub (sign up by sending an email to Susan van Dijk).

An advisory ERC

The focus is on students: they can approach the Advisory Council at any time for help. We use a new language and look into the agrifood and environmental developments young people are involved in.


We are keen to demonstrate that we are an active group whose main aim is to create external connections between students, lecturers and partners outside of HAS University of Applied Sciences. ‘DOING’ with and for students and lecturers, often outside existing frameworks, working as much as possible with challenging and inspiring entrepreneurial parties. That is what this ERC is all about.

In short: this ERC...

  • ...forms a positive movement focussed on cooperative and co-creative enterprise in the agrifood sector, both near and far
  • ...contributes to sustainable economic development and resolving food-related issues and sees Den Bosch as the ‘cooperative heart’
  • ...believes in HAS University of Applied Sciences students and lecturers being the driving force behind developing new enterprise within the agrifood sector 

Ask your question

Feel free to ask any questions you may have by sending an email to the chairman, Rik Verhoeven: 

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With thanks to…

This internationally oriented ERC has been made possible by the local Rabobank branches of North-East Brabant and Rabobank Foundation in consultation with ZLTO, LLTB, NCR and Coopnet.