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Durable partnership - Cross-border - Integrated approach
The Allied in Safety and Security network is the result of a collaboration between five educational institutions and the business community. You can find more information about the network's mission below.

By means of a new network, Allied in Safety and Security (Verbonden in Veiligheid), the Interreg project wishes to further the efforts made by the educational and business communities in the field of safety. In addition to the name "Verbonden in Veiligheid", which will remain in place after September 2012, the collaboration and coordination set up between the safety programmes and the business community will be enshrined and enhanced in a long-lasting partnership between the educational institutions and organisations that belong to the network. The initiative has its roots in the educational institutions, which put out the call for input from the business community, but it also aims to generate return and added value for the business community by gathering together specialists and experts.
The network's strength lies in its cross-border collaboration between Dutch and Belgian organisations. Established as a result of the Interreg project, which mainly involved organisations in the provinces of Antwerp and North Brabant, the network was inspired by the concept of safety in these regions. The Port of Antwerp plays an important role in this concept, with its industry, transport and logistics continuously challenging us to work safely, manage risks and limit damage. The port area extends to the Dutch border and therefore requires all stakeholders to set up cross-border partnerships; in other words, continuous consultation takes place between the Belgian and Dutch safety services. The network wishes to contribute to these efforts by exchanging knowledge and expertise on safety and safety courses. After all, creating a safe environment is a cross-border effort.
An important and innovative aspect is the network's integrated approach to safety. Prevention, the environment, safety, and so on are often tackled individually, both in organisations and in educational contexts, but Allied in Safety and Security reaps the benefits of combining all of these themes. In doing so, the network sets itself apart from existing networks, in that it is grounded in just one field of safety.
In practice, the collaboration involves the following:
1.        First and foremost, the Allied in Safety and Security network provides a platform for all participants to share their needs, questions and remarks with the other organisations and with the educational institutions. Thanks to the network, there is continuous coordination between the concerns of the business community and the content of educational programmes, and vice versa.
The network is a cross-border network, uniting Dutch and Belgian companies, educational institutions and other institutions. It is not limited to the private sector, but also involves public organisations and encourages them to share their knowledge and experience.
2.        Secondly, the business community contributes to the creation and content of safety courses. It does this by seconding representatives to the Advisory Boards of one or more safety programmes; creating traineeships; organising lectures; making available training infrastructure and organising company visits; suggesting subjects and issues for student research, lectures and dissertations; and proposing subjects for fundamental and applied scientific research.
The business community is expected to contribute actively. An organisation or company may only join the network after signing the partnership agreement, in which the specific terms of the partnership are laid out in detail.
3.        The educational institutions can use the network to enhance the consistency of and collaboration between educational programmes on safety. The content of the safety programmes is coordinated, and knowledge and lecturers exchanged wherever possible. This way, the various programmes can invest together in an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to safety. 


Leen Herrijgers
Ad Schenkels (Avans Hogeschool)
Blindestraat 14
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