Workshops Erasmus Energy Forum 2017

Workshops Erasmus Energy Forum 2017

Thursday 29 June – World Trade Center Rotterdam. The Inspiring Workshops presented on Business Day gave Erasmus Energy Forum participants the opportunity to choose a topic to delve into with inspiring leaders from the energy business and governance. RSM academics facilitated interactive discussions between the speakers and the workshop participants after the speakers’ presentations. A pattern emerged identifying a need for collaboration, but varying motivations to do so.

Workshop 1: Paths to accelerating the energy transition in urban areas

Judith Koole, COO, Stedin

• The complex challenge of the energy transition in big cities, Judith Koole, COO, Stedin
• Energy transition can facilitate the triumph of the city, Astrid Madsen, programme manager energy transition, City of Rotterdam
• Academic perspectives: Eric van Heck, professor of information management and markets, RSM
Moderator: Tobias Brandt, assistant professor of business information management, RSM

Workshop 1 looked at challenges on the way to the acceleration of the energy transition in urban areas, focusing on the Netherlands. Ronnie Takens, auditor at Netherlands Court of Audit, said he chose this workshop because: “The topic interests me; I think in the end most solutions will come out of urban areas, if we can make smart cities and connected grids.” Judith Koole pointed out the complex challenge of making an energy transition in a city such as Rotterdam, where the diversity of housing – from 17th-century monuments to flats from the 2000s – is one of the issues to solve in getting everyone onto a smart energy grid. Astrid Madsen discussed the many opportunities the energy transition can offer to cities like Rotterdam, including new jobs derived from new innovations.

“We have the technologies to make the transition, but what we need is new behaviour, new business models, and new governmental models,” said Professor Eric van Heck.

Workshop 2: Paths to deep decarbonisation in industry

Marcel Galjee, director energy, AkzoNobel

• Long-term vision on deep decarbonisation in the Port of Rotterdam, Ruud Melieste, corporate strategist, Port of Rotterdam Authority
• Optimising and renewing the Port of Rotterdam Industrial Cluster, Jaap Hoogcarspel, cluster commissioner, Industry Complex Rotterdam-Moerdijk
• AkzoNobel’s energy strategy for sustainable growth, Marcel Galjee, director energy, AkzoNobel
• Academic perspectives: Wolf Ketter, professor next generation information systems, and scientific director Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business, RSM
Moderator: Michiel Jak, director, SmartPort

Workshop 2 was especially ‘close to home’ for RSM with a strong focus on the Port of Rotterdam and its industrial clusters. Ludovic Sandot, a marine engineer with Royal IHC and a full-time MBA candidate at RSM, said: “I chose this workshop because I work in the shipbuilding industry. I want to know the new trends, and also I wanted to network with people in the industry.”

The Port of Rotterdam is responsible for about 20 per cent of all the CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, making it crucial to capture and re-use the Port’s carbon. “We can no longer delay,” said Ruud Melieste, who shared his long-term vision on deep decarbonisation of the Port, and how it can contribute to Dutch prosperity. Another conclusion was that we need to collaborate – one of the challenges is to make it possible for legal and technology people to understand each other and work together.

Workshop 3: Finance and investor perspectives on zero carbon

Maike Boggemann, Energy Transition Lead Netherlands, Shell Netherlands


  • Energy transition in the Netherlands; challenges and opportunities, Maike Boggemann, Energy Transition Lead Netherlands, Shell Netherlands
  • Zero carbon versus economic growth, Fred van Beuningen, director, CleanTech Delta
  • Martijn Olthof, senior portfolio manager, APG
  • Academic perspectives: Peter Vervest, professor of information management and networks, RSM
  • Moderator: Volker Beckers, chairman ECFEB, former Group CEO of RWE NPower

What are the financial and investment opportunities, long- and short-term, arising in the zero carbon energy terrain? Challenges and opportunities (like wind power in the North Sea) were presented by Maike Boggemann of Dutch energy stalwart Shell, and notably by Fred van Beuningen, director of CleanTech Delta. “I’m bullish on clean tech because nature doesn’t do bail-outs,” he said. He pointed to several disruptive business models based on clean technologies, for example solar energy company BBOXX. Martijn Olthof meanwhile, described the role of investors in the energy transition. In the audience were Rebecca van de Berge and Dick Hill, editor-in-chief and editor/sales EMEA, respectively, of Offshore Wind magazine. “Of course we’re very interested in the financial aspects of alternative energy,” said Hill, “and it was good to see Shell looking hard at the future; it’s their third attempt at alternative energy, and they must really be determined to stay in it now.”

Workshop 4: Technology roadmaps for accelerating the transition to zero carbon

Broghan Helgeson, research associate and PhD Candidate, ewi Energy Research & Scenarios

Roderik Colen, international strategy executive and board member, Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business 
• Disruptive infrastructure and abundant systems: a refreshing new look on energy systems, Jan-Peter Doomernik, senior business developer, Enexis en Fudura
• Profitability of decentralised battery Storage for consumers and utilities, Broghan Helgeson, research associate and PhD Candidate, ewi Energy Research & Scenarios
• Academic perspectives: Our teamJan van den Ende, professor of management of technology and innovation, RSM

Moderator: Our teamDorothy Grandia, assistant director, Career Development Centre, RSM

Can technological innovation drive the transition to zero carbon? Disruptive innovation can most certainly speed the transition, and the importance of the electric vehicle and decentralised energy storage to this transition was emphasised by Broghan Helgeson; while Jan-Peter Doomernik presented a scenario in which, using electric vehicles as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of energy transition, the energy infrastructure can be completely transformed. To have tangible results, however, Roderik Colen shared that technological advancement, which is disruptive, may also need to be deployed in an incremental approach. “The trick is to distinguish the hype from the game-changers early,” he said.

Why was Theo Backx, ECFEB board member and RSM executive-in-residence, at this workshop? “First of all I was interested in decentralised energy storage and the potential of electric vehicles,” he said, “and also in the human questions. How do we adapt? I realise a lot of what we talked about has to occur quickly – and yet we have to go step-by-step.”

Another attendee said: “Technology roadmaps is rocket science! We were talking about everything from complete disruptors and a new environment without business, how to make batteries the next step in the energy transition, to very mundane considerations. We need to start talking less and working harder.”

Workshop 5: Start-up workshop

Prof Vareska van de Vrande and Christopher McLachlan, co-Founder,

• A clean economy on the rise. Start-ups and corporates: mind the gap, Freerk Bisschop, programme director Smart Energy, Rockstart
 Building the first virtual energy assistant for businesses, Christopher McLachlan, co-Founder,, Innogy Silicon Valley Startup
• Academic perspectives: Vareska van de Vrande, professor of collaborative innovation and business venturing, RSM

Moderator: Koen Dittrich, assistant professor of management of innovation, RSM

How is the energy transition fueling innovation? What do start-ups need to consider in an environment in which new, clean technologies are arising and offering tremendous potential? It all starts with your people, said Christopher McLachlan, a ‘serial start-up founder’. One of the lessons he shared with workshop participants was to invest in human capital, and to focus on engaging your employees if you have a start-up. “Hire people who are convinced that what you are doing is different,” he said, “build your brand – not just your logo, but your story.”

Freerk Bisschop focused on ‘minding the gap’ between corporates and start-ups which often have diametrically different approaches: startups need to have a collaborative business ‘ecosystem’ for example, while corporates are about defending what they have and reducing risk.

What did Caroline Kroes of the Port of Rotterdam take away from the workshop? “What I found most interesting is that one group of people thinks that startups will save the world, and others believe big companies will do it,” she said. “Personally I think a hybrid approach is needed. And I felt I was missing the role of government, which can finance big innovations.”