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The NXTGEN HIGHTECH program will receive a contribution of 450 million euros from the National Growth Fund in order to stimulate structural and sustainable economic growth in the Netherlands. The decision of the advisory committee chaired by Jeroen Dijsselbloem was adopted by the Council of Ministers today. In NXTGEN HIGHTECH, six domains offer high-tech solutions for a new generation of technology for the future generation of Dutch people, our children.

NXTGEN HIGHTECH receives 450 million from the National Growth Fund for a new generation of high-tech equipment for the future generation of Dutch people

NXTGEN HIGHTECH is one of a total of 28 approved innovation proposals and was submitted by Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate in the second round of the National Growth Fund. Minister Micky Adriaansens (EZK): “Once again, innovation aimed at digitization, sustainability, high-tech and health has received significant support from the National Growth Fund. That is good for all Dutch people, because a prosperous country cannot be taken for granted. Research, development and innovation are the keys to sustainable growth and therefore our jobs and incomes for future generations.” The minister continues: “Public funding for these innovative applications is needed especially in economically challenging times. The government is taking a more active role in further developing research, innovation and technology, allowing startups to grow, attracting talent, keeping innovation in the Netherlands and thereby strengthening our international position.”

Major strategic opportunities for the high-tech industry

As can be read in the advisory report, the committee advises to grant an amount of 450 million euros conditionally. The committee sees great strategic opportunities for the high-tech industry. According to various experts, the Netherlands has a strong international position in this sector, of course in precise chip machines, but also in so-called smart industry. This sector is growing rapidly and the technologies and knowledge are widely applicable. The committee is of the opinion, like experts, that the proposal is cleverly put together. […] The importance of public investment in key enabling technologies is widely recognised. The Committee sees the role of the National Growth Fund in making incidental investments to form links in system change. In this way, the Netherlands can be and remain competitive compared to other countries.
 
Marc Hendrikse, figurehead NXTGEN HIGHTECH: “We are proud that the advisory committee has opted for a serious investment in the new generation of high-tech equipment that will make a significant contribution to solutions for societal challenges in the field of energy transition, health, safety and nutrition. Our proposal, with more than 40 detailed project plans for high-tech machines and equipment, simultaneously makes a major contribution to the earning capacity and employment in the Netherlands. The program team is now working hard, together with all companies (the majority of which are SMEs), knowledge institutions, regional parties and sector organisations, to convert the ambitions and confidence into results.”

Solutions for the future

NXTGEN HIGHTECH offers solutions in six domains. Some examples:

  • Sustainable energy: green (hydrogen) energy and new batteries by producing(more) efficient equipment with thin film technology.
  • Laser communication: equipment for data communication through laser beams and satellites, energy efficient, safe and with higher capacity.
  • Health: production technology for new chips that enable miniature diagnostics ('Lab-on-Chip'), with which organs can be imitated ('Organ-on-a-Chip') or replaced (artificial organs) and accelerate the search for new medicines and therapies, where possible without animal testing.
  • Faster chips: development of equipment to make even faster and more energy-efficient chips that partly also switch with light, resulting in more applications, such as in the medical, food and safety fields.
  • Lightweight materials: machines that use innovative composite technology to make lightweight constructions to make transport (aviation, cars) more energy-efficient.
  • Robotics in agriculture and horticulture: fast and precise robots that contribute to a sustainable food chain.

World champion

The Dutch high-tech sector contributes to the Gross National Product (GNP) of €72 billion per year. However, the Netherlands is falling further and further on the Global Innovation Index and is now at number 6, compared to number 4 in 2019, while our ambition is to become 'high-tech world champion'. Including the contribution of € 450 million from the National Growth Fund, NXTGEN HIGHTECH will invest at least one billion until 2029. This will enable the consortium to make the Dutch high-tech sector the leading cluster in Europe and make an additional contribution to GDP of €11 to 16 billion per year.

Execution

A number of conditions are attached to the allocation of the funds. The consortium will discuss these conditions. The implementation of the program is in the hands of the i.o. NXTGEN HIGH TECH. The program is an initiative of Holland High Tech, TNO, High Tech NL, FME, University of Twente, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, University of Groningen, and a number of ROMs (including InnovationQuarter, Oost NL, BOM).

 

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