On 3 and 4 December 2020, MinacNed, in collaboration with its partners from micro- and nanotechnology, is organizing the 16th edition of the international MicroNanoConference 2020. This year on a virtual platform where speakers, participants and sponsors meet in online spaces and talk to each other. deal with current topics within the field.

Themes MicroNanoConference

Prior to the iMNC2020, the event organization gave a glimpse into the current playing field during various pre-events. The main themes of the December conference were at the heart of these pre-events. There were discussions about, among other things, safety, food sustainability and cooperation in corona initiatives with public-private partners.

An important theme this year is Nano4Society. In 2019, the Nanovision for 2030 was introduced by Nano4Society, resulting from the national program NanoNextNL. This Nanovision focuses on 4 themes: Nano4Energy, Nano4Agri & Food, Nano4Health and Nano4Security.

During the conference, we will delve deeper into these themes under the guidance of leading keynote speakers. In interactive sessions there is also a lot of attention for recruitment in high-tech companies during corona and for the growth of startups with the help of experts. Central to this are questions such as: What have we learned in 2020? What will we take with us for the coming years?

The full program: https://www.micronanoconference.org/programme

Registration online

In addition to online discussions and key notes, the side program consists of interactive banners, downloads of flyers and of course the personal conversation, whereby old contacts and new leads can be addressed. The iMNC2020 project team is proud to also organize a well-attended conference in 2020 where partners from the micro and nano community will feel at home and can listen to appealing presentations from science and industry.

Registration for the iMNC2020 is still possible via the site. If you cannot attend the sessions live, you have until January 1, 2021 to watch the sessions again.

Register: https://www.micronanoconference.org

A total of 60 proposals were submitted in the HiTMaT Call 2020. Five thematic committees have examined a total of 60 proposals submitted in the HiTMat 2020 round. The committees, consisting of representatives of the HTSM roadmaps and research institutions, assessed the proposals based on four criteria:

• Quality of the project plan and degree of contribution to themes and roadmaps
• Quality of the consortium
• Originality
• Potential social and / or economic impact

These five expert committees selected 15 proposals as finalists for the 2020 edition. On Friday, October 30, during the Holland High Tech Autumn Event, the 10 prize winners were announced:

Life Sciences & health

Climate and circular economy



Agriculture, water and food

These winners will receive € 25,000 in seed money for the set-up of 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 2020 here. (Dutch)

On September 23, the iMNC2020 hosted the first pre-meeting for iMNC2020, with 2 excellent keynote presentations from Ronny van t Oever (Micronit and Viralert initiative) and Maarten de Zwart (NWO). During the Q&A, led by moderator Prof Maarten Honing (Maastricht University) participants could ask their questions and this led to interesting discussion with the two keynotes.

This was the first session in the online platform iChair and the first online event for iMNC2020. Maarten Honing concluded that the discussion was so interesting, he had not been able to complete all his questions and that there was much more to discuss during the sessions on December 3 and 4, 2020. The iMNC2020 team looks forward to more lively discussions during the public-private collaborations track at the international MicroNanoConference 2020.

Pre-event Nano4Agri/Food

The organization looks forward to the next pre-meeting on Thursday October 7, 2020:

Micro and nanotechnology for agriculture and food production
Opportunities for a sustainable future.

During this session, Prof Karin Schroën (Wageningen University/University of Twente) will invite 2 keynote speakers from industry and science to discuss their own experience in the development and use of micro- and nanotechnology in agriculture and food production.

Both micro- and nanotechnology hold great promises to create more sustainable food production. But how to capitalize on this? Can production on the land be made more efficient through these two technologies, or should we consider vertical farming? And can we make better use of the various ingredients that are available, and possibly go to a situation in which food is designed such that it contributes to a longer healthy life? And if yes, would consumers also accept these innovations?

The keynote from industry is by dr. Marcel Zevenbergen, IMEC. He will be joined by dr. Frans Kampers from Wageningen University, Strategy advisor. The keynote speakers will be interviewed during a Q&A after their talk by Prof Karin Schroen, and will discuss their own experience and their vision on future developments in the field of food.


As a registered participant of iMNC2020, you can participate in all five pre-events. For new registrations to attend the iMNC2020 and all pre-events: Register here.

Plantbased leader Upfield announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art Food Science Centre and Beyond Meat will open a new co-manufacturing facility of its first production site outside the US. Both Upfield and Beyond Meat have chosen the Netherlands to realize their plans.

Both companies want to start with their activities in 2021. Upfield explains it has chosen for the Netherlands, because of the Wageningen ecosystem. Wageningen is considered as the Silicon Valley of the food industry and a world-class location for food innovation. Wageningen University is ranked as the world’s leading University in Agri-Food. Upfield will invest €50 million for their Food Science Center.

HollandBIO is working on an attractive business climate for all biotechnology related businesses, whether entrepreneurs work on innovation in plants, medicines, vaccines, cultured meat or biobased materials. By attracting these two big Agri-Food disruptors, the Netherlands demonstrates its potential role in helping to enable a transition to a more sustainable food system.

Read more     

Netherlands Emerging as New Plant-Based Industrial Hub as Upfield Announces €50M Investment For the Future of Plant-Based Foods

HollandBio news
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash


Wateronderzoek en het coronavirus zijn geen logische combinatie. Toch is het Delftse en Noorse onderzoekers gelukt om uit hun wateronderzoek een slimme toepassing te halen voor de detectie van het coronavirus. Toevallig – maar zeker niet minder nuttig.

Het doel van het NWO-domein TTW-project ‘WaterTagging: DNA-microparticles for tracing and modelling water flows and travel times in natural systems’ is om waterstromen in kaart te brengen. De Delftse onderzoekers, onder leiding van Thom Bogaard, gebruiken daarvoor microbolletjes van ijzeroxide met silicium. Deze bolletjes zijn gelabeld met een soort DNA-streepjescode. Ze worden vervolgens in een waterstroom ingebracht, om ze verderop terug te vinden. Door de streepjescode is te achterhalen wanneer en waar de deeltjes zijn ingebracht. Zo volgen de onderzoekers waterstromen, en kunnen ze bijvoorbeeld de bron van verontreinigingen opsporen. Eind 2018 kon het team het onderzoek uitbreiden, door middel van een Water JPI Europees samenwerkingsproject, UrbanWat, gefinancierd door NWO-domeinen ENW en SGW.

Samenwerking met Noorwegen

Vanaf het begin is er in dit onderzoek gekozen voor intensieve samenwerking met NTNU in Noorwegen. De Delftse postdoc van dit project, Sulalit Bandyopadhyay, bleef tijdens al het onderzoek verbonden aan NTNU, een onderzoeksgroep in Trondheim met expertise op het gebied van die microdeeltjes. Daar veranderden de onderzoekers de microdeeltjes om beter toepasbaar te zijn voor het wateronderzoek, maar ondervonden problemen bij het met DNA labelen van het microdeeltje. RNA daarentegen bleek wel goed te binden aan de oppervlakte van de microdeeltjes. En, een geluk bij een ongeluk, dat RNA is ook het genetische materiaal in het virus dat COVID-19 veroorzaakt.
Nieuwe detectiemethode

De Noorse onderzoekers bouwen voort op deze vinding bij de ontwikkeling van een nieuwe testmethode naar het coronavirus. Zij gebruiken de microdeeltjes om RNA te extraheren uit een oplossing die een monster van de patiënt bevat. Omdat de microbolletjes ijzeroxide bevatten, kan met behulp van een magneet het RNA gescheiden en gezuiverd worden. Vervolgens wordt de genetische code van dat gezuiverde RNA geïdentificeerd en vergeleken met het coronavirus. Deze nieuwe testmethode lijkt gevoeliger te zijn dan huidige methodes om het coronavirus op te sporen. In de projectgroep in Noorwegen wordt daarom nu opgeschaald om minimaal voor 150.000 tests per week aan microbolletjes te produceren in dat land. Of deze methode ook in Nederland zal worden toegepast is nu nog niet bekend.

Bron: NWO nieuws
Cover foto: Projectleider Thom Bogaard bij de watertagging testopstelling. Beeld: Technische Universiteit Delft | Frank Auperlé