The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland) organises an innovation mission to Japan from 10 – 14 October 2022. Are you actively involved in photonics, quantum- or nanotechnology? And do you want to explore the opportunities and developments of these three key enabling technologies in Japan? Then please, read more about this event and join the mission.

Quantum technology, nanotechnology and photonics (integrated photonics, optical) are essential key technologies in the Netherlands and Japan. Therefore, both countries are strongly investing in further development of these technologies to contribute to solving all kinds of societal challenges – for example, safety, sustainability, economics and life science.

For who?

This mission is interesting for Dutch governments, industries, and knowledge institutions. The mission focuses on the professionals who work at the interface of photonics, quantum and nanotechnology.

Goals of this mission

The goals of this innovation mission to Japan are:

  • Exploring and finding potential partners for joint research, development and commercialisation of technological innovations in the field of photonics, quantum and nanotechnology;
  • intensifying bilateral cooperation between government, industry and knowledge institutes;
  • developing bilateral schemes and programmes to support bilateral cooperation;
  • And positioning the Netherlands in EU programmes through relations with Japan.

Are you interested? Please, visit the website of the RVO for the whole programme, an information meeting on 15 June 2022 in The Hague, costs and registration (before 28 June 2022).

On Thursday April 14th the Dutch government announced the projects that were approved for the Nationaal Groeifonds (The National Growth Fund, The National Growth Fund | English | Nationaal Groeifonds). The government will be investing €20 billion through the Growth Fund between 2021 and 2025. That money will go to public-private projects that have the potential to contribute to future economic prosperity. Among the projects that have been approved a number will apply nanotechnology to develop solutions for major societal challenges. Of particular interest are NXTGEN HIGHTECH that was awarded 450 M€ and PhotonDelta that was awarded 470 M€.

PhotonDelta is an international ecosystem of organizations in integrated photonics. PhotonDelta aims at developing photonic tech that will tackle societal challenges such as sustainability, create a new European industry, and open the door to a huge range of new applications including quantum computing. The capital from the Dutch National Growth fund and other organizations will be used to build start-ups, scale up production, create new applications for photonic chips and develop infrastructure and talent.

The NXTGEN HIGHTECH program aims at developing a new generation high-tech equipment. This program will provide a significant contribution to the competitiveness, earning capacity and employment of the Netherlands. It will help address some of the larger societal challenges ahead (Health, energy, sustainability, etc.).

With the start of this new round of projects for the National Growth Fund, QuantumDeltaNL was approved for the second installment of funding. Nano4Society already plays a role within the QuantumDeltaNL growth fund and will seek synergies with the newly approved projects.

The research and innovation programme NanoNextNL has built up a unique and vibrant nano/microtechnology ecosystem at a scale that has never been achieved in any technical field in the Netherlands. This is one of the main conclusions of the final End Term Report of NanoNextNL, which was published last month. The updated End Term Report (2017) shows new achievements of the NanoNextNL programme (2010-2016) regarding science, valorisation and responsible innovation.

Highlights NanoNextNL programme as presented in End Term Report 2017 (click to enlarge image)

Increase in scientific output

Since its start in 2010, NanoNextNL has created a very large knowledge base in nano/microscience and technology as demonstrated in the preliminary End Term Report published in 2016. The recently published update shows an increased output in science:

  • Over 1250 peer-reviewed publications
  • Over 130 PhD theses; little short of 100 still to be published
  • Over 150 publications with an impact factor > 10
  • All NanoNextNL themes performed above world-average regarding citations
  • At least 95 granted EU projects
  • Already 127 unique patents

The updated NanoNextNL Research Appendix (2017) provides detailed information about the scientific output.

Achievements in valorisation

One important mission of the NanoNextNL programme has been to foster the transfer of knowledge from nanoscience and technology into new applications and business. This focus on valorisation has resulted in the following achievements:

  • 24 start-ups benefitted from NanoNextNL
  • 18 start-ups emerged from NanoNextNL
  • 86 demonstrators were developed
  • Average Technology Readiness Level (TRL) rose from 4.9 to 6.9
    • TRL 4.9: the stage of technology development – validation in a lab environment
    • TRL 6.9: the stage of system development – a system/prototype is tested in the relevant working environment
  • Over 50% of the participants in the Valorisation Programme have:
    • Found new funding
    • Acquired a client or potential client
    • An estimated market value that remained stable or grew
  • The patent-over-budget-filing ratio was 15 times higher than the average within the EU FP 7 programme (normalised by the total budget of NanoNextNL)

Safe-by-Design innovation

Risk Analysis and Technology Assessment (RATA) has been strongly integrated with the NanoNextNL research and development programme, bringing responsible research and Safe-by-Design innovation into practice, also in the development of new businesses. Tools for the detection of nanomaterials and understanding mechanisms of (eco)toxicity were developed to support new regulations and develop international policy. Since 2016 the following results were achieved:

  • A toolbox for technology assessment for researchers and technology developers is freely available:
  • The RATA research theme participated in about 30 EU projects
  • Researchers from the programme have supported the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice by investigating the significance of nanotechnology for civil security applications

Read more about the Safe-by-Design tools:

Follow-up to NanoNextNL

The successful NanoNextNL integrated approach involves strongly interlinked programmes composed of collaborative projects between academic and industrial partners. Using this method in a follow-up programme will guarantee a high-return-on investment for Dutch industry and society, and provides an efficient and effective road towards a more sustainable society. The Board of NanoNextNL is now holding discussions with private partners and government ministries to explore the possibilities of a follow-up programme targeting these goals. Researchers from NanoNextNL are active within two routes of the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA) and have taken the leading role in the route ‘Quantum/nanorevolution’ and the route ‘Materials – Made in Holland’.

About NanoNextNL

A total of 13 universities, 8 medical centres, 12 knowledge institutes and 110 industrial partners have collaborated within NanoNextNL (2010-2016). Since its start in 2010 the research and innovation programme has created a very large knowledge base in nano/microscience and technology, involving over 750 researchers. Together with universities and companies, the Dutch government has invested € 251 million in NanoNextNL.

Read more

• NanoNextNL End Term Report (2017)
• NanoNextNL Eindrapport (2017)
• NanoNextNL Updated Research Appendix (2017)
• Overview of Safe-by-Design tools
• Leaflet Maatschappelijk relevant innoveren met technologische publiek-private samenwerkingen (2017)