To our deepest sadness, our chairman Jan Raaijmakers passed away at home in Vianen, only a few days after celebrating his 65th birthday (5 October 1952 – 14 October 2017).
Jan was a professor in Pharmaceutical Technology Assessment at Utrecht University’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Since 2015, Jan served as our charismatic chairman of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, Health~Holland. Last year, Jan received the royal honour of being named Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his numerous achievements in the sector. In his previous position at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, and the many board memberships and positions he held on a voluntary basis, Jan devoted his impressive career to society, science and the economy. His dedication to and promotion of public private partnerships in particular – amongst which the European Lead Factory and recently Regmed XB and Oncode Institute – have great impact on the Dutch and international life sciences and health community.
Those who have had the privilege of working with Jan, characterise him as energetic, creative, collaborative, inspiring and challenging. An approachable and friendly person, who was easy to talk to and a perfect sparring partner to exchange ideas with. Jan was convinced that the individual interest should be subordinate to the collective interest. Creating synergy was his motto. Although Jan did not avoid the confrontation, he always kept a positive outlook and made sure his opinions were based on valid arguments. Not only in the Netherlands but also internationally, Jan managed to build bridges.
Work was an important aspect of Jan’s life. Despite being diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago, he remained just as involved as before. Jan’s contribution to strategy development, (inter)national meetings and new and ongoing collaborative initiatives has been indispensable to the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health. On top of Jan’s work discipline, his family always came first for him. To Jan, an excellent meal and a good glass of wine tasted best at home, in the Netherlands or his beloved France, and even better when enjoyed with his family, friends, and colleagues who became friends. Jan mastered the art of enjoying life to the full.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to Jan’s family, his wife Rian and their children Hanneke and Adriaan. We would like to extend our condolences to them and all who were close to Jan.
To us, colleagues and team members of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, Jan has established a strong and aligned base to further build upon. To his honour and in his spirit, we will continue building partnerships to deliver innovative solutions improving health and care. His philosophy, his character, his perseverance and passion will remain a lasting source of inspiration to all of us.