Hans de Jong becomes new board member of University Fund Eindhoven
As of December 1, the board of University Fund Eindhoven (UFe) has been strengthened by the arrival of former Philips executive Hans de Jong.
With the appointment of Hans de Jong, the board of University Fund Eindhoven (UFe) has gained an inspiring and experienced member. As of December 1st , De Jong has been working with the board’s fellow members and employees to stimulate innovation and create opportunities for people who need and deserve them. UFe manages donations from TU/e alumni who, via the fund, offer and provide new generations with the same opportunities that they themselves had because of their education.
Full of drive and energy, Hans de Jong talks about his motivation for joining the board of University Fund Eindhoven (UFe). “When my time as president of Philips Netherlands ended at the age of 64, it was a good moment for me to reflect on what I wanted to do next with my time and energy,” says de Jong.
“That’s why I always say that I retired from Philips, but that I’m not retired. My work there was a 24/7 job, challenging every day, and I always enjoyed doing it. And despite being on many other boards and councils besides UFe, I have more free time now than I did back then. Now, my role as a board member is far more advisory and coaching-based rather than being responsible for the organization. And that saves a lot of time.”
As an alumnus of Delft University of Technology, De Jong’s long and rich career has rooted him firmly in the region and connected him to Brainport. “The Netherlands is actually a big city-state with enormous joint challenges, so I see no added value in a sort of ‘competition’ between our TUs in the Netherlands. Together, we have the task and the challenge of training the new generation that our country desperately needs. So, let’s do this together. Collaboration between all educational and research institutions is essential.”
“I received an excellent education and I had a great time as a student in Delft, but this region now holds a special place in my heart. And when I see the course that TU/e is taking under the current Executive Board – as a committed, full-fledged partner in the region – I can only be very proud of that. I enjoy getting more involved in this now,” de Jong says. “What I do see is that our fund is still modest compared to other funds from older universities. I think that it would be nice to contribute not only to the proper distribution of the funds but also to their growth.”
The future of all of us
His current roomier agenda gives De Jong the opportunity to choose where he devotes his time. “I choose to dedicate myself to the society of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Although you often get a different impression from the media, the Netherlands is still one of the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous countries in the world. But maintaining this is not a given. So, if you want to keep it that way, you must invest in the future,” De Jong explains.
“In addition, everyone still does not have equal opportunities, including in the Netherlands. Only by giving everyone the full opportunity to use his or her talents can we ensure widespread prosperity. The possibility for everyone to contribute in his or her own way is something that I am happy to commit to.”
Of course, the role of innovation and technology for the future also comes into play. “That’s what the UFe does. The fund invests in good ideas and young people who may not (yet) qualify for investment from other funds or institutions. Some projects or ventures don’t make it, but that’s not money thrown away. The accumulated knowledge and experience is not lost. Those young entrepreneurs are then older and wiser and can achieve more again with their next idea in new projects or at organizations. This is how we move forward together.”
“I’m really impressed with how the UFe handles the conversations at the board table, the combined knowledge of the board and the drive of the fund to getting things done. I think this is really a place where we can do a lot for the future. I’m more than happy to share my network in the region, my knowledge from the worlds of business, innovation and high-tech and, of course, the collaboration in Brainport.”
De Jong is not the only one who is enthusiastic about him joining the UFe board. Robert-Jan Smits, President of the TU/e Executive Board and a member of the UFe board: “Hans de Jong is a great asset to the university fund. We’ve worked together extremely well on the Brainport Foundation board for many years. He’s a very committed board member and has great strength in connecting people. In addition, he has an extensive network and knows the region and all parties involved extremely well.”
Henk Kivits, chairman of University Fund Eindhoven, concludes with: “As a board, we are very pleased that Hans de Jong is strengthening our ranks. His strong network in the region is an asset to our fund. In addition, he has a clear vision of the challenges we face as a society and how technology and innovation can help overcome them. Together with him, this allows us as a fund to give initiatives a chance that are going to make a difference.”
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