On Thursday 14 April, the Dutch government announced the projects approved for the National Growth Fund in 2022. In addition, NanoLabNL has been approved for the second tranche of the QuantumDeltaNL Dutch Growth Fund for maintaining and developing the Dutch national infrastructure in nanotechnology.

Of the projects awarded funding, NXTGEN HIGHTECH and PhotonDelta in particular make use of the many advantages offered by nanotechnology. NXTGEN HIGHTECH received €450 million and PhotonDelta €471 million. In addition to QuantumDeltaNL, these projects will benefit from the existing cleanroom infrastructure of NanoLabNL.

NXTGEN HIGH TECH

The NXTGEN HIGHTECH programme focuses on the development of a new generation of high-tech equipment. This programme will make an important 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.).

PhotonDelta

PhotonDelta is an international ecosystem of organisations in integrated photonics. PhotonDelta aims to develop photonic technology to address societal challenges such as sustainability, create a new European industry and open the door to a huge range of new applications, including quantum computing. Capital from the Dutch National Growth Fund and other organisations will be used to set up start-ups, scale up production, create new applications for photonic chips and develop infrastructure and talent.

Additional funds to maintain ecosystem

On the same day, additional funds in QuantumDeltaNL will be available for Nano4Society and MinacNed to deploy nanotechnology within the ecosystem to develop solutions for major societal transitions and create societal impact. The activities will contribute to MinacNed’s goal of strengthening the economy based on microsystems and nanotechnology.

Invest-NL is participating for €5 million in a €10 million investment round for Delft IMP. The other investor is Norwegian Sandwater.

The financial injection will be used to further scale up Delft IMP’s nanocoating technology. This makes more sustainable batteries and other sustainable applications possible.

Delft IMP (“Intensified Material Production”) is a spin-off of TU Delft and has unique expertise in developing ultra-thin coatings on powders and has patented technology to produce these materials at scale. The ultra-thin nano-coatings protect the material powders in the battery and thus improve its service life.

With this application technology, Delft IMP is able to control the process to optimize the film thickness and reduce the use of scarce raw materials, such as cobalt. Sustainable use of raw materials is their trademark, as the technology applied to powders has a much wider range of applications. For example, they are also an important player in the development of innovative electrolysers and fuel cell technologies.

CEO Dr. Roderik Colen: “With this investment we can contribute to reducing the use of scarce raw materials. We apply ultra-thin coatings to powder material and enable production at scale with a unique technology from TU Delft.”

“Invest-NL invests in companies that make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative,” says Wouter van Westenbrugge, Senior Investment Manager at Invest-NL, “Delft IMP’s advanced application technology can significantly accelerate the energy transition and also significantly reduce CO2 emissions. emissions from battery production.”

Source: InvestNL press release

MASER Engineering, the technologically-leading failure and reliability testing center in Europe, and Eurofins Scientific, an international, renowned laboratory group, have entered into an
agreement whereby Eurofins Scientific will acquire the shares of MASER Engineering BV. Current executive management will also participate via a minority shareholding.

MASER and Eurofins share a similar philosophy and complement each other perfectly.Together the two companies have big ambitions to grow the European market specifically in the semiconductor and electronic systems industry. The new ownership will also open up additional opportunities for MASER in the international market, particularly within the Eurofins Materials & Engineering Sciences Business line.

“We are very pleased that, a strong partner has been found who is technically innovative, sustainable and growth-oriented,” explain Hans Kemper and Kees Revenberg, founders and former owners of MASER Engineering. The Dutch operations of MASER will remain in place to continue to serve customers with the best service. MASER’s trademarks of flexibility, delivery reliability and consistent responsiveness to customer needs will be further strengthened. The existing customer and supplier relationships will be continued and intensified.

Thijs Kempers, CEO of MASER, will ensure a smooth continuation of MASER after the acquisition and will continue in his role as CEO. “I am committed to creating continuity for both our customers and our employees and to opening up positive development opportunities for MASER’s employees. Our expansion plans are in progress and I am very confident about MASER’s future.”

About MASER Engineering BV

MASER Engineering was founded in Enschede in 1993 and is an accredited independent engineering testing center with a broad and in-depth range of services. The company is a leader in the fields of reliability testing and failure analysis. The company headquarters are in the ‘Knowledge campus Twente’ (kennispark Twente) in Enschede with a total of 56 employees.

About Eurofins Scientific

With annual sales of over 5 billion euros, 55,000 employees and a network of over 900 independent companies in 50 countries, Eurofins Scientific is a leading international laboratory group, with a unique range of analytical and service capabilities for the pharmaceutical, food, environmental and consumer goods industries. As an accredited and internationally recognized testing laboratory network, Eurofins performs independent testing of technical equipment and components. It also provides conformity assessment solutions for national, European and international market access.

Source: MASER Engineering

In 2021 and 2022, MinacNed will host pre-events leading up to the international MicroNanoConference 2022. The symposia are live events in The Netherlands, offering an interesting program with speakers from industry and science, with an opportunity for networking.

The Nano4Society themes will be taken from the international MicroNanoConference. The MinacNed team aims to organize both (deep) tech events and also more high over themes like IP, HR and symposia on collaboration.

Micro Nano Symposium: From Science to Market: Biomedical Production Technology

On November 23, a Micro Nano Symposium will be organised around the 2021 Groeifonds application. The consortium of partners from science and industry responsible for the Growth Fund application (Groeifonds 2021) will celebrate the submission of their application, specifically the focus theme Biomedical Production Technology under the NXTGen High Tech program.

From Science to Market: Biomedical Production Technology
Biomedical production technology fails to keep pace with innovations in the biomedical domain. The (academic) knowledge in the Netherlands is at a very high level in the field of Lab-on-Chip, Organ-on-Chip, Artificial Organs and Cell production technology, but is not (properly) converted into products. The main reason for this is that a multidisciplinary chain is required of suppliers of high-quality specific components in both the technological and biological field. Although the required parties are present in the Netherlands, their production equipment and processes are not yet compatible with each other. These major challenges cannot be solved by a few parties, but a large collaboration is needed to be able to design and functionally qualify products from the existing developed building blocks (e.g., sensors, chips, biomaterials) in order to subsequently achieve upscaling and the growing (world) market.

MinacNed, hDMT, MESA+ and Nano4Society organize a pre-event of the international MicroNano Conference 2022 to address this topic and will present steps that are currently being taken to establish an ecosystem with a unique and first-of-its-kind production chain in the Netherlands.

We look forward to seeing you here. Registration is open, you will find the program and invited speakers on the event page. Read more and register today!

The event is  a live event in Enschede, at location The Gallery.

Partners in event: MinacNed, Nano4Society, hDMT and MESA+ Twente University

Queen Maxima ‘opens’ supercomputer (credits: Vera Duivenvoorden)

September 14, 2021

Fourteen quadrillion. That is the number of calculations the new national supercomputer Snellius can make per second. This powerful machine will greatly enhance the capacity of Dutch researchers to address scientific challenges such as climate change or analysis of the coronavirus. Queen Máxima performed the official inauguration of the supercomputer at the Amsterdam Science Park. Snellius was financed with a grant of 18 million euros from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (via NWO) and 2 million euros from SURF, the collaborative organisation for ICT in Dutch education and research.

New opportunities for researchers

One of the speakers at the opening ceremony was climate scientist Henk Dijkstra, who described the new possibilities that Snellius will create for his research:

‘It can help us to answer new questions about the impact that the increasing greenhouse gas emissions are currently having on the climate. We will also be able to make more detailed projections for the climate in the future, particularly in relation to the occurrence of extreme weather events such as heatwaves and excessive rainfall. You need a supercomputer because of the enormous number of calculations and the volume of data required to make those forecasts. Performing these types of calculations on a laptop is virtually impossible.’

NWO president Marcel Levi endorses that view:

‘The process of digitisation taking place in every domain of science means that every scientist needs computing capacity. Easy access to computing power is essential if researchers in the Netherlands are to continue conducting cutting-edge research in the future.’

A powerful computer

Every scientist in the Netherlands will have access to Snellius. The supercomputer, which is located in the Amsterdam Science Park, will be managed by SURF. An important criterion was that the new computer should be as energy-efficient as possible. The computer was built by Lenovo, which used water-cooling technology that cools the system more efficiently and greatly reduces the need for air cooling with fans. The system will be expanded in stages over the coming years and will ultimately have a peak performance of 14 petaflop/s, making it the most powerful high-performance computing system in the Netherlands. Through the use of the latest generation of graphics processing units (GPUs), the computer is also well suited for machine learning.

Investment in digitisation

The methods of processing research data and sources are changing rapidly. Datasets are not only much larger, but also more complex. In its coalition agreement, the present government earmarked funds to strengthen the country’s IT infrastructure with a view to ensuring the country remains competitive in the changing digital landscape. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science then asked NWO to draw up a detailed plan for the disbursement of the planned investments, for which NWO was allocated incentive funding of 40 million euros. In addition to making the Snellius supercomputer possible, the funds are intended for projects to make data more accessible, to improve the digital infrastructure, and to create more powerful computing capacity and more storage capacity.

Also read

Longread CWI – about how CWI researchers have relied on this powerful machine since the purchase of the first national supercomputer in 1984: from testing security keys to simulating gas and liquid flows and electrical discharges. 

With this online matchmaking platform we bring together various parties from science, industry, professional practice and legislation that want to contribute to the acceptance and implementation of existing animal-free models for safety assessment.

The goal is to jointly develop scientific and practice-oriented research proposals and concrete adaptation measures, with a focus on the acceptance, usability and implementation of existing animal-free models. We strive for broad consortia in which researchers and other stakeholders from various domains work together intensively.

We organize this matchmaking within the framework of the NWA program Safety assessment via animal-free models.

Program

The online meeting on October 28 offers a varied and interactive program for exchanging ideas for projects and making new contacts. The program in outline (see also Agenda):

  • 09:00-09:25 Welcome and Introduction NWA-call
  • 09:25-09:50 Invited Speaker – TBA
  • 09:50-10:10 Break-out sessions
  • 10:10-10:25 Short break and 1:1 meetings
  • 10:25-10:50 Pitches
  • 10:50-11:05 Introduction Impact Plan Approach
  • 11:05-11:20 Short break and 1:1 meetings
  • 11:20-11:50 Break-out sessions
  • 11:50-12.30 End of meeting

After registration, you will have access to the online sessions via Agenda.

You can schedule the 1-on-1 conversations immediately after registration (go to How it works for instructions)

Platform: oppurtunities for new collaborations

To facilitate matchmaking as optimally as possible, we offer a matchmaking platform in addition to this event. After registering you will gain access to this platform, which offers you various options for seeking expertise and forming new collaborations with parties from various sectors. See How it works for further information.

With this platform we hope to contribute to the creation of new networks, which will not only have added value for this NWA program, but also for other initiatives or future programs. The platform will exist at least until the deadline for submission of summary applications (November 12, 2021).

Information about the call

For more information about the call for proposals, please visit NWA call.

Professor Lieven Vandersypen (Photography: Studio Oostrum)

NWO has announced that our Director Research Lieven Vandersypen is awarded the NWO Spinoza Prize. The Spinoza Prize is the highest award in Dutch Science. Each laureate receives 2.5 million euros, which they can spend on scientific research and activities related to knowledge utilisation.

Lieven Vandersypen (1972) is Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor of Quantum Nanoscience at TU Delft and Director Research at QuTech. Vandersypen enjoys a worldwide reputation for his pioneering work in quantum computing, the branch of science devoted to developing a computer based on the mysterious phenomena of quantum mechanics.

Quantum computers can resolve mathematical problems that are too complex for even the best supercomputers, such as calculating the properties of molecules and materials. Accordingly, they could help to solve major societal challenges in domains such as energy, security and health. Lieven Vandersypen aims to find uses for nature’s most fundamental properties and has been pursuing that goal by conducting cutting-edge experiments in the field of quantum computing for more than twenty years.

During his doctoral research, Vandersypen already realized a world-wide first: he used the so-called spins of atomic nuclei in molecules as quantum bits, or qubits, the building blocks of a quantum computer. Using seven qubits, he was able to break down the number 15 into the factors 3 and 5, thus demonstrating that making calculations with qubits is not only possible in theory, but also in practice.

After obtaining his PhD, Vandersypen switched his attention from nuclear spins in molecules to the spins of electrons in quantum dots, minuscule objects made from semiconductor materials that are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. They resemble transistors in many respects and can therefore be used to integrate large numbers of qubits in a chip. He was the first to manipulate individual electron spins, with both magnetic and electric fields. He was later also the first to implement quantum algorithms on two of those electron spins and to show the quantum interaction between an electron spin and a microwave photon. He also demonstrated that the same quantum dots could be used to study exotic forms of magnetism.

Vandersypen is not only an outstanding scientist, but also a visionary who advances his discipline through collaboration with partners in science and other domains. For example, he was one of the founders of the research institute QuTech, a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO, and persuaded the American corporation Intel to enter into a long-term partnership with QuTech. Vandersypen is also one of the architects of the demonstration project Quantum Inspire, the first European online quantum computer with which users can perform calculations from home with two different types of qubits.

Vandersypen is a highly decorated scientist who has received a number of prestigious grants for his research projects, including a Vidi and a Vici grant and ERC Starting Investigator, Synergy and Advanced grants. He has considerable experience in leading large groups of researchers, engineers, technicians and support staff and is attracts outstanding international students, PhD candidates and postdocs. Ten former group members have already formed their own research groups at prestigious institutions around the world.

The Spinoza committee is convinced that with his qualities, vision and drive and his excellent network of academic and private partners, Lieven Vandersypen will be able to make the further major scientific and technological breakthroughs that are required to realise the full potential of the quantum computer in the coming years.

Source: NWO Spinoza
Also read this article from QuTech, Vandersypen is one of the founders of the research institute QuTech, a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO.

The international MicroNanoConference is the MinacNed conference for and by members. We are organizing this conference together with a group of members from both industry and science. These enthusiastic volunteers bring their own background and network to set up a program for the iMNC21.

From surveys we have taken after past iMNC events we have learned that participants see great value in the networking opportunities at the iMNC. An online platform offers fewer networking opportunities, therefore the organization has focused on an event in the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht.

With that in mind, this year’s iMNC21 location had been reserved, an international group of speakers had been invited and a fantastic program was set up that addresses both technical themes and more societal themes. However, for a successful event we not only need a well-organized and substantive program, but above all we also need the commitment and support of participants and exhibitors.

In these times of great uncertainty due to the Covid-19 measures, it turns out to be extremely difficult to get sufficient certainty in time to organize a conference with a large (international) participation.

As a result, we saw two risks arising. There was a risk (due to insufficient participants and sponsors) that the costs would be higher than the income. There was an equally great risk for participants and for exhibitors who invest in an event that would not offer sufficient networking opportunities to achieve the objectives. As MinacNed and the entire team organizing the iMNC21, we must avoid these risks. That is why the MinacNed board has unfortunately had to decide to cancel the iMNC21 conference this year.

The board of MinacNed would like to thank all members, OC and PC committee members and all those involved who have already committed themselves to the preparations for their contributions and also apologize because these preparations will unfortunately not lead to the iMNC21.

The team is currently working out whether the lecture program that has been put together for iMNC21 can be presented in a different way. This could be organized either in small local events or online. It is not yet clear in what form and on what dates these events will take place. We will keep you informed.

iMNC21 cancelled – explantation from MinacNed board (pdf)

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

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, August 24th 2021 – Nikon Europe B.V. has announced that it is to open its first Nikon BioImaging Lab (NBIL) in Europe. Building on the success of the NBIL in Cambridge Massachusetts (USA) and the recently opened NBIL in the Shonan iPark, Fujisawa City (Japan), Nikon has chosen to base the European NBIL in the prestigious Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP), the largest life sciences cluster in the Netherlands.

Dr. Volodymyr Nechyporuk-Zloy, NBIL manager, commented“We are really excited to be about to launch the new NBIL in one of the top five most successful life sciences parks in Europe. Our message to the many life science and healthcare businesses in the area – we are coming and want to support your technology. NBIL-Leiden will offer cutting-edge, full imaging service solutions as well as the services of expert biologists and microscopists, who are available to provide quality cell culture, sample preparation, data acquisition and data analysis services. NBIL-Leiden is here to provide you with expert imaging support – on demand.”

Director of Stichting Leiden Bio Science Park, Ida Haisma, welcomes Nikon Europe to the LBSP, “We are very pleased that Nikon has chosen the Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) for its Nikon BioImaging Lab. We believe that the shared services that Nikon offers through this facility will be very beneficial to the attractiveness of the LBSP. It will also boost the LBSP’s transformation into an Innovation District! In addition the NBIL will fulfil a long-standing wish from many start-up and medium sized companies as well as researchers at the different institutes located at the LBSP.”

NBIL-Leiden will provide private companies and academic institutes with a unique opportunity to use the latest microscope technology, develop core skills in a wide range of sample preparation and microscopy imaging experiments, as well as increasing their networking opportunities through similar communities across Europe. Support will include Nikon’s market-leading systems for confocal, super-resolution microscopy and high content imaging. Furthermore, the advanced image analysis service on powerful workstations with data storage and management systems will be provided.

Nikon Europe B.V. is grateful for the assistance of InnovationQuarter, the regional economic development agency for the Province of Zuid-Holland, which assisted us in finding the right location and helped coordinate communication to develop the partnership with the Leiden Bio Science Park.