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Aging, type 2 diabetes, shortage of healthcare personnel; our society is facing major challenges that require more knowledge and groundbreaking innovations. This offers opportunities for scientists, companies and public parties. NWO is responding to this by investing more than €100 million annually through various subsidy instruments in research in which public and private parties work together.

The role of SME’s

In order to achieve social and economic impact, the participation of SMEs is necessary and is therefore an important partner in research in all instruments. By sharing knowledge and collaborating on innovations, research results can be translated into solutions for society. For research that is financed within the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC), NWO applies incentives to involve SME’s more. NWO has opened 2 new instruments. om het MKB beter te betrekken.

About the instruments from NWO

  1. In ‘Question for Partners’, a public and/or private partner develops a research program in partnership with NWO around a specific knowledge and/or development question. The partner is a co-funder (min. €1.5 million in cash) in the program and NWO will double this amount. This instrument is therefore particularly suitable for (a combination of) public and/or private parties that want to initiate a thematic research program of a considerable size.
  2. In ‘Question for Consortia’ a consortium of knowledge institutes, public and private parties contribute to a research proprosal to find answer to a self-chosen knowledge or development question.

The financial NWO contribution to these instruments is available for fundamental and practice-oriented research, carried out by scientists in collaboration with companies. The degree of co-financing by private parties for these instruments is set at 50%, and at least 30% of the total size of the partnership.

More information about these and other research programmes can be found here www.nwo.nl/kic.

Source: HollandBio news

From left to right: Ton van ‘t Noordende (Investor in Residence, Quantum Delta NL), Matthijs Rijlaarsdam (QuantWare). Alessandro Bruno (QuantWare), Freeke Heijman (director Quantum Delta NL). Photos by Rebekka Mell, in the DiCarlo Lab (QuTech).

Quantum Delta NL announces the launch of a two million euro micro fund called ‘LightSpeed Fund 1’. The fund will focus on supporting early stage quantum startups. Delft-based startup and participant in the LightSpeed program, QuantWare, is the first startup to receive funding.

The fund is part of Quantum Delta NL’s strategic roadmap to increase the number of successful quantum startups in the Netherlands. Currently, there are seven quantum startups in the Netherlands, and Quantum Delta NL is on a mission to see this number increase to 100 by 2027. These companies are considered to become of great value to the Dutch economy.

In pursuit of this goal, last month Quantum Delta NL launched its new initiative, LightSpeed. Lightspeed is a program connecting Dutch quantum startups in all phases, where the startups receive tailored assistance and guidance to scale up their businesses and optimize their attractiveness to top-tier investors. Specifically for the initiative, efforts were made to approach and bring in European and American funds with a wealth of experience to support startups. Lightspeed aims to create optimal conditions to build sustainable and future-proof startups.

Fund

Following today’s launch of the micro fund, managed by LightSpeed, Quantum Delta NL awards pre-seed tickets amounting to 50,000 euros each to early-stage startups in the field of quantum technology. LightSpeed adapted a modern instrument that is straightforward, founder-friendly and fills the gap in the earliest stage for quantum technology startups: the SAFE note (Simple Agreement for Future Equity). This approach gives startups the maximum flexibility needed in the earliest stages, particularly in the quantum technology space as development timelines and road to profitability extend far beyond that of classic startups. The investment does not have to be repaid, as with a traditional  convertible loan or note, if a startup fails to advance.

Quantum Delta NL’s Investor in Residence Ton van ‘t Noordende clarifies: “The Netherlands has a top position globally if we look at the number of quantum technology startups. This is unfortunately not the case on the capital side as there is virtually no professional venture capital available for early stage quantum startups. Our goal with Lightspeed is to enable founders to get the best possible start of their company.”

Quantum Delta NL has currently allocated two million euros for the pre-seed tickets and intends to award 5 to 15 tickets in fiscal year 2021/2022 and 35 to 40 tickets over the total period. The budget will be increased once Phase 1 of the National Growth Fund Program is underway.

QuantWare

QuantWare, a spinout of QuTech and part of the Quantum Delft ecosystem which develops high-performance quantum processors, is the first startup to tap into the microfund as part of a larger investment round. This makes it the second success story in the LightSpeed program. LightSpeed has also supported and guided the Delft-based startup QphoX in their fundraising round, which raised two million euros in funding with the help of the LightSpeed team to bring its Quantum Modem to the market.

Ambition

Startups and building a business ecosystem are key pillars of the Quantum Delta NL-program that heard it will receive  615 million euros from the National Growth Fund in April. Among other things, the program fuels the further development of the first European quantum computer and a quantum internet, openly accessible to end users in business and social sectors, including education. McKinsey calculated that in the medium term, the program will raise the gross domestic product by 5 to 7 billion euros and create 30,000 high-quality jobs in the Netherlands.

Freeke Heijman, director Quantum Delta NL: “We want the knowledge from the scientific labs to lead to new businesses in the Netherlands and Europe. With LightSpeed and this fund, promising initiatives will get an unprecedented acceleration to scale up their idea to a startup or scale-up.”

Ton van ‘t Noordende, Investor in Residence Quantum Delta NL: “We see the micro fund as a logical extension of LightSpeed. Promising and early stage initiatives only need a small injection of capital to hit the ground running. This is proven by QuantWare which, relying on our investment and on Lightspeed’s guidance, has raised immediate market capital even before launching their company.”

Alessandro Bruno, Director of Engineering at QuantWare: “The support from this fund and LightSpeed will allow us to bring our quantum processors to market. In doing so, we are making quantum accessible to more parties. In this way, we can make a crucial contribution that allows the Dutch quantum ecosystem to build on its current lead.”

Original press release here

To emphasise the importance of high tech innovation to societal themes and missions more clearly and to stimulate research and collaboration, the Topsector HTSM will organise the annual HitMat Call. This is a funding opportunity to inspire consortia to come up with excellent high tech solutions in Public Private partnership programs. 

From Cybersecurity to circular building

Topics covered in the research proposals include cybersecurity by design, ultrasonic brain modulation, optimization of traffic flow in the city, extraction of nitrogen compounds from animal manure and eco-efficient and circular construction.

HiTMaT Call 2021

The third HiTMaT Call has opened. The HiTMaT is a competition between the best R&D proposals for high-tech PPP that offer solutions for the social themes and missions of the Netherlands. In 2020, 60 research proposals were submitted, 15 of which were nominated and 10 projects ultimately won € 25,000 in germ funding. Who has the best ideas this year?

Project proposals can be submitted from April 7 through the HitMat Call 2021 website *. The deadline for submitting applications is May 18, 2021, 14:00 CEST.

* Proposals submitted by email will not be accepted.

Download the brochure HitMat Call 2021 here (PDF)

Webinar: Do’s & Dont’s

In this webinar Frans van der Wel, PPP employee Holland High Tech, explains the rules of the game surrounding this call. He discusses who can submit proposals, what proposals must comply with, what the themes entail and more. In this webinar you will receive tips on how to write a project proposal in such a way that you maximize the chance of winning.

Thursday April 20, 2021
10:00 – 12:00 AM
Via Microsoft Teams

During the Webinar there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and respond to the other participants. You can submit questions in advance via HiTMaT@hollandhightech.nl.

Register now for the webinar

HiTMat 2019 and 2020

After a cautious start in 2019, we received no fewer than 60 project proposals by 2020 from scientists from industry and research organizations. Five expert committees selected 15 proposals as finalists for the 2020 edition. On Wednesday 7 October 2020, the 15 finalists presented their research proposal. The 10 prize winners were announced during the Autumn Event on October 30, 2020. These winners will receive an amount of € 25,000 in seed money for a public-private partnership project in which their high-tech research innovation is linked to one of the 5 social themes (Health and care, Climate and Circular Economy, Security, Mobility, Agriculture, Water and Food).

Read more about the HiTMat call 2021 (Dutch)

Consortia including research institutes and public and private organisations can submit project proposals for fundamental or application-oriented research on innovative and groundbreaking technologies within 8 clusters of key technologies:

  • Nanotechnologies
  • Chemical Technologies
  • Digital Technologies
  • Engineering and Fabrication Technologies
  • Photonics and Light Technologies
  • Advanced Materials
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Life science technologies

Purpose

The call Key Technologies calls for the development of initiatives over the full width of the KIA Key Technologies. Thus she strenghtens the technology base in the Netherlands and enables topsectors to solve societal challenges adequately. The outcome of the research is broadly applicable en has a large impact on science and/or society.

Who can apply?

Pre-proposals and full proposals are submitted by the main applicant and one or more co-applicants. Besides the main and co-applicant (s), a consortium always consists of two or more co-funders. In addition, other private and / or public organisations can participate in the consortium as collaborating partners. All participants must play an active role in the formulation of the research questions and the design and realisation of the project.
More information about specific conditions regarding who can apply can be found in section 3.1 of the call for proposals.

What to apply for?

A budget of 11 million euros is available for this call for proposals. Funding can be requested for research proposals with a total budget of at least 750,000 euros and at most 2,500,000 euros. NWO will fund a maximum of 70% of the total project budget; the rest of the funding must be contributed by co-funding. Co-funding may be provided in-cash or in-kind, but at least half of the amount must be in-cash. At least 50% of the total co-funding must be from private sources. More information about the conditions for co-funding can be found in section 3.5.2 of the call for proposals.

For this call the following modules can be applied for:

  • Personnel costs
  • Material costs
  • Investments
  • Knowledge utilisation
  • Internationalisation
  • Money follows Cooperation
  • Project management

The maximum duration of a project is six years.

When to apply

  • The deadline for the submission of appropriateness statement is November 10, 2020, 14:00:00 CET. The result of the review process of the appropriateness statement will be communicated by NWO no later than December 23th.
  • The deadline for the submission of preproposals is January 19, 2021, 14:00:00 CET.
  • The deadline for the submission of proposals is May 18, 2021, 14:00:00 CEST.

Read more at NWO KIC